It was a thrilling night in the baseball world.
SS Carlos Correa hit a walk off home run at Petco Park and the Houston Astros dominated defensively in a tightly contested Game 5 of the ALCS against the Tampa Bay Rays to maintain their World Series aspirations.
Ace SP Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t keep the Atlanta Braves at bay, as the Braves inched one game closer to their first World Series appearance since 1999.
Here’s how both games played out:
ALCS Game 5
The Astros celebrated Correa’s game winning home run in an effort to comeback against the Tampa Bay Rays. Now, the Astros have momentum going into Game 6.
It’s been a series defined by who can score last. Tampa Bay has won that battle early on in the series but have since lost their rhythm, as they fell again to the Astros 4-3 Thursday night.
It started off rough for the Rays when RHP John Curtiss gave up a home run to OF George Springer in the bottom of the first inning.
INF Brandon Lowe’s home run in the top of the third tied the game at one. In the same inning, OF Michael Brantley fired right back with a single and drove in OF Josh Reddick and C Martín Maldonado to make it 3-1 Houston. Déjà Vu, it was Game 4 all over again.
OF Randy Arozarena woke the whole stadium up with a home run to right center in the fifth to pull the Rays to within one run. Another solo shot from Choi in the eighth tied the game at three.
A total of 11 pitchers were used in this contest between both teams, seven of which appeared for the Astros.
Both sides did a remarkable job fighting to keep the game close.
As RHP Nick Anderson toed the rubber in the ninth, Correa stepped up to the plate with one out and nobody on. Correa belted a 1-1 pitch to deep center field, clearing the GEICO sign, to give the Astros a 4-3 walk-off victory. Even with the win tonight, the Rays still hold a 3-2 series lead over Houston
“I don’t want to go home yet,” Correa said in his postgame interview. “We had a players meeting in the club house and we don’t want to go home yet. We’re down 2-3 a lot of work to do but it’s a good start.”
The Astros will look to even the series and force a critical Game 7 with a win on Friday afternoon’s contest.
Correa: 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Springer: 1-4, HR, R, RBI
Arozarena: 1-5, HR, RBI, R
Choi: 2-2, 2 BB, RBI, R
Looking ahead to Game 6
The Rays have fallen flat offensively. They entered Game 5 like they had already won the series. Yes, they did hit three home runs, but if they had someone else on base they could be wearing champagne goggles right now.
Nevertheless, expect to see Game 6 going Tampa Bay’s way. Statistically and historically, it will be very unexpected to see the Astros get the win.
The Rays will wake up on offense against a deep Astros bullpen and SP Blake Snell will have a strong performance.
But hey, it is October, anything can happen.
NLCS Game 4
The Braves got on a batting spree in the sixth inning of Game 4, accompanied by an amazing outing by SP Bryse Wilson to take a 3-1 series lead in the NLCS against the Dodgers at Globe Life Park.
The Braves controlled the game early on the defensive side to avoid a repeat of Game 3.
DH Edwin Ríos put the Dodgers on the board first with a home run in the top of the third inning. OF Marcell Ozuna responded with a moon shot homer to left center, which tied the game in the bottom of the fourth.
Then came the revenge of the sixth.
The Braves wanted some offensive payback for what happened in Game 3, and they got it.
It started with four straight doubles from OF Ronald Acuña Jr., 1B Freddie Freeman, Ozuna, and SS Dansby Swanson, which drove in four runs.
Two singles from INF Austin Riley and OF Cristian Pache pushed two more runs across the plate, making it 7-1 Braves.
Kershaw and RHP Brusdar Graterol gave up a combined seven runs in just 5.1 total innings pitched. The Braves had recaptured the series momentum and it is now theirs to lose.
The Dodgers had things cooking in the seventh with the bases loaded twice, but were only able to get one run across and left three runners on base.
Ozuna added another home run in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-2.
After a few more base knocks in the bottom of the eighth, the Braves made it 10-2. The Braves just kept on hitting. They had 14 hits to the Dodgers’ three.
The Braves bullpen came in and got it done, as the Dodgers lost a critical Game 4 to go down 3-1 in the series.
Ozuna: 4-5, 2 HR, 3 R, 4 RBI
Wilson: 6 IP, W, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
3B Justin Turner: 2-4, R
Rios: 1-3, HR, 2 RBI, R
Looking ahead to Game 5
The Dodgers will capture Game 5 Friday night to draw closer in this series and keep their World Series hopes alive. Los Angeles had enough talk about how they are going to blow it all over again. Well, guess what folks, it’s not happening this time.
The Braves have a fiery dugout but are running low on pitchers to use against this All-Star Dodgers lineup. I bet the Dodgers win big in Game 5 and pull off an amazing comeback in this series.
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