Game 7 of the World Series Wednesday night in Los Angeles will answer the original questions posed by this contest between the champions of baseball’s American and National leagues: Will the Los Angeles Dodgers win their first title since 1988? Or will the Astros bring the game’s most coveted crown to hurricane-ravaged Houston for the very first time?
Who knows whether either pitcher will still be in the game when the results are tallied? History suggests not, especially given the tendency of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to go to his bullpen at the first sign of trouble. Tuesday night he used four pitchers to great effect, holding the Astros’ potent offense to one run. And hey, it’s Game 7! Any manager would throw in the kitchen sink to win. So don’t be surprised if you see the Dodgers’ ace, Clayton Kershaw, pitching at some point with only one day’s rest. He pitched brilliantly in Game 1, but then allowed six runs in 4 2/3 innings in Game 5.
As for the Astros, another big question is whether their sluggers will show up. They left eight runners on base in Game 6. And as ESPN reports, much depends on the Astros’ duo at second base and shortstop.
“Since the start of the American League Championship Series, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa have hit .435 in Houston victories and .070 in Astros losses. They went a combined 0-for-8 against Rich Hill and the Dodgers’ bullpen in Game 6, and Altuve failed to hit the ball out of the infield in his four plate appearances,” writes ESPN‘s Jerry Crasnick.
Anyone expecting that to happen again probably didn’t watch Houston win Game 2 or Game 5.
Finally, will this well-matched series live up to its billing as possibly the greatest World Series ever? Only Game 7 will tell.