Baseball fans all over the globe were treated to a truly remarkable spectacle tonight, as Game 5 of this astounding World Series left many fans and writers asking, was that the greatest game of baseball ever played?
Using the term ‘greatest’ is always fraught with danger, and will inevitably spark controversy and divide opinion, however having the question merely posed in itself speaks volumes about what we just witnessed.
2017 #WorldSeries Game 5
• 25 runs
• 7 home runs
• 5:18 duration
• 5 lead changes
• One of the greatest games ever
— DJC (@DanClarkSports) October 30, 2017
After an enthralling first four games of the 2017 World Series, which were split evenly between two equally courageous, determined, and highly talented teams, Game 5 shifted into overdrive as the Astros eventually found a way to sneak home in front of an adoring Houston crowd.
- The 25 runs scored neared the all-time mark (29) for a World Series game, set by Toronto and Philadelphia in 1993 (Toronto won 15-14)
- The seven home runs slugged is tied for second for all-time, with the record (eight) being set this year also in Game 2
- The 5:18 duration was the second longest World Series game of all-time, behind the White Sox and Astros in 2005 (5:45)
- The Astros became just the fifth team in history to overcome three deficits to win a World Series game
- The 100 home runs in the 2017 postseason and 21 home runs in the 2017 World Series both tie all-time records
- The Astros are the first team in history to have five players hit a home run in a World Series game
- Clayton Kershaw has given up eight home runs this World Series – the most in history
- The Astros are just the second team in history to win eight home games in a single postseason (2002 Angels being the other)
- Jose Altuve’s seven home runs ties the mark for second baseman in a single postseason (Daniel Murphy 2015 being the other)
With two of the game’s best pitchers on the mound, it was the Dodgers who jumped out to an early 3-0 lead after Dallas Keuchel’s radar lost its bearings and Logan Forsythe made him pay. As Keuchel and Clayton Kershaw settled in, it was the fourth innings when things started to get a little chaotic. After extending their lead to 4-0 in the top half of the inning, the Dodgers surrendered it in the bottom. George Springer lead off the inning with a walk before Jose Altuve singled with one out. Carlos Correa continued his strong postseason with a double, before Yuli Gurriel homered to tie the game.
Each team put up a three spot in the 5th, each via the Earl Weaver special – Cody Bellinger for the Dodgers and that man again, Altuve for the Astros. An RBI triple in the 7th from Bellinger put the Dodgers ahead 8-7, before the Astros busted out for four runs in the bottom of the 7th in what seemed to be the game-breaker. Springer, Altuve, and Correa were once again the stars as the Astros suddenly found themselves ahead 11-8.
In typical never-say-die fashion, the Dodgers pegged one back in the 8th via a Seager double to left field which scored Joc Pederson, however veteran Brian McCann counter-punched with his first home run of the series in the bottom of the inning. Heading to the 9th behind 9-12, the Dodgers needed to find something special and after a lead-off walk drawn by Bellinger, Yasiel Puig sent one deep to left field to make it a one run game. Austin Barnes doubled with one out, before Pederson ground out to leave the game resting upon Chris Taylor’s shoulders. Continuing his sensational season, Taylor delivered a single to center as Barnes scored and the Dodgers had yet again tied things up. Kenley Jansen worked around a Gurriel double in the bottom of the 9th as the game headed to extra innings tied at 12.
Joe Musgrove silenced the Dodgers in the top of the 10th, working around a 1-out single from veteran Andre Ethier, ensuring the Astros had a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the inning yet again. Two quick outs from Jansen had the game looking set for an 11th, however after hitting McCann and walking Springer, the Astros only required a safe hit off Alex Bregman to send them westwards to Los Angeles with a 3-2 series lead. Bregman, as he has done all postseason, came up bit in the clutch with a line drive single to left, sending Minute Maid Park into hysterics.
The win sets up a tantalizing Game 6 in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, where Justin Verlander will search for his first World Series win this his fifth attempt. He faces off against 37-year-old Rich Hill who has just one career postseason win from seven starts – that coming in last year’s NLCS.
The 2017 World Series has been the best in recent memory and should the Dodgers force a Game 7, may very well go down as the best ever. In what has been a truly remarkable MLB season, it seems fitting that should eventuate. First pitch is 8:00pm Eastern and it’ll be televised on FOX.