Astros force a Game Seven
The Astros are doing something historic, and in the process they may be taking away one of the bragging points of Red Sox fans from the last couple decades. As we all know, Boston’s 2004 club was the only team in baseball history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit. Houston may be on the verge of becoming the second.
After losing the first three games, they entered Friday’s contest against the Rays down three games to two and were looking to force a Game Seven. There was no bloody sock in this one, but the result was the same as Boston’s in 2004. Early on, though, it was the Rays with a slight advantage. Blake Snell was laboring a bit for Tampa on the mound, but he got through the first four frames without allowing a run. On the other side, Framber Valdez was dealing as well but Willy Adames was able to get one on the board with an RBI double in the second.
It was the fifth inning where the game would turn. Snell started that inning for the Rays, but after putting the first two men on he was removed for Diego Castillo, a move that was not exactly the consensus on the ol’ interwebs. It certainly did not work. After a bunt moved both runners up, Castillo gave up a single, a double, a walk and a base hit, and by the time the dust had settled it was suddenly a 4-1 Astros lead.
Houston took control from there. They added another run on a solo homer from Kyle Tucker, and then two more with a rally in the seventh. Just like that, it was a 7-1 game and Game Seven was all but certain. Tampa, to their credit, did close the gap a bit thanks to a pair of homers from former Red Sox prospect Manuel Margot, but it was too little too late. The Astros took Game Six with a final score of 7-4, and they are one win away from finishing a historic comeback.
Game Seven will be Saturday night with first pitch coming at 8:37 PM ET. It’ll be all hands on deck for both sides, but Charlie Morton will get the ball to start for Tampa while Lance McCullers Jr. goes for the Astros.
Dodgers stay alive
The Dodgers weren’t quite on the brink in the same way as the Astros, but they were trailing three games to one after also falling in the first two games. Like Houston, though, the Dodgers weren’t ready to end their season on Friday night, and they also extended their LCS to Saturday night.
This game had a bit of a similar game flow as the American League counterpart discussed above. It was the Braves getting on the board early, scoring a run in each of the first two frames. In a bullpen game, A.J. Minter also came out firing with three scoreless innings to start things out as Altanta took an early 2-0 lead into the fourth.
At this point, things started to flip. The Braves potent offense started to sputter a bit after that second inning as the Dodgers, who were also in a bullpen game, were getting strong performances from their bullpen. L.A. got a home run from Corey Seager to cut the Braves lead in half, but the big moment of the game came in the sixth.
It was still a 2-1 ballgame at this point, but the Dodgers got a bit of a rally going with a Mookie Betts base hit to lead things off. He’d steal second base, and a couple batters later Max Muncy drew a walk with two outs to keep the inning alive. That brought us the Will Smith vs. Will Smith matchup we’ve all been waiting for, and the Dodgers’ Will Smith won. After a great at bat, the catcher smoked one out to left field for a huge three-run shot, and just like that the score was flipped and the Dodgers had a 4-2 lead.
They’d add three more in the seventh thanks in part to another Seager homer, and that was that. The 7-2 victory pushed this series along to another day, with Atlanta sill leading the series three games to two.
Game Six will be Saturday afternoon at 4:38 PM ET. Walker Buehler will get the start for L.A. while Max Fried tries to finish things off for Atlanta.