Two soft-hitting teams went head-to-head in a best of 5 series. Everyone knows about the Dodgers great pitching staff, but could the Astros arms match them pitch for pitch?
Game 1 - Dodger Stadium - Astros 1, Dodgers 0
Robin Roberts went the distance scattering 4 singles and not allowing a walk. Sandy Koufax dominated the Astros, as expected, except for a minor blip in the 5th. Rusty Staub led off with a walk, moved to second on a ground out, and scored on a single by Joe Gaines - the only hit Koufax would allow in 8 innings. Ron Fairly led off the 9th with a single for the Dodgers, but Roberts retired the next three batters in order to complete the shutout.
Game MVP: Robin Roberts (9IP, 4H, 0R, 0W, 4K)
The Astros struck first with a solo home run by Rusty Staub off Don Drysdale. The Dodgers took the lead in the bottom of the second on a bases-loaded single by Ron Fairley. The Astros scored 3 in the 5th and 2 in the 6th off Drysdale, with the big hit being a 2 run bomb by backup catcher John Bateman. In the 8th, Tommy Davis singled in 2 runs to get the Dodgers closer, but Mike Cuellar pitched around a Fairly double to get the save.
Game MVP: John Bateman (2-5, HR, 2 RBI)
Game 3 – Astrodome Astros 3, Dodgers 2 (13 inn)
The Dodgers put up single runs in the first two innings off Turk Farrell. The first run scored on a double by Willie Davis after a controversial catcher's interference call against Ron Brand on a ground out that would have ended the inning. The second run scored on a squeeze bunt by pitcher Claude Osteen. Fortunately, the Astros didn't give up. In the 5th, Joe Gaines hurt the Dodgers again with an RBI single, but Bob Aspromonte grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. The game stayed 2-1 until the 9th when closer Ron Perranoski retired the first 2 batters, but allowed singles to Jim Beauchamp, Jim Gentile and John Bateman to tie the game at 2. Each bullpen put up zeros until the 13th when Rusty Staub doubled with 2 outs and Ron Brand (atoning for his interference call) singled him in with the walkoff series win.
Game MVP: Turk Farrell (7IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, 3W, 3K)
The Astros complete the upset with a series sweep. They will try to continue their improbable run against the winner of the Braves/Reds series.
--submitted by John Clingan--