2017 World Series Game 4 Recap: We're All Even

Thanks to some superb pitching from Alex Wood and a ninth-inning rally, the Dodgers handed the Astros their first home loss of the playoffs, knotting the series at 2-2.

There are times when good players simply go into funks. As a hitter, they keep swinging at breaking pitches they have no chance of hitting, or as a pitcher, they just can't seem to throw the ball where they want to.

Such was the case for two of baseball's best young players -- Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman and likely National League Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger and Houston Astros closer Ken Giles -- through three games of the World Series. In Game 4, one of them got back on track at the other's expense. Bellinger came up with a clutch, tie-breaking RBI double off the struggling Giles in the ninth inning, sending L.A. to a 6-2 win and tying this best-of-seven series at 2-2.

Bellinger had been 0-for-13 in the Fall Classic with 8 punchouts, mostly flailing away at breaking balls down and in. Then, suddenly, the 21-year-old who batted .267/.352/.581 this season with an NL-rookie record 39 homers and 97 RBI's, figured things out, smoking two doubles in Game 4, including his clutch run-scoring two-bagger in the ninth that broke a 1-1 tie.

Bellinger became the youngest player in MLB history to hit two doubles in a World Series game, and he joined another pretty exclusive Fall Classic club, as well.

As for Giles, the talented Houston closer has likely run out of chances to pitch any more meaningful innings in this World Series. After posting a 2.30 ERA with 83 strikeouts in 62.2 innings in the regular season, he has been abysmal in October. In seven postseason appearances, he has a team-high ERA of 11.74. Opponents are hitting .343 against him, and he has given up 12 hits and walked 5 in 7.2 innings.

Last night, Giles allowed a single, a walk and Bellinger's double before being taken out of the game with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. He became the first pitcher in World Series history to enter the ninth inning of a tie game and allow three or more runs without recording an out. In his seven postseason outings, he has been scored upon in six of them.

Until the ninth inning, the Dodgers and Astros had played a taut pitchers' duel, with both starters -- Alex Wood and Charlie Morton -- turning in outstanding performances. Wood had a no-hitter into the sixth inning -- until the no-no, the shutout, and the lead was surrendered thanks to this blast by the Astros' George Springer.

Even though he didn't finish off the no-hitter, Wood did put himself into some pretty select company with his performance.

Overall, the two hits allowed by Dodgers pitching were the fewest in a road World Series game by the road team since the New York Yankees in 1999. Although, according to StatCast, Houston was extremely unlucky on hard-hit balls last night, smoking 10 different pitches with an exit velocity of 95 miles per hour (MPH) or greater, with only one of them, Springer's dinger, falling for a hit. MLB batters hit .558 on balls hit at least 95 MPH or more, and yet the Astros went 1-for-10.

Morton left Wood no margin for error and turned in another outstanding postseason outing. He went 6.1 innings and gave up 1 run on 3 hits with no walks and 7 strikeouts, retiring 14 straight at one point. And when you combine his start in Game 4 with his outing in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, Morton has pitched 11.1 innings and given up 1 run on 4 hits with 1 walk and 12 whiffs over his last two games.

The loss was the first for the Astros at home this postseason, dropping their record to 7-1 in Houston. And with the series all tied up 2-2, the winner of Game 5 tonight puts themselves in the driver's seat to win the Fall Classic. Teams that win Game 5 in this situation have gone on to win 41 of 59 (69%) across all postseason series, and 28 of 42 (67%) World Series. The Dodgers will put their ace left-hander, Clayton Kershaw, on the mound in this important game, while Houston will counter with their stud southpaw, Dallas Keuchel.

With the Dodgers' win in Game 4, our metrics put the odds to win the title back in their favor -- but only slightly. Our models still basically have it as a coin flip, giving L.A. a 50.71% chance to take the series.