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Astros Tie World Series, Beat Dodgers 7-6 In Game 2


Say hypothetically you're a sports fan. You work a very early shift on the radio. You have a decision to make - you stay up and watch the World Series or you sleep. Well, I made the wrong decision last night and missed one of the wildest, most heart-pounding baseball games in postseason history. It ended just hours ago, not far from here, at Dodger Stadium. People who went might still be hyperventilating. NPR's Tom Goldman, for those of us who missed this game, help us out.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Apologies first to Houston starting pitcher Justin Verlander, who was sublime for the first five innings of the game. Alas, his performance was forgotten in the madness that came late. It seemed like an entire second game started in the eighth inning, a second crazy heart-pounding game filled with crowd-pleasing-and-deflating home runs, lead changes, shifts in momentum. You think watching that was wild? Houston Manager A.J. Hinch said afterwards they felt it all on the field too.


A J HINCH: Both teams, both swings of emotion, incredible. You know, key moments in the game, there's more of them than I can even remember.

GOLDMAN: Well, let's try. Eighth inning, Dodgers leading 3-1, LA's imposing Kenley Jansen on the mound. Hinch calls in the best closer in the game. When Jansen comes in, it's almost always winning time for the Dodgers, but he gives up a run in the eighth and ninth. Game tied, 3-3. The game goes to extra innings. In the 10th, Houston's two most dangerous hitters - Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa - hit back-to-back home runs. Dodger Stadium groans. Some boos are heard as well, and yes, a few fans head for the exits. Bet they regretted that in the bottom of the 10th.


GOLDMAN: That's what it sounded like when LA tied the game on Kike Hernandez's run-scoring double. The euphoria lasted an inning.


UNIDENTIFIED ANNOUNCER: (Over loudspeaker) Number four, George Springer.

GOLDMAN: That's the 11th-inning announcement that Houston lead-off man George Springer was up to bat. The night before, in the Series opener, Springer was not good. He had four at-bats, struck out each time. In the 11th inning of Game 2, he hit the winning home run. His manager, Hinch, said there was never a thought after Game 1 of benching Springer or moving him out of the important leadoff spot.


HINCH: He's an incredible player. I don't really ride the roller coaster with players. You've got to believe in what these guys can do, not what they're not doing. You know, if you respond to every bad game or tough game, I mean, you'll bounce these guys around and ruin their confidence in a heartbeat.

GOLDMAN: Springer said his manager's confidence helped a lot.


GEORGE SPRINGER: It slowed me down. I was doing things that I don't, you know, normally do. And, you know, for him to have my back, you know, it means the world to me.

GOLDMAN: The game was not only a gut wrencher, there were a bunch of records set too. Most total home runs in a World Series Game - 8. Most extra-inning home runs in a playoff game - five. And it was Houston's first-ever World Series victory. Hinch was asked whether that's important for the franchise. Yeah, he said, but a Series-clinching fourth win is what he really wants. Only three more to go, for the Astros and the Dodgers, if Game 2 is any indication, the battle for those three will not be for the faint of heart. Tom Goldman, NPR News, Los Angeles.

(SOUNDBITE OF BASSTI'S "DER DRITTE") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and on NPR.org.
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