LOS ANGELES -- The sun was just beginning to rise when the Los Angeles Dodgers charter touched down at LAX early Monday. After seven months and 175 games, the team landed knowing there may be just one sunrise left in its season.
An extra-inning loss in Game 5 left the Dodgers trailing the Houston Astros three games to two in the best-of-seven World Series, and with no margin for error when they resume play Tuesday against Houston ace Justin Verlander.
"We're going to have the game of our lives," Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig promised in Spanish. "Verlander had better be prepared."
As Puig spoke, most of the clubhouse was empty. Three times the Dodgers' once-vaunted pitching staff had given up leads that would have left the team a win shy of its first World Series championship in 29 years. Now they have to sweep the final two games to end that drought.
Chris Taylor, still in uniform, sat alone in front of his stall, staring into space. Nearby, Cody Bellinger, in shorts and a T-shirt, sat silently checking his text messages.
However, Puig was anything but quiet.
"It's not going to finish Tuesday," he said of the World Series. "There's going to be a Game 7."
The Series on Sunday -- and into Monday -- produced the second-longest game in history, 5 hours 17 minutes. There were 14 pitchers and 417 pitches, the last thrown by Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who gave up a single to Alex Bregman after hitting a batter and issuing a walk.
"They're celebrating right now," Jansen said of the Astros. "Guess what? They've still got to beat us one more time. And the fact that we're going to go home, we've just got to continue to grind.
"They've got to beat us again. They've got to beat all 25 of us to win."