World Se­ries bullpens in need of re­lief

Montreal Gazette - - SPORTS - ROB LONGLEY rlon­g­ley@post­media.com twit­ter.com/ lon­g­ley­sun­sport

The num­bers, just like the big plays from Sun­day’s Game 5 of the 113th World Se­ries, are stag­ger­ing.

And per­haps the big­gest ques­tion head­ing into Game 6 (and one more if nec­es­sary) is who among the pitch­ers have any­thing left in the tank?

The Astros cer­tainly carry the mo­men­tum af­ter win­ning two of three at home, the lat­ter in rous­ing walk-off fash­ion to the tune of 13-12 on Sun­day night. Weari­ness, how­ever, must be a fac­tor.

Both the Astros and Dodgers used seven pitch­ers in Game 5 with both bullpens put to the test by the big-swing­ing line­ups they’re fac­ing. The Dodgers thought they had the edge in the bullpen, but that is no longer a given af­ter the lat­est melt­down from Bran­don Mor­row and the strug­gles of closer Ken­ley Jansen.

In Mor­row’s case, his arm has to be ready to fall off af­ter pitch­ing three days in a row and in all five games of the se­ries. On Sun­day, Mor­row came in dur­ing the sev­enth in­ning and gave up a homer to Ge­orge Springer on his first pitch, another to Car­los Cor­rea two bat­ters later and was lifted af­ter throw­ing just six pitches, al­low­ing four hits and not get­ting a bat­ter out.

Jansen, the money closer for the Dodgers, came in the ninth and took the loss, giv­ing up two hits in­clud­ing Alex Breg­man’s game-win­ning hit in the 10th.

With seven home runs on Sun­day (five by the Astros, two by the Dodgers) the teams have com­bined to hit 22 in the se­ries. That breaks the record of 21 set by the An­gels and Giants in 2002, a se­ries that went seven games.

Each team had 14 hits as ball af­ter ball seemed to sail out of Minute Maid Park. And sud­denly the bullpens from both teams are in se­ri­ous trou­ble. In the World Se­ries alone, the Astros re­liev­ers have an ERA of 7.58 while the Dodgers are stuck at 5.32.

ROOKIE WON­DER

On any other night in any other World Se­ries, the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger would have been a hero.

When he hit that three-run homer in the top of the fifth in­ning to give the Dodgers a 7-4 lead, the 22-year-old be­came the youngest player to hit a home run in a World Se­ries game. And Bellinger wasn’t done with that, ei­ther.

Af­ter the Astros had tied it at 7-7, Bellinger ripped a triple in the top of the sev­enth to reestab­lish the lead at 8-7. That made him just the 16th player in World Se­ries his­tory to have a homer and a triple in one World Se­ries game.

QUICK HITS

The Astros be­came the sec­ond team to rally from mul­ti­ple three-run deficits in a World Se­ries game, join­ing none other than the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays ended up beat­ing the Philadel­phia Phillies 15-14 in Game 3 of that World Se­ries. It re­mains the high­estscor­ing game in World Se­ries his­tory … The 101 home runs so far this post-sea­son breaks the all-time post-sea­son record of 100 set in 2004.

Bran­don Mor­row

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