Three years ago, Sports Illustrated proclaimed the Houston Astros as the 2017 World Series champions. The Astros fulfilled the prophecy on Wednesday night as they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in game seven to win their first World Series title in franchise history.
Right from the start the Astros were aggressive at the plate. It took only eight pitches from Dodgers starter Yu Darvish for the Astros to put up two runs in the top of the first inning. George Springer started the game with a leadoff double and would score on the next pitch on an error by Cody Bellinger to put the Astros up 1-0.
Alex Bregman wound up on second base after the error and would go on to steal third base. The next batter Jose Altuve grounded out to Bellinger to push across Bregamn and give the Astros an early 2-0 lead.
Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. ran into some trouble in the bottom of the first inning.
Chris Taylor led off for the Dodgers and hit a leadoff double to center field. Two batters later Justin Turner was hit by a pitch with two strikes to put runners on second and first. Two batters after Turner, Yasiel Puig was also hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, McCullers Jr. was able to induce a ground out to Joc Pederson and escape the jam.
Brian McCann led off the top of the second inning with a walk and was followed by a double from Marwin Gonzalez. McCullers Jr. stepped up next and helped his own cause with an RBI ground out to give the Astros a 3-0 lead. The next batter Springer unloaded on a two strike fastball and deposited it over the left center field wall to extended the Astros lead to 5-0. With that home run Springer became the first player ever to hit a home run in four consecutive World Series games.
The home run also ended Darvish’s night. he pitched 1 2/3 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on three hits while striking out none and walking one.
After allowing two of the first three hitters on base to start the third inning, McCullers Jr. was relieved by Brad Peacock. McCullers finished his night pitching 2 1/3 innings allowing no runs on three hits while striking out three, walking none and hitting four batters. His four hit batters are the most ever in a single World Series game.
The Dodgers turned to their ace Clayton Kershaw in the top of the third inning to keep the game in check. He pitched four shutout innings of relief allowing two hits while striking out four and walking two.
The Dodgers finally got on the board in the sixth inning. Andre Ethier hit an RBI single to right field to push across Pederson and make it a 5-1 game.
However, that would be all for the Dodgers. Their last nine batters never reached base as Charlie Morton finished them off easily. Corey Seager’s ground out to Jose Altuve ended the game and started the celebration for the city of Houston.
The Astros first World Series title couldn’t have come at a better time as their motive throughout the end of the regular season and the entire postseason was to win it all to help heal the city of Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Similar to the Boston Red Sox in 2013 after the Boston marathon bombings, the Astros were able to accomplish their goal and give the citizens of Houston something to smile about.
One thing is also for sure, this World Series we just witnessed will be one that is talked about for years and years to come.