A Series for the Ages: Recap

A Series for the Ages: Recap

Sterling Sellers, Sports Journalist

    The 2017 MLB season has officially drawn to a close. This season has been record setting on multiple fronts, and the postseason was no different. This year’s postseason was as wide open as any in recent memory. There were two favorites to make it to the last stage, but everything seemed unpredictable.

     How unpredictable you ask? Well, the Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, and the Boston Red Sox all fired their respective managers after failing to progress to the World Series. This mentality of ‘World Series or bust’ shows that each team was extremely confident in their ability to progress.

     When the final stage was finally set, the matchup couldn’t have been more exciting. The Los Angeles Dodgers had been arguably the best team in baseball over the course of the season. And the Houston Astros had finally proven that years of rebuilding could get them to the promised land.

      Los Angeles had dispatched the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Chicago Cubs en route to their first World Series appearance since 1988. The Astros had defeated Boston and a resilient Yankees team before making their second World Series in franchise history. 

      The 2017 regular season broke the record for most home runs in a campaign, and the World Series was no different. The Astros and Dodgers combined for a record twenty-five homers over the course of the seven game series.

      The first game of the series gave us a glimpse of the awesome show yet to come. Dodgers outfielder, Chris Taylor yanked the first pitch of the game into the outfield bleachers for a home run and an early lead. Los Angeles would go on to win the first game 3-1, and take an early series lead. 

       Game two seemed to be another Dodgers win heading into the ninth inning. The score stood at 3-2 when the Astros came to bat needing a run in order to avoid a 2-0 series deficit. The Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen had been remarkably effective throughout the postseason. However, Astros’ shortstop Marwin González would tie the game at three runs a piece in the ninth.

     What happened next turned the game into an instant classic. Carlos Correa and José Altuve both hit solo home runs to put Houston into the lead. In the bottom half of the tenth inning, the Dodgers tied the game 5-5. The Astros would take the lead for good in the top of the eleventh inning, and the game would end 7-6.

     The series then headed to Houston for game three; tied at a game for each team. The Astros would put up four runs in the second inning to chase Dodgers’ starter Yu Darvish out of the game. The Astros would go on to win the game 5-3, and take a 2-1 series lead.

      Game four would be a relatively simple win for the Dodgers. They put up six runs and managed to even the series heading into game five. Out of all the marvelous contests during this series, game five would defy even the most outlandish predictions.

      The last game in Houston featured a matchup of pitching aces. Clayton Kershaw would take the mound for the Dodgers, while Dallas Keuchel started for Houston. Given the pitching prowess on both sides of the matchup, one might expect a low scoring affair. However, that presumption couldn’t have been further from reality.

       Houston would win the game by a ludicrous score of 13-12. Alex Bregman would deliver the knockout blow in the bottom of the tenth inning, when his base hit drive in the winning run. The Astros then returned to Los Angeles with a 3-2 lead, and one win away from history.

       Game six would be quite the contrast from the previous game. The Dodgers would use the home run power of Joc Pederson, and the closing ability of Kenley Jansen to wrap up a 3-1 win. This would prolong the series to a decisive seventh game.

        A seventh game was inevitable considering the quality on both teams; and the sports world perhaps expected a nail biting game that would serve as the perfect end to the series.

     However, the seventh game would be one of the more one-sided affairs of the series. The Astros would take the lead in the first inning, and they would keep the lead throughout the night. Both starting pitchers left the game very early, and the Dodgers couldn’t capitalize on their chances to get back in the game.

      The Astros would walk out as 5-1 winners, and complete their triumphant postseason campaign. Houston, a city still in repair after the effects of natural disaster, would celebrate their first World Series title.

       Astros’ star outfielder, George Springer was named the MVP of the series. The Astros had finally reached the pinnacle of their rebuilding process, and had entertained the world with a spectacular World Series.