After Kershaw buzz saw, Astros hitters look to climb over Hill in Game 2

LOS ANGELES, California (KTRK) -- It's not every day that the Houston Astros hitters are confronted with a buzz saw of a pitcher.

Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw's arm sliced up Houston's batting order in a game that certainly counted for a lot.

READ MORE: BUMMER: Dodgers win Game 1 vs Astros, 3-1

If there is a light at the end of this dark, Dodger-size tunnel, the Astros will find it going up against World Series Game 2 starting pitcher Rich Hill, who is no slouch but nowhere on the same planet as the Kershaw universe.

On Wednesday night, the Astros will go up against the 37-year-old Hill, who has only seen a total of nine innings pitched over two postseason games. In the worse of his two outings, Hill was pulled after four innings against Arizona in the National League Divisional Series Game 2 in a no-decision.

The 13-season journeyman starter went 12-8 over 25 regular season starts in 2017, notching a 3.32 ERA.

Hill provides a perfect opportunity for the Astros to regain their bearings after Kershaw allowed only three hits and an earned run in Game 1.

Another reason that Houston can win: the Astros are sending ALCS MVP Justin Verlander to the mound. Just like Hill, Verlander has provided the veteran presence needed for the pitching staff since his move to the Astros on Aug. 31.

Since being traded from Detroit, Verlander has not lost a game in an Astros uniform, boasting a 9-0 record. In his postseason appearances, one of which was in relief, Verlander has given up 17 hits while striking out 24 batters and notching only four runs for a 1.46 ERA.

Verlander fared even better in his five regular season games for the Astros, credited with a 1.06 ERA. Three of those games were road starts.

While Game 1 starter Dallas Keuchel got the loss, he may have provided the blueprint for Verlander to shut down the Dodgers hitters, who swung for only six hits in the opener and induced them into three double plays.

READ MORE: What you need to know about Astros P Justin Verlander

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Learn more about the Cy-Young award winner who's joined the Astros

All things considered, the Astros did not appear to buckle under the pressure of the big series stage, but they did sweat from the 100-degree temperature at the first pitch Tuesday. Forecasts call for temperatures to not quite reach Game 1's sweltering triple digits, but Wednesday evening in Los Angeles should be in the 90s.

First pitch is at 7 p.m.

In Houston, Minute Maid Park will welcome fans for a free viewing party for Game 2. You can claim free admission to the event on the Astros' postseason website.

A 10-foot tall rooster, free hot dogs, head-shaving and pumpkin carvings: We've got all the World Series bases covered.

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