The , once a best-of-seven playoff, is now a best-of-three. And that swings the advantage to the .
Ace has lost just twice since May 1, and he will be on the mound in Game 5 on Sunday. Then comes two games at home, where the Dodgers are a baseball-best 62-25 this season.
Win two more games and the Dodgers are world champions for the first time in 29 years. Lose two and … well, they deserve to finish second.
“I like where we’re at,” Dodgers manager said. “We’ve played four games, there’s been so many emotional swings, and we’re dead even right now.
“We’ve got our ace going tomorrow so I know that in our clubhouse we feel good.”
The Dodgers have momentum thanks to two players who hadn’t made a contribution until Saturday: First baseman Cody Bellinger, who broke out of an 0-for-13 slump with a pair of doubles, and starter took a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his World Series debut.
Bellinger, who had struck eight times in those 13 hitless at-bats, doubled in his last two at-bats, driving in one run and scoring two. After the first double, in the seventh inning, he appeared to gesture for the ball as a souvenir of his first World Series hit.
The second made the 22-year-old the youngest player to get two doubles in a Series game. It also helped hand the their first loss at Minute Maid Park this postseason.
Bellinger also came off the field pointing ahead to Sunday, and beyond.
“We have Kershaw going tomorrow,” he said. “We’re a super resilient team. Taking one here to make sure we go back to L.A. is huge.”
Wood started Game 4 having thrown just 4⅔ innings in the last 32 days. He made only one mistake, giving up a home run to on a 3-1 pitch with two outs in the sixth.
“It’s a big win for us,” Wood said, returning to the theme of the day. “We’ve got our guy going tomorrow, so we’re excited to be able to take it back to L.A. too.”
The pitch to Springer was Wood’s last of the game, but the three-man relay team that came out of the bullpen was almost as good, allowing just one other hit — a two-out solo homer by Alex Bregman off closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth.
“Everybody wants to be the guy that rights the ship, I guess,” Kershaw said. “Sometimes it will fall on me, for sure.”
On Saturday, Kershaw said the team put its faith in Wood and he delivered, although the win went to , who pitched a perfect eighth and was the beneficiary of the Dodgers’ five-run ninth.
Much of that damage came at the expense of Astros closer Ken Giles, who has given up five runs and gotten five outs in the World Series. He didn’t retire a batter Saturday, with all three hitters he faced scoring.
“It probably doesn’t surprise a ton of people that it’s 2-2,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said of the Series. “How the games have gone, where we’ve won or where they’ve won, can always be debated.
“Every game feels like a Game 5 or Game 7, a critical game.”
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