Now there are concerns whether the World Series will return to Los Angeles for a Game 6 after the Dodgers fell to the Astros Friday night 5-3 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The team that went 52-9 at one stretch during the regular season and entered the playoffs as the favorite, suddenly finds itself in a 2-1 series hole after the Astros roughed up Dodgers’ Game 3 starter Yu Darvish for four early runs that the visitors could not overcome.
“He just really didn’t have the feel, and couldn’t get any type of rhythm going,” explained Dodger Manager Dave Roberts after he pulled Darvish with two outs in the second inning. “Right there, you found yourself after five outs down 4-0. I had to go to the bullpen to give us a chance to stay in the game.”
Adding to their woes, Dodger bats went silent as the heart of the order continued to struggle at the plate. The team’s usual power, including Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger, collected one measly hit in 13 at bats Friday night. Bellinger, the Dodger rookie phenom, struck out four times, including three times to Astros’ starter Lance McCullers Jr.
Not that the Dodgers didn’t have their chances. They loaded the bases in the third inning on three straight walks given up by McCullers. Untimely for Los Angeles, Seager hit the ball to the right side for a 3-6-1 double play, which scored a run, but the rally soon died as Houston held on to a 4-1 lead.
The Astros’ Brad Peacock was solid in relief, not allowing a hit over the final 4 and two third innings. Dodger batters went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position.
Los Angeles hopes to even the series tonight as Alex Wood will be the Game 4 starter against the Astros’ Charlie Morton. Game time is 5:20 p.m. local time.