World Series bullpens in need of relief
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.
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.
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.