LOS ANGELES — It rained Tuesday in Southern California. Sprinkled, really. Misted, mostly. Regardless, that stupid song was wrong.
It was almost cold, too. Well, almost chilly. When Dodger Stadium hosted Game 1 of this year's World Series, the first-pitch temperature was 103 degrees. Tuesday, it was 67 degrees when Rich Hill threw his first pitch, a 36-degree difference (yay, math!).
It's hard to imagine how the weather for these two days, separated by a week, could be more different. But that's kind of fitting for this World Series between the Dodgers and the Astros, champions of their respective leagues. These first six games have featured more back-and-forth moments than a tennis match between Serena and Venus Williams when they both dominated their sport.
The Dodgers won Game 6 in a way that couldn't have been more different than how the Astros won Game 5 in Houston just two days earlier. That one was a slugfest, an exercise in scorecard bingo that featured 25 total runs.
On Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, the home team won 3-1. Sunday night in Houston, the Astros scored four runs in two different innings in their 13-12 win. In Game 6, the teams combined for four runs total. A Dodgers bullpen that allowed seven runs in Game 5 (not counting the two inherited runs that were charged to Clayton Kershaw) shut out the Astros for 4 1/3 innings in Game 6.
"Listen, it doesn't matter how they scored runs on us and all that stuff that happened in the past. That's in the past," closer Kenley Jansen said after the game. "The great thing about this bullpen is we all let that go and didn't think about it no more. Keep believing in ourselves."
Really, the only thing you can expect from this particular World Series is the unexpected. What does that mean for Game 7? Only this: It should be a lot of fun to watch.
"Two incredible teams, trying to get to the finish line," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said after the game. "And so now, now obviously, it's good for our sport. Necessarily bad for us, because we wanted to win (Tuesday). We'll get back to the hotel, where we'll collect ourselves. Both teams will be ready to play with about as much energy as you could possibly imagine in Game 7."
Playoff baseball is, essentially, a series of opportunities to fail or succeed. Game 6 was no exception. Cody Bellinger, for example, failed at the plate Tuesday. He struck out all four times, the second time this series he's had a four-strikeout game. But if not for his scoop at first base on a throw in the dirt from third baseman Justin Turner, the Astros might still be celebrating their first World Series championship.
With two on and two outs in the seventh inning and the Dodgers ahead 2-1, Jose Altuve hit a chopper to Turner. Knowing Altuve's speed — he has led the AL in stolen bases multiple seasons — Turner had to pick the ball and get his throw in the air as soon as possible.
"He's so comfortable around the base," Turner said of Bellinger. "He's picked all of us up all year long. You just get it in the area and there's a good chance he's going to catch it."
"I always pretend like the ball's going to be in the dirt so it doesn't catch me by surprise," he said.
Jansen had allowed at least one run in his past three World Series outings. He was given a chance at redemption in Game 6, and he took full advantage. Manager Dave Roberts had said before the game he planned to limit Jansen to three outs, but when Jansen retired the heart of the Astros' order on just seven pitches in a 1-2-3 eighth inning, Roberts changed his mind.
Jansen set down the Astros in order in the ninth, too. Seems Mariano Rivera was right.
"He's our guy," catcher Austin Barnes said. "We're not going to stray away from him, that's for sure. He's the best in the game and whenever we can get him the ball with the lead, that's what we're looking for."
Brandon Morrow has pitched in every single game this World Series. In Game 5, he faced four Astros and all four scored. In Game 6, he came in with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth inning and induced a groundout to escape the jam. Like Jansen, he seized his opportunity to succeed.
"Seeing my teammates and everybody, we didn't hang our hats," Jansen said. "We didn't feel sorry for ourselves. We just had to believe."
That belief helped make Game 7 possible. What's going to happen in that contest? The only thing we know for sure is that it won't be 103 degrees, and that's a good start.