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Game 7 was meant to be

Leslie Monteiro



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Dodger Stadium never hosted a Game 7 World Series game. Until tonight that is.

Go back to the sixth inning Tuesday night to why we have the final game in the best-of-seven World Series. It was the Dodgers’ inning from top to bottom. They got out of a jam with runners at first and second, and they scored two runs to take the lead. That’s all she wrote, as the Los Angeles Dodgers earned a Game 6 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium.

Call it destiny. Call it that it’s meant to be. Whatever it is, we are getting winner-take-all of what has been an entertaining World Series. Major League Baseball and Fox needed that after a great seven-game World Series last year. Ratings will be up, and maybe baseball can finally gain new audience in light of them being disgruntled with the NFL.


Everyone hyped up this World Series as the best of all time. Keep in mind we are talking from a younger generation perspective. But for people that are 38 or older, they have seen better. Maybe for them, they can agree with the millennials that this is the best World Series of all time if we have a great Game 7.

This year’s World Series needed a great Game 6 and it had to end in seven for this to be the best of all-time. What baseball needs is a great ending or in layman’s terms, a Hollywood ending.

This year’s World Series is better than last year’s. The Cubs needed a comeback from a 3-1 deficit to win the series on the road. The Astros and Dodgers have been even for the most part in this series, and twists and turns were happening in each game where no pitcher could have relaxed. Just ask Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander.

This is the third best World Series ever with the 2001 World Series ranked No. 2 and 1991 World Series ranked No. 1. Not only whoever wins Game 7 will be interesting, but can this be the best World Series ever? It’s been a long time since any World Series topped off 1991’s, so it’s about time it happened for a change.

Game 7 almost did not happen. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts made a curious decision to take Rich Hill out after 58 pitches in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and two outs. It was curious because Brenden Morrow has been running on fumes for being overused in the playoffs and it showed in Game 6 when he could not get anyone out, but Roberts took his chances with his setup guy in this spot.

This move could have blown up on Roberts. It could have ended the Dodgers’ season. Instead, Morrow bailed his manager out by getting Alex Bregman to ground out to end the inning.

It’s not a great game until fans and baseball writers debate about a manager’s decision, and Roberts gave them fodder despite the fact it worked out.

It appeared Verlander was going to finish the Dodgers off. He was off to a great start by throwing only seven pitches to get out of the first inning. He was throwing strikes for every first pitch, and he was ahead of the count. Everything fell apart in the sixth inning when he lost it altogether.

To start the sixth inning with the Astros holding on to an 1-0 lead, he gave up a single to Austin Barnes and he hit Chase Utley to put runners on first and second and no outs. Then, he gave up a game-tying double to Chris Taylor, scoring Barnes and moving Utley up to third. Corey Seager’s sacrifice fly scored Utley, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.  

The former Tigers ace got Justin Turner to foul out, and he struck out Cody Bellinger to end the inning. No matter. The damage was done. Verlander’s reputation for not shining in the World Series continues.

This was a blown opportunity for the Astros. This was a game they should have won had they executed with the bases loaded in the fifth. They can’t look back now.

It’s go time for both the Astros and Dodgers in Game 7. There’s no tomorrow anymore. Winner enjoys the offseason while the loser wallows in pity this offseason. There’s no gray area.

Redemption and legacy are at stake. Everyone will be remembered for this game whether it’s good or bad. It’s what players worked hard all their lives to be in this position.

It comes down to Game 7.

It’s fitting it comes down to it.

Leslie Monteiro is a syndicated sports columnist who writes about the Tri-State area teams for the Upstate Courier. He is based in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and can be reached on Twitter @MongoGoesInSane.