Other
Justin Verlander had a chance to put himself in the class of World Series legends

“That’s baseball,” Verlander said after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 3-1 win that evened the series and forced a Game 7. “That kind of sucks.”

Nov.01 - SportLand: Justin Verlander had a chance to put himself in the class of World Series legends. The Houston Astros ace did not fail on Tuesday night, but he did not succeed.

According to ESPN, his six innings of two-run ball would be good on many nights, but they weren’t good enough on this night -- a night on which he could have pushed the Astros to the first World Series title in their 55-year history.

Verlander was not undone by poor pitching, but rather by a lack of offense and the rules of the National League. “That’s baseball,” Verlander said after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 3-1 win that evened the series and forced a Game 7. “That kind of sucks.”  

Verlander was not at fault because his offense gave him only one run. He was the loser in the game, as the two sixth-inning runs he allowed were the difference. It was the first time the Astros had lost in Verlander’s 11 outings (10 starts, one relief appearance) since coming to Houston.

Although he didn’t join the legends, he still owns the second-best postseason ERA of any starter in potential clinching games all-time (minimum 20 innings). Only Scott McGregor (0.69) has a better mark than Verlander’s 0.78 (23 innings) in potential clinchers. The two runs were the first he had allowed in those types of games.   

Verlander got the batter on strikes for half of his 18 outs. He has 148 strikeouts in 135 postseason innings, which is fourth behind John Smoltz (199), Andy Pettitte (183) and Roger Clemens (173) on the all-time list. But he didn’t have enough on Tuesday. He threw 93 pitches, which left open the possibility he could go out there during Game 7. He could probably only pitch to a batter or, maybe in an extreme case, an inning.