It had everything.
Game 2 of the 2017 World Series had extra innings, all of the homers, hats making defensive plays, sleeveless pitchers hollering, streaks halted, Puig being powerful, Puig being gentle, umps getting in the way, free tacos, advertisements taking players’ heads off, and, of course, it had Vin Scully. Oh, there was also a nearby brush fire.
When the wildest World Series game in recent memory was in the books, the Houston Astros had defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-6, on Wednesday night to level the best-of-seven series, 1-1. Game 3 is set for Friday night in Houston.
Here are 11 numbers that tell the story:
The Astros just won their first World Series game EVER. pic.twitter.com/W04dmwVIhl— SB Nation MLB (@SBNationMLB) October 26, 2017
Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander retired the first nine batters that he faced on Wednesday night, opening Game 2 with three perfect innings. After arriving in Houston via trade during the 2017 season, the 2011 AL Cy Young winner has yet to take a loss with the Astros. He has won nine games in a row since arriving in Houston: His final five starts of the regular season and his first four starts of this postseason. He did not earn the victory in Game 2, but his team did.
It’s Justin Verlander’s 10th appearance as an Astro. Could be the 1st pitcher ever to win his last 5 apps of season and 1st 5 of postseason— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) October 26, 2017
There were a record-setting eight total home runs in Game 2, the most ever in a World Series game. The eight dingers accounted for 10 of the 13 total runs scored in the game. Here are all the players who homered — and when.
- Dodgers left fielder Joc Pederson, fifth inning
- Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager, sixth inning
- Astros left fielder Marwin Gonzalez, ninth inning
- Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, 10th inning
- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, 10th inning
- Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, 10th inning
- Astros outfielder George Springer, 11th inning
- Dodgers left fielder Charlie Culberson, 11th inning
The Dodgers struggled to scratch out hits against Verlander and the Astros’ relievers, but they made their few knocks count. Entering the ninth inning, the Dodgers had just two hits. Both of them were homers, and Los Angeles improbably led, 3-2.
The last World Series team to win a game with only 2 hits? The #Dodgers in Game 4 of the '63 Series with Sandy Koufax beating Whitey Ford.— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 26, 2017
The Dodgers entered Game 2 riding a 98-0 streak when leading after eight innings this season, including the playoffs. Los Angeles was the only team with a perfect mark in those situations. The Dodgers took a 3-1 lead into the eighth inning, when they turned the ball over to closer Kenley Jansen with six outs between them and a commanding 2-0 series lead.
The Astros did something the Dodgers have never seen this season. pic.twitter.com/CUwffg6UaG— SB Nation (@SBNation) October 26, 2017
Entering Game 2, the Dodgers’ bullpen had been nearly perfect this postseason. It pitched 28 scoreless innings between Game 2 of the National League Division Series and the eighth inning on Wednesday. That streak was an MLB record for a single postseason. It was snapped in the eighth inning when Carlos Correa drove in Alex Bregman with an RBI single to pull the Astros within 3-2.
When Astros left fielder Marwin Gonzalez stepped into the batter’s box in the top of the ninth, his team was on the brink of falling into a 0-2 hole in the World Series. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was on the mound with a 3-2 lead to protect. The situation was not good for the Astros. According to FanGraphs, the Dodgers had an 85 percent chance of winning the game. Then this happened:
11 innings later, the World Series is tied at 1 game each. pic.twitter.com/raAzNz3OHJ— FanGraphs Baseball (@fangraphs) October 26, 2017
The home runs kept coming from both sides in extra innings, and the free baseball barrage made history: The five total long balls after the ninth inning was the most ever for any game, regular or postseason. The Dodgers had two of the homers while the Astros had three. The previous record for combined homers in extra innings in a postseason game was three, a total tallied by the Indians and Red Sox in Game 1 of 1995 ALDS.
Before Game 2, there had been just 17 extra-inning home runs in the entire history of the World Series. There were five in Game 2.
Extra-Inning Home Runs - World Series History— Sean Grande (@SeanGrandePBP) October 26, 2017
First 651 games: 17
Game 2 Tonight: 5
Thanks to a stolen base by Astros outfielder Cameron Maybin, the first of the 2017 Worl Series, in the decisive 11th inning, you are entitled to one free taco. Enjoy!
9, 10, 11
The Astros became the first team ever to homer in the ninth, 10th, and 11th innings of a postseason game. They forced extras with Gonzalez’s home run in the ninth, went ahead on back-to-back jacks from Altuve and Correa in the 10th, and then took the lead for good in the 11th thanks to a two-run Springer dinger.
Just a bit of a rollercoaster. pic.twitter.com/WTZkzI9M4k— Houston Astros (@astros) October 26, 2017