Mitch's Sports Report: Astros Win Wild Game Five, Joining Game Two As 'Best Ever' Candidates
Game six, 1975, Red Sox and Reds. Game seven, 2001, Yankees and Diamondbacks. Game six, 2011, Rangers and Cardinals. I offer up those three World Series contests as belonging in the pantheon of greatest Fall Classic games ever played. You can make a very good argument for two more games being added to that short list, both from the same World Series being played right now in 2017, and a series that's not even over yet.
If game two between the L.A. Dodgers and Houston Astros set the bench mark for wild, emotional swings, with twists and turns and a good-luck-guessing who's going to win in the end script straight out of Hollywood, game five may have just scoffed and said "Is that all you got?"
Game five lasted five hours and 17 minutes and was ten innings long. It started with the L.A. Dodgers jumping out to a 4-0 lead with Houston ace Dallas Keuchel gone by the fourth inning. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was on the hill and was breezing along until the fourth when he gave up an RBI double, had two on and then gave up a game-tying three run home run to Yuli Gurriel, and I'll have more to say on him in a moment.
But back to the game, where the Dodgers didn't wait long to snatch the momentum back from Houston, as Cody Bellinger, who finally broke out of an oh-fer slump in game four, launched a three-run homer in the top of the fifth to give L.A. a 7-4 lead. Kershaw was still on the mound for the Dodgers in the bottom of the fifth, and L.A. manager Dave Roberts may regret not taking him out sooner, because Jose Altuve kept the see-saw bobbing by blasting, you guessed it, a three-run homer of his own that tied the game at seven. No scoring, remarkably, in the 6th, but in the top of the seventh, the Dodgers got the lead back at 8-7 on a triple by Bellinger. Could the Astros answer in the bottom of the seventh? Sure, why not? This ended up being the second highest scoring game in World Series history after all, and Carlos Correa blasted a two-run homer to give Houston an 11-8 lead that became 12-9 by the bottom of the eighth when Brian McCann homered for Houston. There were five home runs hit by the Astros in this game, for those keeping track, and that's no east task. So, could the Astros hold a 12-9 lead going into the top of the 9th to finally take a three games to two series lead? No, they could not. The Dodgers can go yard, too, and Yasiel Puig did the honors with a two-run shot that made it 12-11 and L.A. then tied the game at a dozen each on an RBI single by Chris Taylor.
Then it was that this amazing game finally came to an end in the bottom of the tenth inning when Astros third baseman Alex Bregman laced a walk-off RBI single off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who has not been the automatic game saver that he was all through the regular season and most of these playoffs, giving Houston a 13-12 win and a chance to win the franchise's first World Series when they play game six back in L.A. tomorrow night, fittingly, on Halloween.
Now a note about Yuli Gurriel, who may well end up being the MVP of this World Series, even while facing a suspension for the first five games of next season for making a racist gesture to Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish after hitting a home run against him in game three. That quote, unquote punishment, is frankly a joke, and if the Major League commissioner really wanted to send a message that racism won't be tolerated in America's pastime, he would have suspended Gurriel for at least one game of this series, which would have an impact and perhaps could even have altered the outcome of last night's game. While five games to start the 2018 season isn't even a slap on the wrist, it's barely a finger wag. How I wish we could just be talking about the action on the field, instead of the actions of grown men who should really spend some time with a history book so they can understand why casual racism shouldn't be excused just because you have a talent for hitting a major league fastball.
To the NFL, and the New England Patriots got by the Los Angeles Chargers 21-13 thanks to four field goals by Stephen Gostowski and a two-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Rob Gronkowski. The Pats defense had to come up big in this one and the game wasn't secured until Jonathan Jones picked off Philip Rivers at the goal line on the final play of the game.
The NY Jets hung tough with the Atlanta Falcons but fell short 25-20 in wet, sloppy conditions in New Jersey. Matt Ryan threw touchdown passes to Austin Hooper and Mohamed Sanu to secure the win.
The UVM women's soccer team topped Binghamton 1-0 yesterday afternoon, and for the first time in school history, the Catamounts will play for the America East championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament should they win. The game winner for the Catamounts came on a goal by Brooke Jenkins with just eight minutes to go in regulation, and now UVM moves on to the finals where they'll take on Stony Brook in New York for the division one title.
In college field hockey, UVM closed out its regular season with a 4-3 double overtime loss to UMass-Lowell, despite two goals from Landon Warren. Tess O'Brien also scored for the Catamounts, her first of the year, but a goal by Christa Doiron on a rebound gave UMass the victory.
In men's college soccer the Norwich cadets are advancing in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Tournament, making the semifinals for the 14th straight year with a 2-0 victory over Emmanuel College yesterday.
Wilmington native and senior team captain Colin Lozito had a goal and an assist to lead the Norwich offense, and sophomore forward Luke Gleadle added his team-leading 11th goal, as the Cadets avenged two previous playoff losses to Emmanuel. Next up for Norwich is a tilt against Johnson & Wales in the semi-finals Wednesday.