Dodgers force game seven against Astros

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The Los Angeles Dodgers forced a game seven in the World Series with a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

After the Dodgers were able to get to Astros starter Justin Verlander to earn a game-six win, the series is now tied at 3-3.

In a series that has had everything from pitchers' duels to slugfests, it all comes down to one game.

 

VERLANDER NO LONGER UNDEFEATED WITH ASTROS

Verlander had been 9-0 with a 1.23 ERA in 10 games for the Astros since he was acquired at the waiver-trade deadline on August 31. He is no longer undefeated as the Dodgers handed him his first loss with Houston.

The future Hall of Famer was very good Tuesday, he just was not quite as good as Rich Hill and a plethora of Dodgers relievers. He tossed six innings and allowed a mere two earned runs in the sixth inning, but considering the fact Houston scored just one in the game, the two runs were enough to get the win for Los Angeles.

Verlander finished the postseason with a 4-1 record with 38 strikeouts and a 2.25 ERA in 36.2 innings pitched.

 

TAKING OUT HILL PAYS OFF

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts caught a lot of flack for taking out starting pitcher Rich Hill after 60 pitches in game two and he understandably caught some more in game six after taking his starter out with just a pitch count of 58.

But this time his move paid off as the Dodgers' bullpen tossed 4.1 scoreless innings against a Houston lineup that had scored 28 runs in the first five games of the series. Brandon Morrow pitched yet again and has now thrown in all six games of the World Series. He bounced back after a tough game five outing with one scoreless inning Tuesday.

Morrow also got out of a huge jam in the fifth when the Astros had the bases loaded with two outs. Sometimes bullpenning does pay off.

 

HINCH IGNORING ASTROS' BEST

So Houston have just two relievers that have lower than a 4.50 ERA in the play-offs this season. Will Harris is one, and while he does have a 2.25 ERA, he has given up several inherited runners to score along with six hits in four innings. 

But the one pitcher that the Astros have that has a 0.00 ERA they have used a total of five times. Luke Gregerson has allowed all of two hits in four innings and struck out three while walking two. Gregerson has been completely and utterly underutilised in this series while Ken Giles has pitched his way to an 11.74 earned-run average, Chris Devenski to a 9.39 ERA and Joe Musgrove to an 8.09 mark. 

Sure, Gregerson gave up a hit and a walk Tuesday, but how is that less effective than anything else other pitchers have done? Not using Gregerson more in this series has been a mistake by manager A.J. Hinch. Maybe it will change Wednesday in game seven when all bets are off.