Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

A look at best Game 2s in World Series history

Astros-Dodgers joins elite company with epic thriller
MLB.com @Marathoner

LOS ANGELES -- It was the best World Series Game 2 since 2005 -- and arguably ever -- but this time, the Astros got their payback.

Houston's 7-6 victory in 11 innings over the Dodgers in the World Series presented by YouTube TV on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium brought to mind what happened in the franchise's only other Fall Classic. On Oct. 23, 2005, a sea of bobbing white-clad White Sox fans celebrated as the rain began to fall and Scott Podsednik -- who did not homer in 568 regular-season plate appearances -- hit a ninth-inning walk-off home run to send the Series to Houston with Chicago leading, 2-0.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- It was the best World Series Game 2 since 2005 -- and arguably ever -- but this time, the Astros got their payback.

Houston's 7-6 victory in 11 innings over the Dodgers in the World Series presented by YouTube TV on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium brought to mind what happened in the franchise's only other Fall Classic. On Oct. 23, 2005, a sea of bobbing white-clad White Sox fans celebrated as the rain began to fall and Scott Podsednik -- who did not homer in 568 regular-season plate appearances -- hit a ninth-inning walk-off home run to send the Series to Houston with Chicago leading, 2-0.

View Full Game Coverage

Gear up for the World Series: Astros | Dodgers

Those White Sox swept that World Series, leaving Astros fans with a bitter taste as they didn't see a third home game in the franchise's first Fall Classic. Now, the 113th World Series is going to Houston for Game 3 on Friday, and this time, the fans there are assured that there will be three games played at Minute Maid Park.

Video: WS 2005 Gm 2: Podsednik hits a walk-off homer

:: World Series schedule and coverage ::

"That's an incredible game, on so many levels of emotion," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Game 2. "If you like October baseball, that's one of the most incredible games you'll ever be a part of."

Wednesday's game was an instant classic, one of the best World Series Game 2s ever. Look back at all of them and you can make a strong argument that it was the best -- 11 innings with so many storylines. The back-and-forth thriller featured eight homers, the most in a World Series game, including five in extra innings, the most ever in MLB history, regular season or postseason.

The Astros broke through against the Dodgers' vaunted bullpen with four late home runs, including a tying shot by Marwin Gonzalez in the top of the ninth off superstar closer Kenley Jansen, followed by solo homers from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa in the 10th and finally George Springer's game-winning, two-run shot in the 11th.

Enrique Hernandez's RBI single for the Dodgers that tied the game at 5-5 in the 10th brought a roar perhaps unmatched at historic Dodger Stadium. But this time, the Astros did not head home down 2-0.

In addition to the aforementioned Game 2s that featured the Astros (2017 and '05), here's a look at the best of the rest.

2002: Angels 11, Giants 10
It was the battle of the two Wild Card teams at Anaheim, and Tim Salmon's two-run clout off Felix Rodriguez in the bottom of the eighth was the decisive blast in the Angels' victory. Although Salmon considers that his own personal favorite hit, he said recently that people remember it for what happened next.

"First-pitch fastball, hit a home run to left, put us up by two, crowd went berserk," Salmon recalled. "We were down in the Series, 1-0, so it cemented that first win for us.

"The next inning, Barry Bonds comes up and he hits a solo home run, a magnificent shot to right field, and unbeknown to me, everyone is reading my lips. I had been pulled for defense, with Alex Ochoa going into right. I'm on the top step of the dugout, and when Bonds hits it, they flash to me in the dugout. I was on the rail, and I was just saying to another teammate, 'That's the longest ball I've ever seen hit in this ballpark.' Because it went to a tunnel in right -- off Troy Percival, our closer. Everybody saw that, and I didn't know that until afterward.

"It seems like I've gotten more comments for those words than from hitting the home run. I imagine they put the camera on me because I'd just gotten done hitting the two-run homer. But it was funny, because instead of me being the hero of the game, it was me talking about Barry hitting a bomb off Percival, a home run that could have led to them winning, instead of us. That was the story of my career."

Video: WS2002 Gm2: Salmon hits two clutch homers

2000: Yankees 6, Mets 5
Mets catcher Mike Piazza came to the plate with two outs in the first inning to face Roger Clemens, who had beaned him earlier in the season. Piazza watched two strikes, then took a ball. The next pitch was inside on his hands, and his bat shattered as he fouled it away. The broken barrel flew toward Clemens, and it took a hop toward the Yankees right-hander's midsection.

Clemens caught the bat's barrel, then flinged it toward the first-base line, near where Piazza was running. It fired up the Mets, who scored five runs in the ninth, but fell short when Mariano Rivera struck out Kurt Abbott looking to end it.

1992: Blue Jays 5, Braves 4
This was the year the Blue Jays brought Canada its first World Series title. Ed Sprague's two-run homer off Jeff Reardon in the top of the ninth gave the Blue Jays a big Game 2 win.

1990: Reds 5, A's 4 (10)
Joe Oliver's walk-off single against Dennis Eckersley gave the Reds a huge victory in Game 2 en route to a shocking sweep of Oakland. Reds owner Marge Schott brought her dog, Schottzie, on the elevator down to the clubhouse, and all was good that night in Cincinnati.

1976: Reds 4, Yankees 3
Everything went right for the Big Red Machine in this sweep, including Tony Perez's walk-off single against Catfish Hunter to score Ken Griffey Sr. in this Game 2 win.

1973: Mets 10, A's 7 (12)
Oakland committed five errors, much to owner Charlie Finley's chagrin. That included back-to-back errors by A's second baseman Mike Andrews, who entered the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. The Mets scored four runs that inning, evening the Series at 1-1. However, the A's won it all in seven.

1969: Mets 2, Orioles 1
Speaking of the Mets, it wasn't the 2017 Astros-Dodgers in terms of constant drama, but Mets fans won't forget the team's first World Series triumph. Al Weis hit the go-ahead RBI single off starter Dave McNally in the ninth, leading to the Mets tying the Series at 1-1.

1950: Yankees 2, Phillies 1 (10)
Joe DiMaggio hit a decisive solo homer off Robin Roberts in the top of the 10th in a matchup of future Hall of Famers. Roberts and Allie Reynolds each pitched 10 innings at Shibe Park. New York proceeded to sweep Philadelphia.

1924: Senators 4, Giants 3
Washington won its only title in this Series, and the Senators got their first win the hard way as Roger Peckinpaugh doubled off Jack Bentley in the bottom of the ninth to score Joe Judge for a walk-off victory. The Giants had tied it with two runs in the top of the ninth.

1916: Red Sox 2, Robins 1 (14)
Babe Ruth pitched all 14 innings for Boston, and he got the win after Del Gainer singled off Brooklyn starter Sherry Smith to score pinch-runner Mike McNally. The Brooklyn Robins went on to eventually become the Los Angeles Dodgers. So, yeah, the Dodgers' franchise has felt this pain before.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him on Twitter @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros