Game 2 of the World Series was exactly what baseball needed to rope everyone in with a rooting interest.
After two games in the World Series, we’re getting so much more than we bargained for. Angry pitching, loud bats, and a series where no lead is apparently safe. Game 2 was more than a barn burner that went late into the night, it was a declaration that no matter who you’re rooting for, we’re all in for one helluva good time.
Despite the score, there were no losers in Game 2. Everyone was a winner in one way or another.
Start with Houston. One thing Clayton Kershaw’s gem did was make us forget how much the Astros are to watch. The most offensively efficient team in the postseason had its bats quieted by the best pitcher in the game, but they came alive in a big way tonight. With its 7-run performance, Houston has reminded everyone how viciously it can swarm an opponent. They can score and they can score big; it’s impossible to paint them into a corner — just ask Boston and New York.
And that’s why, if you like the little guy, the Astros are your rooting interest. They’re not as flashy as the Hollywood Dodgers, but they’re just as fun to watch. It’s the lack of respect Houston gets that makes every haymaker they land so much more satisfying to witness.
Then there’s Los Angeles. As much as they are a big market team, they haven’t lived up to that billing. Whether it’s dubious managerial decisions or leaning into the Kershaw can’t pitch in October narrative, for whatever reason the Dodgers seem doomed to never figure it out. We thought the finally did in Game 1, then watched as their reliable bullpen got lit up so badly that it changed the tide of the series. Where it once looked like Los Angeles was finally going to snap a 29-year curse, all of a sudden they’re on the ropes again.
We all love a redemption story, and the Dodgers are here so that guy who really loves baseball can wax poetic about Sandy Koufax or Ebbets Field. They’re the romantic rooting interest — the team steeped in the kind of history that you imagine as a Ken Burn documentary.
No matter your rooting interest, buying into this World Series is the best decision a sports fan can make. Everyone is a winner when we have a game like the one we witnessed on Wednesday night. No lead is safe, no matchup is a sure-thing, and anything can and will happen. Casual fans, the ones that many thought would be a hard sell to watch a World Series with no obviously identifiable storylines, were given a taste of what this series’ potential. Game 2 was everything the World Series should be: White-knuckled unapologetic entertainment.
Baseball might not be the most popular sport, but this World Series is doing its damnedest to capture everyone’s attention.