Houston Astros (101-61) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (104-58)
RHP Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.46) vs. LHP Rich Hill (0-0, 3.00)
Wednesday, October 25, 2017 | 5:09 p.m. PT | Dodger Stadium | Los Angeles, CA
World Series- Game 2 (L.A. leads 1-0)
TV: FOX | Radio: AM 570 (Eng.); 1020 AM (Span.), ESPN Radio, AM 1540 (Kor.)
MATCHUP vs. ASTROS
All-Time vs. HOU: LA leads series, 388-323 (217-144 at Dodger Stadium)
All-Time Postseason: LA leads 4-2 (4-0 at Dodger Stadium)
World Series Game 1: W, 3-1 W: Kershaw L: Keuchel S: Jansen
#THISTEAM: The Dodgers defeated the American League-champion Houston Astros, 3-1, last night behind 7.0 stellar innings from Clayton Kershaw and homers by co-NLCS MVPs Chris Taylor and Justin Turner. The victory was the Dodgers’ first World Series win since October 20, 1988, when the club beat the A’s, 5-2 in Game 5 of the Fall Classic and claimed their sixth World Championship in franchise history. The Dodgers are 8-1 this postseason and are the first club to win eight of their first nine Postseason games since the 2014 Kansas City Royals, who won 10 of their first 11. Los Angeles is in search of its seventh World Series title in franchise history.
The Dodgers are playing in the World Series for the 19th time in franchise history (1916, ’20, ’41, ’47, ’49, ’52, ’53, ’55, ’56, ’59, ’63, ’65, ’66, ’74, ’77, ’78, ‘81 and ’88).
The Dodgers and Astros met once before in the Postseason, with Los Angeles winning a five-game Division Series, necessitated by the 1981 strike. The Dodgers dropped the first two games at the Astrodome in Houston, before roaring back to win three straight at Chavez Ravine, culminating with a Game 5 victory in which Jerry Reuss fired a shutout and L.A. broke a scoreless tie with three runs off Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan in the sixth inning.
This series marks the first time two clubs with 100+ wins are facing each other in the Fall Classic since 1970. In that World Series, the Baltimore Orioles (108 wins) beat the Cincinnati Reds (102 wins) in five games.
Prior to last night, Dodger infielder Chase Utley was the only player on the active roster with World Series experience, winning the 2008 Fall Classic and losing in 2009 with the Phillies.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING: Last night, Dodger starter Clayton Kershaw won his seventh-career Postseason start in his first World Series outing. Kershaw is now the winningest pitcher in Dodger Postseason history.
Dodger leadoff man Chris Taylor hit the first World Series pitch he saw into the left field pavilion last night, becoming just the fourth player in history to hit a leadoff homer in Game 1 of the World Series and the first since Kansas City’s Alcides Escobar in 2015.
BIG RICH HILL: The Dodgers send left-hander Rich Hill to the mound tonight for his seventh career Postseason start and sixth as a Dodger. Hill is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA (11 ER/25.0 IP) in his Postseason career and has picked up two no-decisions this year while posting a 3.00 ERA (3 ER/9.0 IP) in two starts. L.A. has won the last four Postseason starts Hill has made, beginning with Game 5 of the NLDS at Washington in 2016. In 2017, Hill was 12-8, reaching double-digit win totals for the third time in his career and in his second consecutive season. The July NL Pitcher of the Month was 9-5 with a 2.68 ERA (30 ER/100.2 IP) and a .185 opponents’ average in his last 17 starts, a stretch that began on June 21.
Hill is 3-1 with a 2.68 ERA (12 ER/40.1 IP) in 10 games (six starts) against the Astros in his career. The Massachusetts native faced Houston twice last year while a member of the Oakland A’s and tossed 6.0 innings in both starts, allowing two runs in the first outing and one in the second on July 7, 2016.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Dodgers rated as one of the Majors best defensive teams in 2017, leading the Majors in Baseball-Reference’s Defensive Efficiency (.709), which measures the percentage of balls in play converted into outs. Also, according to FanGraphs, the Dodgers’ defense resulted in 48 defensive runs saved, the best mark in the NL and the second-best mark in Majors behind the Rays (51).
Yasiel Puig tied for the lead among NL right fielders and for eighth in the Majors overall with 18 defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs.
FLAIR FOR THE DRAMA: Dodger NLCS co-MVP Justin Turner went 1-for-4 with a go-ahead two-run homer in the seventh inning that keyed the Dodger win. Turner’s homer was his fourth this Postseason and his third-go-ahead homer (also Game 1 NLDS and Game 2 NLCS). Turner’s four homers this year are tied for the second most by a Dodger in a single Postseason, one shy of Davey Lopes’ five in 1978.
Turner’s 14 RBI this Postseason are the most-ever by a Dodger in a single postseason, breaking Dusty Baker’s previous record of 13 (1977). His 26-career Postseason RBI are tied with Duke Snider for the most in franchise history.
Turner has reached base safely in all nine games this Postseason, slashing .371 (13-for-35)/.476/.714 with four homers, 14 RBI and a .700 (7-for-10) average with runners in scoring position. His 14 RBI lead all players this Postseason.
Turner has also reached base safely in 24 of his last 25 Postseason games since Oct. 9, 2015, hitting .371 (33-for-89) with six doubles, one triple, six homers and 26 RBI during that span. His .363 career Postseason average is tied for fifth all-time and his 1.121 career Postseason OPS is the highest in the Majors among active players (min. 75 PA).
MR. UNANIMOUS: Cody Bellinger established a National League rookie home run record (third all-time) with 39 home runs, while also ranking among all-time Dodger rookies in RBI (97, 3rd) in 132 games. The Dodgers went 91-41 in games in which Bellinger appeared (89-38 in starts) after his April 25 call-up, and overall, he ranked among the NL leaders in homers (2nd) and slugging percentage (.581, 5th).
On Tuesday, Bellinger was announced as The Sporting News Rookie of the Year and is hitting .256 (10-for-39) with two homers, two doubles and four RBI this Postseason. Bellinger is just the 34th rookie in ML history to record two-plus homers in the Postseason, and only the third Dodger, joining Corey Seager (2) and Jim Gilliam (2).
TOO DARN GOOD: The Dodger pitching staff this Postseason has been unbelievable, posting a 2.14 ERA (19 ER/80.0 IP) and holding hitters to a .161 average. The bullpen has been a key factor in this year’s playoffs for L.A., as the ‘pen has allowed just three runs over 30.2 innings (0.88 ERA) while holding hitters to a .118 average (12-for-102) in nine games. Dodger relievers have struck out 33 batters against just two walks, posting a 0.46 WHIP.
The Dodger bullpen has tossed 25.0 consecutive scoreless innings, going back to the seventh inning of NLDS Game 2. Against the Cubs in the NLCS, the ‘pen fired 17.0 scoreless frames.
Dodger closer Kenley Jansen is 1-0 with four saves while allowing just one unearned run in 9.0 innings this Postseason. Jansen has recorded 13 strikeouts against just one walk and has converted 12 consecutive saves to begin his Postseason career, which is the most ever, outpacing the next-best streak (8), held by five different hurlers.
CENTURY CITY: Los Angeles finished with the best record in the Majors for the first time since 1974 and the National League’s best record for the first time since 2009. The Dodgers set a Los Angeles record for victories with 104 (104-58), tying for the second most in franchise history (also: 1942, 104-50) and finishing one shy of the club record of 105 (105-49), set in 1953.
Los Angeles’ 104 wins were the most by a big league club since 2004, when the Cardinals went 105-57.
ALL THAT POWER: The Dodgers established franchise records with 553 extra-base hits (previous high: 541 in 1953), 312 doubles (previous high: 307 in 2006) and 221 home runs (4th, NL), which topped the club’s previous high of 211 set in 2000. The club also set a Los Angeles record with a .437 slugging percentage, outpacing the previous high of .432 set in 2006.
Los Angeles had six players – Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner – finish the season with 20 or more home runs, the most in franchise history and tying for the most ever by a NL club.
HIGH 5: The Dodgers went 104-58 to win the NL West for the fifth straight year, marking their 16th overall division title, as the club reached the postseason in five consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. Los Angeles is playing “October Baseball” for the eighth time in 12 years and for the 31st time in franchise history.
The Dodgers are the first team in NL West history to win the division in five consecutive seasons. The last MLB team to win five straight division titles was the Phillies, who won the NL East in five consecutive seasons from 2007-11.
The Dodgers posted the seventh 100-win season in franchise history (third in Los Angeles history) and first since 1974 (102-60). The Dodgers won 90+ games for the fifth consecutive season, a feat that had only previously been accomplished once in franchise history, 1951-56 (6).
27 OUTS: Los Angeles led the National League and tied with the Angels for the Major League lead with 47 comeback victories this year, the most for the team since 2004 (53 comeback wins).
The Dodgers registered 10 walk-off wins (T-1st NL), their most since 2012.
TOO GOOD: The Dodgers won 43 of 50 from June 7-Aug. 5, which was the best 50-game stretch in franchise history and the best in the Majors since the 1912 New York Giants, who went 43-7 from May 6-July 3. According to Elias, just four teams have ripped off 43 of 50 or better in baseball history: the 2017 Dodgers, the 1912 Giants, the 1906 Cubs and the 1884 St. Louis Maroons.
The club continued at that pace through Aug. 19, posting a .852 winning percentage from June 7-Aug. 19 (52-9).
The team posted a season-best 11-game winning streak from July 4-19, and had six streaks of six or more wins during the campaign.
From June 17-Aug. 24, the Dodgers went 40-0 when scoring more than four runs. Only two other teams in MLB history posted longer such streaks: the 1954 Indians (42) and the 1906 Giants (41) – Source: Stats, LLC.
The Dodgers established a Major League record by winning 53 consecutive games in which they had a lead in any point from May 17-Aug. 1. The previous mark was 44, established by the 1906 Cubs.
From June 7-Aug. 19, the Dodgers won 13 more games than any MLB club (Indians, 39-26), while leading NL clubs by 15 wins (Cardinals, 37-30). Entering play on June 7, the Dodgers were tied for second place, 2.0 games behind the Rockies, and passed Colorado for good on June 21. By Aug. 21, the Dodgers pushed their divisional lead to a franchise-record 21.0 games.
Following their win on Aug. 23, the Dodgers were a season high 55 games over .500 (91-36).
ROLLER COASTER RIDE: The Dodgers dropped 11 consecutive games from Sept. 2-11, the longest losing streak in Los Angeles history and longest drought by any MLB team in 2017.
The 11-game slide was part of a stretch that saw the Dodgers lose 16 of 17 games from Aug. 26-Sept. 11. With that slide, the Dodgers became the first team in MLB history to both win 16 of 17 games (June 7-25) and also have a stretch of losing 16 of 17 games in a single season (Source: Elias Sports Bureau).
The Dodgers record by month: April (14-12), May (19-9), June (21-7), July (20-3), August (17-10), September/October (13-17).
LEADERS OF THE PACK: Dodger All-Star closer Kenley Jansen tied for the NL lead with 41 saves (w/ Greg Holland, T-2nd MLB) and led the Majors with a 97.6 save percentage (41/42). Jansen also topped big league relievers with a 1.32 ERA and a 15.57 strikeout to walk ratio (109 SO/7 BB), while leading the NL with a 0.75 WHIP. Jansen’s 109 Ks ranked second in the NL as he posted the fourth 100+ strikeout season of his career.
All-Star Justin Turner finished third in the NL with a .322 batting average, behind only Charlie Blackmon (.331) and Daniel Murphy (.322), while posting a .415 on-base percentage (2nd, NL). Turner posted a .380/.477/.704 slashline against lefties, ranking fourth in the Majors in average, first in OBP and fourth in slugging vs. southpaws.
Turner was recognized as the Dodgers’ Roy Campanella Award winner and also as the club’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The Dodgers posted their best home record in Los Angeles history at 57-24 (.704), which also led the Majors. The club’s previous top mark had been 55-26 (.679) in 2015. Los Angeles’ 47-34 road record (.580) was the second-best mark in NL, behind only Washington’s 50-31 mark (.617).
The Dodgers led Major League Baseball in attendance for the fifth consecutive season in 2017, finishing with 3,765,856 (46,492 average) – the third highest mark in franchise history and the 10th best in National League history. The Dodgers, who have reached three million in attendance in 21 of the last 22 years, have topped the National League in attendance 33 times since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, including leading the Majors 29 times in that span.
SIX PACK: The Dodgers were represented by six All-Stars – Cody Bellinger, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Alex Wood – at the Midsummer Classic, the most of any National League club and Los Angeles’ most All-Stars since 1991 (also six).
At 21 years, 354 days old, Bellinger became the youngest position player to be honored as an All-Star in franchise history (previous: Corey Seager: 22 years, 69 days) and the third-youngest Dodger All-Star overall (at the time of their first selection), behind only Fernando Valenzuela (20 years, 281 days in 1981) and Ralph Branca (21 years, 183 days in 1947). Bellinger participated in the Home Run Derby and defeated Charlie Blackmon (15-14) before falling to eventual champion, Aaron Judge (13-12) in semis.
Justin Turner earned his spot via the Final Vote, tallying an all-time record of 20.8 million votes during the balloting.
HILLTOPPERS: The Dodgers topped the National League in ERA (3.38), opponents’ batting average (.228, 1st MLB), strikeouts (1,549), WHIP (1.15, 1st MLB) and shutouts (16). Los Angeles’ 3.39 starters’ ERA topped the Majors, while the 3.38 ERA by the club’s relievers led the NL (4th, MLB). The club’s 1,549 strikeouts established a franchise record.
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED: Dave Roberts joined Tommy Lasorda (1977-78) and Joe Torre (2008-09) as the only Los Angeles managers to lead the Dodgers to the postseason in their first two years with the club. According to STATS, LLC, Roberts’ 195 wins through his first two full seasons as a Major League manager rank fifth all-time:
Most Wins in First 2 Full Seasons as MLB Manager – All-Time
1. Frank Chance, CHC 223-81 1906-07
2. Earl Weaver, BAL 217-107 1969-70
3. Ralph Houk, NYY 205-119 1961-62
4. Billy Southworth, STL 203-104 1941-42
5. Dave Roberts, LAD 195-129 2016-17
MAJORING IN THE MINORS: Dodgers affiliates posted a .562 (469-366) combined winning percentage – the best among NL clubs and the third best in the Majors – with six of eight Dodger affiliates participating in postseason play.
Rookie-advanced Ogden won its first Pioneer League title since the franchise’s inception in 1994.
The Dodgers’ two Dominican Summer League teams met in the league championship with the DSL Dodgers 2 taking home the title.
LOOKING LIVE: The Dodgers are ramping up their pre and post-game coverage on Facebook Live throughout this Postseason. Both home and road, the team will host Dodger Insider shows on Facebook Live starting approximately two hours before games and also stream SportsNet LA’s Leadoff LA and Access SportsNet Dodgers, and the network’s hour-long postgame show. Dodger Insider shows will also air on Facebook Live on workout days with TBD times (depending on team workout schedule). The combined coverage, featuring SNLA’s Alanna Rizzo, John Hartung, Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ned Colletti, will be produced by the Dodgers and SportsNet LA.
Date/Time/Opponent (PT Time) Probable Pitchers TV/Radio
Game 3, Fri., Oct. 27, 5:10 p.m. at HOU RHP Yu Darvish (2-0, 1.59) vs. TBD TV: FOX | Radio: ESPN, AM 570, KTNQ1020, AM 1540