Here in Springfield, we are sandwiched in the middle of Chicago and St. Louis, two cities with notable baseball teams. However, when the Cardinals, Cubs and White Sox are eliminated, most people in Illinois stop following baseball until spring training rolls around again. For the fans that have continued to follow the Postseason, the 2017 World Series has proven to be both one of the most historical and exciting Series to date. The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Houston Astros have definitely made this matchup one to remember. If your grandparents had watched the World Series when they were young, this pairing would not even have been possible. The Dodgers moved from Brooklyn to L.A. in 1958 when Major League Baseball voted for teams to move to California. After the MLB decided in 1962 to add a team to both the American and National Leagues, the present-day Astros were founded as an expansion team called the “Colt .45’s.” Going into the Series this fall, the Dodgers had one championship win while in Brooklyn, and five more in Los Angeles, yet the Astros had yet to win a single championship.
In Game 1, the Dodgers started off strong, gaining the first win of the Series with their best pitcher, Clayton Kershaw. Fans got to see extra innings in Game 2 when the game was tied 3-3 at the end of the 9th. Two Astros players, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa, hit solo home runs in the 10th, pulling ahead, but the Dodgers rallied and tied it up again with a home run by Yasiel Puig and a base hit that allowed a score. In the 11th inning, Springer hit a two run homer and the Dodgers could only score one more run when it came to their at-bat. The Astros had successfully tied the Series 1-1.
Game 3 started off poorly for the Dodgers when they were forced to take out their star pitcher Yu Darvish after he allowed four runs in the second inning. Off the diamond, Yuli Gurriel made a racist gesture towards Darvish after he sent a homerun into the stands. Gurriel attempted to correct his mistake when he tipped his hat to Darvish during Game 7. The Astros ended up taking Game 3, with a score of 5-3, giving them a 2-1 lead in the Series. Cody Bellinger led the Dodgers to victory in Game 4 when he tied it up in the seventh inning and drove in the go-ahead run that started a five-run inning for the Dodgers in the top of the ninth. The Astros only scored one run in the bottom of the 9th, allowing the Dodgers to take the win and tie the series 2-2.
By the bottom of the 4th inning in Game 5, the Astros were already down 4-0. With the Dodgers ace Kershaw back on the mound, the Astros players were certainly feeling the pressure. The Astros scored, but by the bottom of the 5th, the Dodgers were up again. Their lead did not last very long, however, and the Astros tied it up once more by the end of the inning. Once again the Dodgers led after their 7th inning at-bat, but the Astros rallied with more than a tie, leading 12-9 by the end of 8th, thanks to two home-runs from Springer and Correa in the bottom of the 7th and a home run by McCann in the bottom of the 8th. A home run by Yasiel Puig and a few base-hits tied the game 12-12. The Astros could not muster up any runs in the second half of the 9th, sending the game into extra innings. With the Dodgers exiting the field scoreless after the top of the 10th, the night was becoming long. With a runner on first, and another on second, Astros player Bregman stepped up to the plate. Dodgers pitcher Jansen had previously hit McCann and walked Springer, so he was in desperate need of a strike. His first pitch to Bregman was hit, driving in McCann, winning the game for Houston. Professional players and analysts alike have already called the five hour, seventeen minute game one of the best games in the history of the Fall Classic.
The always-important Game 6 was shaping up to be big. Astros ace Justin Verlander took the mound, and the Astros took a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning. It would not hold, though, and the Dodgers forced a Game 7 when they won 3-1. The Dodgers’ star, Darvish, could not redeem himself from his Game 3 upset, going out after allowing five runs in only two innings. Everything was on the table in Game 7, so the Dodgers decided to put Kershaw in as reliever for Darvish. He was able to hold off the Astros, keeping the score severely unbalanced at 5-0. The Astros also had a star on the mound in Game 7. Lance McCullers Jr. successfully stifled the Dodgers’ power hitters for almost 3 innings before he was taken out of the game. The Dodgers scored a run in the bottom of the 6th, but it was not enough. The Astros proved to be too strong of a team, preventing the Dodgers from driving in any more runs.
The Houston Astros hit it out of the park when they won Game 7, giving them their first Fall Classic title. This season has been a historical one for the team for more reasons than one. In addition to winning their first World Series, the Astros also became the first team to win a National League and an American League Championship when they beat the New York Yankees this season, as they were part of the National League until 2013. To conclude, The 2017 World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers has definitely proven to be one of the most interesting and thrilling matchups since the first Series in 1903.
by Molly Harms