7 November, 2017
After the immense suffering from Hurricane Harvey, the city of Houston now has something to cheer about: last Wednesday, the Astros took the World Series for their first time in franchise history. This franchise persevered through many pitiful years, hitting a poor win-loss record of 232-416 during their 2011-2014 seasons.
The MLB World Series is the pinnacle of baseball. It is the championship of (usually) the two best MLB teams. This year, it was the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League (NL) division and the Houston Astros for the American League (AL) division.
Proceeding the World Series, the Astros beat the Boston Red Sox in a series of five with three wins to one loss in the NLDS. The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 in the series. Next, it took the Astros seven games to take care of the New York Yankees, a young and upcoming yet inexperienced team, 4-3 in a best of 7 series. The Dodgers took only five games to beat the reigning champs, the Chicago Cubs, 4-1.
The Dodgers had the best record in all of the MLB this past season winning 104 games and losing only 58. The Astros also had an astonishing season with 101 wins and 61 loses. The two teams would battle in a best of seven series. The Dodgers got the home field in games 1, 2, 6, and 7 and the Astros got this advantage in games 3, 4, and 5.
Game 1 of the World Series was a Dodgers win. Right off the bat, Dodgers player Chris Taylor led the game with a home run. The Dodgers continued this trend with Justin Turner’s sixth inning two-run home run and Clayton Kershaw’s dominant pitching in seven innings, the Dodgers took the 1-0 series lead.
Game 2, on the other hand, was an Astros win, tying the series up with 1-1. With three home runs in the ninth inning scored by Astros players Marwin Gonzalez, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa, the game went to extra innings. In the eleventh inning, George Springer hit a two-run homerun to win it.
For Game 3, the teams played in Houston, as the series was getting heated. The Astros won Game 3 with a score of 5-3 with all the runs scored before the fifth inning. Game 4, once again, tied the series back up at 2-2 with the Dodgers win. The score was 3-2 going into the ninth inning, and then Joc Pederson of the Dodgers hit a three-run home run to secure a comfortable 6-2 lead, which the Dodgers held onto for the rest of the game.
Game 5, the final game played in Houston, was nail-biting to say the least—13 innings of the most tense baseball game of the year. Both teams looked to secure their third win, but the Astros were the ones that came out on top. After 13 innings, with eight home runs between the two teams, Alex Bregman hit a walk-off single for the Astros to the Game 5 win.
Now, back in LA for Game 6, the Astros could have won the World Series in just one game, but the Dodgers forced Game 7 to occur. Behind the four scoreless innings by the bullpen, the Dodgers won the game 3-1.
After six well-fought games, it all came down to Game 7. The Astros, who were the first team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals to participate in two Game 7’s in one postseason, quickly held onto their lead and won Game 7 with a final score of 5-1. Immediately following the game, George Springer of the Houston Astros was announced the World Series MVP.
Though most fans took the World Series at face-value, many conspiracy theories still arose throughout series. One of the most notable was the “balls are juiced.” At Game 1, Astros Pitcher Dallas Keuchel said that the balls were much slicker and slightly lighter than any other game this year. The MLB later denied these claims. Hours later, news leaked of Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers pitching superstar, saying that the slicker of the ball it more difficult to grip and thus makes it more difficult for pitchers to throw their breaking balls and sliders. A very convincing piece of evidence was the record amount of home runs in this World Series: 24. After Game 5, the record had already been broken with a whopping 22 home runs.
Every team except for the Washington Nationals and Seattle Mariners have made the World Series, and every team except for eight have won. But now that the Astros are off that list, there are just 7 ringless teams to fight for the title of World Series champion.