Preview: Astros at Dodgers
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[October 31, 2017]
Justin Verlander was acquired to
bolster Houston's starting pitching for a postseason run and the
veteran right-hander has a chance to pitch the Astros to their first
World Series title when he faces the host Los Angeles Dodgers in
Tuesday's Game 6. Verlander received a no-decision in Game 2 and has
never won a World Series game, going 0-3 with a 6.43 in four career
starts with the Detroit Tigers and Houston.
The 34-year-old Verlander has more than done his job since joining
the Astros - he is 9-0 with a 1.53 ERA in 10 total appearances (nine
starts) - but fully understands one more big outing is needed.
"These games are what it's all about," Verlander told reporters
Monday. "These are the moments that you want to be a part of as a
baseball player. It's everything you could ask for." Houston is in
position to clinch after Sunday's 13-12, 10-inning victory, the
second wild game of a World Series featuring a record 22 homers.
"Obviously, we want to be the last team standing on the field, win
the last game of the season, that's the goal," Los Angeles third
baseman Justin Turner said at a press conference. "But you have
literally the two best teams in baseball are going at it. It's the
clash of the titans right now, and I don't think there's a single
moment of this season that will be unforgettable."
TV: 8:20 p.m. ET, FOX
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros RH Justin Verlander (4-0, 2.05 ERA) vs.
Dodgers LH Rich Hill (0-0, 2.77)
Verlander gave up only two hits in his Game 2 outing at Dodger
Stadium but both were homers (to Joc Pederson and Corey Seager) as
he gave up three runs in six innings. Not having a World Series win
might be the lone thing missing from a stellar career resume that
includes 11 career postseason victories. "As soon as the postseason
starts, you're living or dying on every single pitch, and your whole
team is living or dying on every single pitch," Verlander said. "It
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Hill was the recipient of a quick hook from manager Dave Roberts
despite giving up one run and three hits and striking out seven in
four innings in Game 2. Roberts hinted that Hill will have a longer
leash in Game 6 and the 37-year-old proclaims himself ready for the
task. "It's something that all of us have been preparing our entire
careers for," Hill told reporters. "Going out there in Game 6 and
having the ability to be in that position, and go out there and
leave everything on the field, is just an amazing thought."
1. The previous World Series record for homers was 21 in 2002 when
the then-Anaheim Angels prevailed over the San Francisco Giants in
2. Los Angeles 1B Cody Bellinger is on a 4-for-7 roll with one
homer, one triple and two doubles after opening the World Series
with 13 hitless at-bats.
3. Houston OF George Springer reached base five times (three walks,
one single, one home run) in Game 5 and has gone deep three times in
PREDICTION: Dodgers 6, Astros 4
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