The Dodgers managed to even up the World Series with a 6-2 victory in Game 4. We’re now guaranteed a return trip to Los Angeles following Game 5, and also the guarantee that if the Astros win the Fall Classic, they’ll be doing so on the road.
It was a pitchers’ duel most of the way, as Alex Wood had a no-hitter going for 5-2/3 innings and was somehow not the most dominant of the two starters in the game. The Astros’ bullpen couldn’t do anything with that head start, though, and everything fell apart in the ninth.
As usual, if you want to read the live blog from the beginning, scroll down to the “1st inning” header and work your way back up.
Ken Giles is indeed pitching the ninth inning, in the hopes of keeping things tied for the Astros in the bottom of the inning, making a walkoff victory that much more likely. Of course, given Ken Giles veers between unhittable and oh god why, why would you throw that pitch there, this is all hypothetical.
Giles gave up a single to Seager on the first pitch he threw. Not to make you more nervous or anything, Astros’ fans. He then gets Justin Turner to 3-0, so at this point I don’t have to make you nervous, Giles is doing a great job of it on his own.
Turner swings (and misses, badly) on the 3-0 pitch, as he was likely hoping it would be a meatball in the zone. The next pitch is ball four, so it doesn’t matter. Well, to the Dodgers, I mean. There are two on and none out for Cody Bellinger, who Giles is going to have to hope used up his only hit of the World Series in his last at-bat.
Joe Musgrove is warming in the Astros’ pen, by the way.
Bellinger gets another double, and it drives in one run — 2-1, Dodgers, with two in scoring position, and still no outs. Hey remember when Steve Garvey wanted to bench Cody Bellinger for a bad few games, the same Cody Bellinger who hit 39 homers as a rookie this year? That was weird.
This is all bad news for the Astros, unless you think they have two Kenley Jansen comebacks in them in a week. For the record, Jansen has only blown two saves all season: one in the regular season, and Game 2.
Musgrove is in for Giles, and Charlie Culberson just subbed in for Justin Turner at third base as a pinch-runner — Turner’s leg probably is bothering him a bit if the Dodgers are replacing the baserunner at third with no outs.
Musgrove strikes out Puig to get the first out — now a double play can get the Astros out of this jam with just the one-run deficit to work on eliminating in the bottom half.
Forsythe gets intentionally walked to make sure there are more double play options on a ground ball, and here’s Austin Barnes to try to avoid that fate. Barnes might have missed his best opportunity for a sac fly when he fouled off a fastball middle-in. He also hit a foul ball that was far too close to the pole for anyone rooting for Houston to emotionally handle.
Barnes gets his sac fly with a deep fly to right field, deep enough that even Josh Reddick’s arm couldn’t stop Culberson from running home and scoring. 3-1, Dodgers, and there are runners at the corners with two outs.
And with one booming swing of Joc Pederson’s bat, it’s now 6-1, Dodgers. The inning is over now, but again, it’s 6-1 now after an eight-batter, five-run ninth inning for Los Angeles.
The Dodgers aren’t going to mess around on the mound now, either: Kenley Jansen is still coming in to pitch after two nights off.
Brian McCann just tried to bunt his way on against the shift, but Corey Seager was still on the left side of the infield, and his nifty play means McCann is out. The Astros have two outs left, and George Springer up against Jansen.
Sounds like there are a lot of Dodgers’ fans in the stands right now, given how loud the celebration just was for that strikeout of Springer. Alex Bregman is now the last hope for the Astros.
Bregman is doing a decent job of fouling off Jansen’s attempts at strike three, and it pays off: the young third baseman gets a hold of a slider that catches more strike zone than Jansen planned, and it’s now 6-2 following a dinger.
That’s going to be it, though, as Altuve flies out to right field to end it: the Dodgers tie the World Series up 2-2 with a 6-2 victory, and we’ll be back for Game 5 on Sunday.
Chris Devenski enters the game in relief of Harris, as the little bit of World Series work he’s done so far has him back in AJ Hinch’s good graces. Well, that or he has no other option for the eighth inning in a tie game because the Astros’ bullpen is still a question mark every night, even with Hinch’s unorthodox moves working out as of late.
Joc Pederson just struck out on a pitch he instantly regretted not swinging at, or he’s mad at the ump for calling a strike a strike. Take the first option, Pederson, it’ll show personal growth.
Devenski then gets Hernandez to fly out to left, and he’s a Chris Taylor out away from a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Said out is a groundout to Altuve that was real close on the throw, but it was definitely an out after seeing the replay. On to the bottom of the eighth.
Josh Reddick will lead things off against new pitcher Tony Watson, who wins the lefty-lefty matchup by getting the outfielder to pop out to third. Kenley Jansen is warming up in the bullpen, by the way, so maybe we’ll see some closer-on-the-road-in-a-tie-game action here.
He’s not the only closer warming up, either, as Ken Giles is in the Astros’ pen getting loose.
Gattis grounds out on the first pitch he sees, so Watson is having himself an easy inning here. The efficiency won’t be wasted even with Jansen presumably coming in next inning: there’s a Game 5 tomorrow no matter what, and the better-rested the Dodgers’ pen, the better for them in that matchup.
Marwin Gonzalez hits a lazy liner to second, and it remains 1-1 heading into the ninth inning.
Alex Bregman’s glove, man. He knocks down a hard-hit grounder that was just kind of skimming along the ground, recovers, and makes a ridiculous throw to first to get Turner, who was running slow enough that you have to wonder if his leg is indeed bothering him after getting nailed by a grounder last inning.
Hey, Cody Bellinger got a hit! A double, even. He crushed a ball to left-center, and it got a weird part of the wall that kept it from being fielded cleanly after it landed. The Dodgers have a runner in scoring position for Yasiel Puig, and just the one out.
AJ Hinch is out to meet with Morton on the mound, and it’s to take him out for a reliever. Morton got through 6-1/3 scoreless innings on 76 pitches, with seven strikeouts, a hit batsman, and one hit allowed. Now, if Will Harris can strand Bellinger, Morton’s outing will remain scoreless.
Puig gives a pitch a ride, but it ends up in Reddick’s glove deep in right field. Bellinger doesn’t advance, as he had a sizable lead he had to tag up on, and Reddick’s arm is just silly good, anyway.
It ends up not mattering, as Forsythe drives in Bellinger with a single, and we’re all tied up here again, 1-1. Harris ends up getting out of the seventh, but not before letting his inherited runner score.
It’ll be Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Yuli Gurriel for Brandon Morrow here in the bottom of the seventh, who has been working a whole lot lately. Or, as Eric Stephen put it:
This is first time all season Brandon Morrow has pitched 4 times in 5 days— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) October 29, 2017
So far, so good for Morrow, who gets Altuve on a grounder and Correa on a liner to left. Gurriel gets a loud swing on a Morrow pitch, but it lands safely in Taylors’ glove in center to end the seventh inning. It’s still 1-1.
Wood has a no-hitter going, and Morton has faced the minimum despite giving up a hit to open the game. Which, as you can tell by doing the math, means he hasn’t given up a hit since, and has actually allowed fewer baserunners than Wood.
Now they’ve allowed the same number of baserunners, as Morton hits Austin Barnes with a pitch, giving the Dodgers a leadoff baserunner and Joc Pederson a goal to work toward.
[exaggerated sigh] Meg
hit the broad side of A Barnes— Meg Rowley (@megrowler) October 29, 2017
Pederson puts a scare into fans who only had FOX’s cameras to go on, but Marwin Gonzalez reels in the fly ball with plenty of outfield to spare. Now it’s Kiké Hernandez’s turn to try to get the Dodgers a runner to second base and beyond for the first time all game.
He starts things off promising by getting to a 3-0 count, but Morton works his way back to 3-2. Hernandez ends up getting a single to right-center, and suddenly the Dodgers have something going with just the one out. Barnes sits at third, and the Dodgers have a good chance at a run so long as they don’t hit into a double play here.
Or, I don’t know, Taylor could hit a grounder to third base that Bregman charges and then makes a perfect throw to McCann to keep Barnes from scoring. You know, hypothetically. Oh hey look at that.
Morton gets out of the inning with a fly ball to left, and it’s still 0-0 despite the Dodgers’ efforts to change that in the sixth.
Justin Turner gets a tough hop on a grounder that gets by his glove and hits him in the leg, but he recovers and gets the out at first. He’s now limping a little bit, though, so that’s something to watch for.
McCann comes up to face Wood, and is quickly down 0-2, and then he strikes out looking. Wood’s no-hitter is up to 5-2/3 innings, but he’s also at 80 pitches already, and it’s a tie game — the least important thing here for the Dodgers is that no-hitter attempt.
Also, the no-hitter is no more, as George Springer just destroyed a baseball and that baseball landed in the stands and it’s now 1-0, Astros. That’s also the end of the night for Wood, who was maybe going to be lifted from the game after this batter regardless of the outcome.
Brandon Morrow, who threw 13 pitches in 2⁄3 of an inning in Game 3, takes over for Wood to face Alex Bregman. Morrow gets Bregman out, but the Astros got what they needed for now. 1-0, Houston after six.
Here’s Cody Bellinger again. And there goes Cody Bellinger, again. Another strikeout for the rookie — he looks lost up there right now. Yasiel Puig grounds out, which at least wasn’t a strikeout, but don’t worry, Astros’ fans: Logan Forsythe was then called out on strikes in a hurry, Morton’s seventh of the game. He’s also only thrown 50 pitches compared to Wood’s 58.
Wood is still pitching well, Morton has just looked more dominant. The Dodgers’ lefty gets Gurriel to strike out, and then Reddick flies out to left field. If he can get Gattis to make an out, that’ll be five no-hit innings: he would be the first Dodgers’ pitcher to get through his first five innings of a World Series start without allowing a hit, notes the broadcast.
Alex Wood swears so loud the broadcast picked it up and bleeped it after getting Evan Gattis to finally pop out after seven pitches. He’s got his five no-hit innings on 73 pitches, and we’re still tied up 0-0.
Charlie Morton has his pitches working for him.
Morton through 3... Not one pitch up in the zone yet pic.twitter.com/27qsXMk7Kn— Daren Willman (@darenw) October 29, 2017
Things can change in a hurry, of course, but if Morton keeps the ball down throughout, it’s going to be a long night for the Dodgers. Or a short night. I’m not sure of the length of the night, but they’ll be unhappy with it either way.
Morton’s second attempt at retiring Taylor goes better than the first, and he now has four strikeouts on the night and three in a row. Corey Seager makes the second out in a hurry, grounding out on the first pitch he sees.
Unless Gameday has started to miscategorize pitches, Morton started throwing a splitter his second time through the Astros’ lineup, and it is wicked. He’s through four innings with five strikeouts, no walks, and has faced the minimum on 41 pitches.
Wood has yet to give up a hit yet, but he’s been missing his spots, walked two batters, and entered the bottom of the fourth having thrown six more pitches than Morton has. He hasn’t been bad, but like with Lance McCullers in Game 3, this start is going to be a lot of waiting for the other shoe to drop.
He gets Bregman to fly out, so at least he won’t have to face Altuve with anyone on base. And since he got Altuve to ground out to second, now he gets to face Correa without anyone on base! Correa is out, too: see, I told you Wood hasn’t been bad. Just, you know, making you more nervous than you’d like given he’s yet to give up a hit through four innings. It’s still 0-0, by the way.
Morton is set to face Austin Barnes, Joc Pederson — once again the DH — and Kiké Hernandez in the third inning, and then it’s back to the top of the order. Barnes grounds out to first, and there’s one down.
Pederson strikes out on a curveball, the second K of the game so far for Morton. Kiké Hernandez goes down looking, and Morton has faced the minimum through three, and on just 33 pitches, too.
Here is large human being Evan Gattis to lead off the bottom of the third for the Astros. Gattis flies out to shallow right where Bellinger can get it, and there goes his 1.000 batting average in the World Series. Sure, it was in just two at-bats because he’s walked a few times and didn’t start until Game 3, but it sounded pretty impressive before I gave you all that context.
Alex Wood gives up his second walk of Game 4, and he did it by losing Marwin Gonzalez on an 0-2 count. Brian McCann loses the lefty-on-lefty matchup that follows with a strikeout, and if he can get George Springer out again, then he’s out of the third still unscathed.
Wood indeed gets Springer, and he’s now through three hitless innings in a scoreless game.
Here’s Cody Bellinger, who is having a rough go of things in the World Series, including four punch outs in Game 3. He’s been the target of fan frustration because of it, and yes, I consider Steve Garvey to be a fan these days.
Bellinger flies out, and he’s now 0-for-12. The Dodgers still shouldn’t consider sitting him, though, since, you know, these things happen even to guys who hit 39 homers in the regular season.
Yasiel Puig follows it up with a ball that hit his foot inside the batter’s box, so he didn’t run to first immediately. It was treated as a live ball, however, and he’s out at first since that kind of play isn’t reviewable, and an appeal to the third base umpire didn’t change the call.
Forsythe grounds out to give Morton a 1-2-3 inning — he’s picked up where he left off against the Yankees, which has to make the Astros feel great considering they can go to Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander in the next two games, should two prove to be necessary.
Carlos Correa leads off the bottom of the second with a walk, and here comes Yuli Gurriel, who has been suspended for his racist gesture in Game 3, but not until the 2018 season. Gurriel hits into a double play here, erasing Correa’s walk. Josh Reddick grounds out, too — Wood’s fourth groundout already — and we’re scoreless through two.
Charlie Morton shut down the Yankees in Game 7 of the ALCS, and then had Lance McCullers follow him in relief to secure the victory. This time around, McCullers pitched Game 3 and got the W, and now Morton is the one following him. Is it exactly the same? No, but we’re like a month into the postseason and there are only so many Charlie Morton intros I can write, so let’s pretend that worked perfectly.
Morton will be facing Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner to begin Game 4, as the Dodgers are trotting out the same lineup they did for Game 3. Maybe this one will have fewer plate appearances by Chase Utley’s ghost later on.
Taylor rips the second pitch of the game into center for a single, and the Dodgers have a baserunner to start Game 3. Seager strikes out, so he can’t move Taylor over, and that brings up Justin Turner.
Well this turned into a disaster in a hurry. Turner pops out to shortstop, and then Taylor tries to steal second base, leading to the first caught stealing for Brian McCann in two months. That’s it for the Dodgers in the first.
George Springer leads things off for the Astros, and was maybe possibly hit in the foot by an Alex Wood pitch. It looks like Houston’s manager AJ Hinch is going to challenge it, so we’re starting this game off weird.
There wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the not hit by a pitch call, and then Springer flies out to right. Alex Bregman grounds out — he’s still hitting near the top of the lineup, though, that’s not a surprise with the lefty Wood on the mound. That brings up Jose Altuve, who is hitting just .200/.200/.467 through three World Series games. He’s now under that mark, after a groundout to second. It’s scoreless through one.