There were a lot of home runs in last night’s Game 2 of the World Series, an extra-innings Houston victory that tied the series at one game apiece. (A total of eight dingers, the most ever in a World Series game, with five coming in extras alone.) Here those home runs are, in the only highlight form that matters: pitcher reaction faces.
Justin Verlander, fifth inning: Joc Pederson ties game, 1-1, with solo shot.
The first hit he’s allowed all night. Not mad. Just disappointed.
Justin Verlander, sixth inning, Corey Seager gives L.A. 3-1 lead with two-run homer after Chris Taylor gets on base with a two-out walk.
The second hit he’s allowed all night—good, sure, but not enough, because this is it. Not really disappointed this time. But maybe a little mad.
Kenley Jansen, ninth inning, Marwin González ties game, 3-3, with solo shot.
He gave up just five home runs all year. The bullpen has pitched 28 straight scoreless innings. What the hell is this.
Josh Fields, tenth inning, José Altuve gives Houston a 4-3 lead.
He knows this is not a pop-up. He knows this is not a pop-up. This is a home run. He really would know—after all, he gave up more home runs this year than in the past three combined, he knows what a home run sounds like. It is the stupid, fierce cracking open of his self-esteem. This is not the sound he heard when he imagined this situation in his backyard as a kid. (And of course he imagined this situation; extra innings of a World Series game is all anyone ever imagines. It’s something he grew out of by the time he was gearing up for his third go-round in Double-A, but still, he imagined this—how many times? And never, ever, ever with this sound.) It’s a home run. He knows this sound. It’s not a pop-up. It’s the end.
But he reaches up anyway. Because maybe he’s got it all wrong, you know, and one of his guys is going to need him to point this one out as it floats down for an easy out. Maybe.
Josh Fields, tenth inning, Carlos Correa gives Houston a 5-3 lead.
He knows this is not a pop-up. Fuck.
Ken Giles, tenth inning, Yasiel Puig cuts L.A.’s deficit to 5-4.
It’s just one, he tells himself. This is fine. It’s fine. He does not let himself look up as he brushes dust off the mound with his foot.
Brandon McCarthy, eleventh inning, George Springer puts Houston up 7-5 with two-run shot.
He did not leave the disabled list for this shit.
Chris Devenski, eleventh inning, Charlie Culberson cuts L.A.’s deficit to 7-6 with two outs.
Whatever. What the hell ever. (Why is Charlie Culberson here??) Please let this end.