It’s only fitting that the 2017 World Series is headed to a Game 7.
After the Dodgers were able to get to Astros starter Justin Verlander to earn a 3-1 Game 6 win over the Astros on Tuesday, this series is now tied at three games apiece.
In a series that has had everything from pitchers’ duels to slugfests, it all comes down to one game Wednesday in Los Angeles.
Here are three takeaways from Game 6.
1. Justin Verlander is no longer undefeated with Houston
Justin Verlander had been 9-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 10 games for the Astros since he was acquired at the waiver-trade deadline Aug. 31. He is no longer undefeated as the Dodgers handed him his first loss with Houston.
The future Hall of Famer was very good Tuesday, he just wasn’t quite as good as Rich Hill and a plethora of Dodgers relievers. He tossed six innings and allowed a mere two earned runs in the sixth inning, but considering the fact Houston scored just one in the game, the two runs were enough to get the win for Los Angeles.
Verlander finished the postseason with a 4-1 record with 38 strikeouts and a 2.25 ERA in 36 2/3 innings pitched.
2. Taking out Hill pays off this time
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts caught a lot of flack for taking out starting pitcher Rich Hill after 60 pitches in Game 2 and he understandably caught some more in Game 6 after taking his starter out with just a pitch count of 58.
But this time his move paid off as the Dodgers’ bullpen tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings against a Houston lineup that had scored 28 runs in the first five games of the series. Brandon Morrow pitched yet again and he now thrown in all six games of the World Series. He bounced back after a tough Game 5 outing with one scoreless inning Tuesday.
Morrow also got out of a huge jam in the fifth when the Astros had the bases loaded with two outs. Sometimes bullpenning does pay off.
3. A.J. Hinch inexplicably ignoring Astros’ best reliever in the playoffs
So Houston has just two relievers that have lower than a 4.50 ERA in the playoffs this season. Will Harris is one, and while he does have a 2.25 ERA, he has given up several inherited runners to score along with six hits in four innings.