A patient approach from the Los Angeles Dodgers led to their chasing Dallas Keuchel, but the Houston Astros got to Clayton Kershaw as well, which led to a wild Game 5 of the World Series. Bill Miller’s inconsistent strike zone further amplified the drama.
Keuchel had little to no command in the first inning, allowing a leadoff single to Chris Taylor, then walking Justin Turner and Kiké Hernandez to load the bases with one out. Keuchel managed to strike out Cody Bellinger, but gave up a two-run single to Logan Forsythe.
Fortune was on the Dodgers’ side as Keuchel picked off Forsythe but Yulieski Gurriel’s throw to second base was off target. That allowed Hernandez to score on the double steal, and the Dodgers were out to an early 3-0 lead.
Kershaw mowed his way through the first two innings, with Evan Gattis’ leadoff single in the third representing the Astros’ first baserunner. A double play and strikeout amounted to Kershaw facing the minimum up to that point.
The Dodgers padded their lead in the fourth, behind Forsythe’s double and Austin Barnes’ two-out RBI single. But the bottom half of the inning saw Kershaw suddenly lose his command. George Springer drew a leadoff walk, and Jose Altuve’s base hit put two on with one out.
After Carlos Correa’s RBI double got the Astros on the board, Yulieski Gurriel ambushed the first pitch from Kershaw and clobbered a game-tying, three-run home run. It was the eighth home run Kershaw allowed this postseason, which set an MLB record.
Collin McHugh issued back-to-back walks to start the fifth and later surrendered a three-run homer to Bellinger. At 22 years, 108 days old, Bellinger became the youngest player to hit a home run in the World Series.
Provided with another lead, Kershaw still struggled to locate his pitches in the bottom of the fifth. The end result was back-to-back walks with two outs, and Kershaw giving way to Kenta Maeda. He was one strike away from getting out of the inning, only to give up a game-tying home run to Altuve.
Turner’s leadoff double in the seventh inning was nearly squandered on a failed sacrifice bunt attempt. But with Hernandez on first base, Bellinger hit a sinking line drive that Springer allowed to get by him on a diving catch attempt. The RBI triple gave the Dodgers an 8-7 lead.
Brandon Morrow entered in the bottom of the seventh for a third consecutive day pitching, a first in his career. The appearance was also Morrow’s 12th in the Dodgers’ 13 postseason games. Springer atoned for his misplay by jumping on the first pitch he saw for a leadoff home run.
Matters only spiraled out of control from there. Alex Bregman singled, Altuve scorched a go-ahead double, and Correa hit a two-run homer. Morrow was lifted after allowing four runs on six pitches and without retiring a batter.
Joc Pederson doubled off Brad Peacock, who then hit Taylor with a pitch to bring the tying run to the plate with one out. Will Harris entered and promptly gave up an RBI double to Seager on the first pitch.
The Dodgers left two runners in scoring position, and Brian McCann’s solo home run in the bottom of the eighth extended the Astros’ lead to 12-9. That made little difference, as Chris Devenski blew the save opportunity.
Yasiel Puig lined a two-run homer to left field, which was followed by a Barnes double with one out. After Pederson’s groundout advanced Barnes to third base, Taylor’s single up the middle tied the game.
With two on and two outs in the bottom of the 10th, Bregman lined a walk-off single into left field on the first pitch he saw from Jansen.
With a barrage of long balls Sunday night, it brought the home-run total to 22, which broke the MLB record previously set by the Anaheim Angels and San Francisco Giants in the 2002 World Series.