Dodgers @ Astros Oct. 29, 2017: World Series Game 5

(Via)

It is impossible to overstate how big yesterday’s win was for the Dodgers. Rather than heading into Game 5 on the brink of elimination, the series is now knotted at two games, and the Astros are guaranteed to return to Los Angeles for at least one game.

Tonight’s game, the final one in Houston, is a rematch of Game 1, with Clayton Kershaw going back up against Dallas Keuchel.

Dodgers
Astros
5:20 p.m. FOX
Houston
CF
Taylor
CF
Springer
SS
Seager
3B
Bregman
DH
Turner
2B
Altuve
LF
Hernández
SS
Correa
1B
Bellinger
1B
Gurriel
3B
Forsythe
RF
Reddick
RF
Puig DH Gattis
C
Barnes
LF
González
2B
Culberson
C
McCann
P
Kershaw (L)
P
Keuchel (L)

Kershaw was excellent in Game 1, allowing just one run on three hits in seven innings pitched, while striking out 11. It was one of his best (if not his best) playoff starts to date. Another strong performance to bring his team to within one game of a ring may officially kill the narrative of Kershaw’s postseason woes. He should do that. #Analysis

Since 2008, Kershaw has made five starts at Minute Maid Park. His numbers there aren’t worth putting too much stock in, as two of them came before he was KERSHAW and a couple of them were against tanking Astros teams. For reference, though, his most recent start in Houston came in 2015 (against a good-not-great Astros team), when he allowed one run on seven hits in eight innings while striking out 10.

To refresh, Keuchel pitched six and two-thirds innings in Game 1 and allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out three. Two of those hits were home runs, which accounted for all of the Dodgers’ scoring. It is worth noting Keuchel has been much better at home than on the road. His 2017 home OPS allowed is .528 (vs. .701 on the road), and his home ERA is 2.26 (vs. 3.53 on the road). In this postseason, he’s allowed one run in 12.2 home IP; he’s allowed seven runs in 11.1 away IP.

With the lefty Keuchel on the mound, Dave Roberts has opted to shake up his lineup a bit from the past two games. Enrique Hernández is batting cleanup, with Cody Bellinger bumped down to the fifth spot. Charlie Culberson is in at second base and batting ninth.

Justin Turner, who took a grounder off the calf last night and was pinch run for in the ninth, is serving as tonight’s designated hitter, with Logan Forsythe shifting over to third base. Roberts had this to say as to why:

Seems reasonable.

While most Dodger relievers are available tonight, we shouldn’t expect to see Brandon Morrow:

The good news is that Kenta Maeda is available for three or four outs tonight, after not being available last night.

On the Astros side of things, their closer, Ken Giles, probably won’t see game action tonight — at least, not in a save situation:

Giles gave up the go-ahead runs in last night’s game. He’s been charged with five runs in just 1.2 IP this World Series, and 10 runs across 7.2 cumulative postseason innings.

——

Astros manager A.J. Hinch had this to say in regards to the reception Yuli Gurriel can expect in Los Angeles:

I guess that’s one way to get the heat off of Josh Reddick.

(Dodger fans, please prove him right.)

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She now writes for The Hardball Times, FanGraphs and Sporting News, and co-hosts a podcast, The Hardball Times Audio. She recently earned her master’s degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor’s in History and a minor in American Studies. She’s an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.