Sports

Astros beat Dodgers in seven games to win 2017 World Series

On paper, the 2017 World Series looked to be a clash of juggernauts. The series did not disappoint as the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers went the distance in seven thrilling games. Runs were at a premium in Game 1, as left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel squared off at Dodger Stadium.

Dodgers centerfielder Chris Taylor kicked the World Series off with a bang when he led off the bottom of the first with a booming solo home run into the left-field stands for an immediate 1-0 lead. The Astros would draw even in the fourth, when third baseman Alex Bregman hit a solo shot of his own to even the game 1-1. Both Kershaw and Keuchel settled in until the bottom of the sixth, when Keuchel left a pitch up to Justin Turner who proceeded to break the tie with a 2-run home run that gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead they would not relinquish. Kershaw and the Dodgers relief corps combined to nail down the eventual 3-1 win.

Game 2 had all the makings of another pitchers’ duel as veteran starters Justin Verlander and Rich Hill faced off, with the Astros desperately trying to avoid going home down 2-0. Houston got off to a good start when Bregman drove in Josh Reddick with a single in the third for an early 1-0 lead. Joc Pederson would hit a solo home run off of Verlander in the fifth to draw the Dodgers even 1-1. It was looking to be a repeat of Game 1 in the sixth when Corey Seager drove a Verlander pitch to left to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

In the eighth, Dodger manager Dave Roberts called on closer Kenley Jansen for the final 6 outs. Jansen would allow a run in the eighth, but the Dodgers still entered the ninth leading 3-2. With his team desperately needing a big hit, Marwin González took a 0-2 pitch from Jansen, and deposited it over the wall in left center for a game-tying home run that silenced the raucous Dodger Stadium crowd, and handed Jansen his first postseason blown save.

The game would move into extra innings tied 3-3, but the tie would not last long as José Altuve and Carlos Correa led off the tenth with back-to-back home runs off reliever Josh Fields, for a 5-3 lead. The Dodgers would not go quietly in the bottom of the tenth as Astros closer Ken Giles struggled. Giles gave up a solo home run to Yasiel Puig before Enrique Hernandez tied the game 5-5 with an RBI single.

If the Astros were rattled, they did not show it as they quickly retook the lead in the top of the 11th when George Springer took Brandon McCarthy deep for a 2-run home run and a 7-5 Houston lead. The Dodgers comeback fell just short in the bottom of the 11th, as Charlie Culberson hit a solo home run, but reliever Chris Devenski would allow no more, as he nailed down the thrilling 7-6 win for Houston.

With the Series tied 1-1, the stage was set for a pivotal Game 3 as the action shifted to Houston. The Astros scored early and often off Starter Yu Darvish, pummeling him to the tune of 6 hits and 4 earned runs in only 1 and two-thirds innings pitched. This included a home run by Yuli Gurriel and RBIs by Brian McCann, Gonzalez, and Bregman. The Dodgers’ bats could do little against the combination of Lance McCullers Jr. and Brad Peacock, and went down quietly in the 5-3 Astros win.

Now down 2-1 in the series heading into Game 4, the Dodgers called on left-hander Alex Wood for a big performance. The game was scoreless until the bottom of the sixth when Wood left a pitch up to George Springer who promptly drove it over the wall for a 1-0 Astros lead.

Los Angeles would answer back immediately in the seventh when Logan Forsythe singled off Will Harris to tie the game at 1-1.

The score would remain that way until the ninth, when the Dodgers exploded for five runs, including a go-ahead double by Cody Bellinger, and a long 3-run home run off the bat of Pederson. The Astros would get a run back off Kenley Jansen in the bottom half, but could do no more as the series was again tied with the 6-2 Los Angeles win.

Game 5 was in no simple terms the slugfest to end all slugfests. An early 4-0 Los Angeles lead was erased in the fourth when an ineffective Kershaw allowed 4 runs including a booming three-run shot by Gurriel. A 3-run home run by Bellinger in the fifth quickly gave Los Angeles the lead back 7-4. In the bottom half, Altuve hit a 3-run home run of his own to even the game 7-7.

Bellinger again gave his team the lead with an RBI triple in the top of the seventh before Houston came back again in the next half inning to tie the game 8-8. Altuve would collect an RBI double and Correa would hit a 2-run home run to finish off the 4-run inning.

Trailing 12-9 in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers again came back on a 2-run home run by Puig, and a game-tying single by Taylor. Houston would deliver the knockout blow in the tenth when Bregman singled in Derek Fisher to end the marathon 13-12 Astros win.

Game 6 was more of a return to normalcy as the Dodgers forced a Game 7 with a 3-1 victory highlighted by a sixth-inning game-tying double by Taylor off of Verlander, a home run by Pederson and five different Dodger pitchers combining for only one earned run.

The first World Series Game 7 in the history of Dodger Stadium did not start off well for the home team as Darvish again struggled and allowed 2 first-inning runs before his team even stepped up to bat.

World Series MVP Springer dealt Los Angeles their final blow with a 2-run home run in the second that gave Houston a commanding 5-0 lead.

While starter McCullers also struggled, a quartet of Astros relievers combined for 6 and two-thirds innings of 1-run ball to finish off the 5-1 win and the first championship in Houston Astros history.

November 13, 2017

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