Answer to the question posed in the subhead: They can’t. Games like Game 2 don’t come around too often in the World Series, although Game 7 in 2016 certainly has a call at being better, especially considering what was at stake for both teams in that one.
I’d just like to see some more compelling baseball for however long this World Series lasts, and the way things are going, we might get to see another Game 7 this year.
And if you haven’t yet read Jayson Stark’s summary of just how crazy Game 2 was, go read it at this link now.
Here are today’s particulars.
Yu Darvish vs. Lance McCullers Jr.
The Astros have a bit of an advantage here, as they have seen Yu Darvish five times over the last two seasons. What’s most interesting are the splits from those five starts. At Texas, Darvish made three starts vs. Houston and allowed 17 hits, eight walks and nine runs in 17 innings (4.76 ERA, 1.471 WHIP). In the other two starts, at Houston: six hits, three walks and one run in 14 innings (0.64 ERA, 0.643 WHIP).
So against the Astros the last two years he’s either 2017 John Lackey or 2015 Jake Arrieta, depending on which park he’s throwing in. Current Astros are hitting .190 (31-for-160) against him with three home runs, two of them by George Springer.
Whatever happens, the Astros can’t say they haven’t seen Darvish before.
Lance McCullers has one career start vs. the Dodgers, August 23, 2015 in Houston. He threw seven strong innings (eight hits, two runs). His four-inning relief appearance in Game 7 of the ALCS was outstanding, and overall this postseason he has a 2.08 ERA and 0.846 WHIP in three appearances covering 13 innings.
So we might expect a low-scoring game tonight. But then again, starting pitchers aren’t going too long into games much of this postseason, so who knows.
Tonight’s game is on Fox-TV. Announcers: Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal.
(Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)
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This is the only thread for today’s game. Enjoy, and discuss amongst yourselves.