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The 2017 World Series and the Greatness Behind It

The Astros's path to glory.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Cooper and Vasilis Manettas, Staff Writers

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On Wednesday, November 1, the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers by a score of 5-1 in game seven of the World Series. The series had gone back and forth, and for the second year in a row, the champion would be determined in a decisive seventh game.

On the Dodgers’ road to the World Series, they dispatched the Arizona Diamondbacks and the defending champion, the Chicago Cubs. The Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees.

The Dodgers started off the series strong with a big win. Clayton Kershaw shook off his postseason demons and pitched the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory in game one. The Astros were unfazed as they pulled off a win at Dodger Stadium in eleven innings the next day. The lead went back and forth before George Springer finally put the Astros ahead once and for all with an unforgettable two-run home run that helped Houston to a 7-6 win.

The series moved to Houston for game three, where the Astros knocked out L.A. starter Yu Darvish early and lead throughout. The final score was 5-3 as the Astros took a 2-1 series lead. During this game, Astros first baseman Yulieski Gurriel hit a homerun off of Yu Darvish, who was born in Japan, and when he returned to the dugout he made a racist gesture directed at Darvish’s ethnicity. In a statement put out by the Astros he said, “I sincerely apologize to everyone that I offended with my actions. I deeply regret it.” Darvish later tweeted “let’s stay positive and move forward instead of focusing on anger.” Gurriel, as a punishment, will be suspended in the first five games of the 2018 season. In game 7, when Gurriel came to the plate against Darvish, Gurriel tipped his helmet towards the pitcher in a show of respect.

In game four the teams were deadlocked at a score of one to one for eight innings before the Dodgers put up five runs in the top of the ninth. Houston’s second-year third-baseman Alex Bregman added a solo shot in the bottom of the ninth, but it was too little too late for the Astros losing by a final score of 6-2.

Game five would be decisive  in the series. Aces Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel were up against each other again, in what everyone predicted to be a very low-scoring match-up. But, they were soon proven wrong when Los Angeles came out hot, knocking in three runs against Houston and Keuchel in the first, and then scoring again in the top of the fourth. Dallas Keuchel left in the fourth inning, giving up 4 runs, the 2nd most all season for him at Minute Maid Park. However, in the bottom of the fourth, the Astros answered. Yulieski Gurriel launched a 3-run ‘redemption home run.’  They were tied 4-4 going into the top of the fifth, and six home runs, and six innings later, the Astros pulled out a 13-12 victory, concluding with a walk-off single by Alex Bregman in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Up 3-2, the Astros headed to Los Angeles, where they had taken game one of the series. Justin Verlander dueled against Rich Hill in a pitcher’s battle, on an unexpectedly chilly 67 degree night. The Astros struck first, thanks to a George Springer home run in the top of the third. However, after that, the Astro’s scoring was nowhere to be found. The Dodgers piled on two runs in the sixth inning off of Verlander, and one more insurance run in the seventh off of Joe Musgrove. All-star closer Kenley Jansen sealed the deal, pitching two perfect innings, leading to a game seven.

There was a lot of hype leading up to game seven, but after the first two innings, it was quite uneventful. Darvish started for the Dodgers, and gave up five runs over 1 ⅔ innings. After the game it came to light that Darvish was tipping his pitches, and Astros players knew what he was going to throw. After Darvish got knocked out, the Dodger bullpen was terrific, with Clayton Kershaw going four strong innings without a run. Alex Wood and Kenley Jansen finished the game on the mound for the Dodgers, who didn’t give up another run.  L.A. couldn’t score against Houston pitching, even as Astro starter Lance McCullers Jr. only went 2 ⅓. A struggling Astros bullpen surprisingly only gave up one run in the rest of the game, anchored by Charlie Morton, who pitched four key innings while only giving up one run. The Dodgers failed to bring runners in as they hit 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position. In the bottom of the ninth, Corey Seager grounded out to Jose Altuve, and the Astros were officially World Series Champions by a score of 5-1. This was the Astros’ first championship ever after 55 years as a major league team. George Springer earned the title of World Series MVP after hitting an outstanding .379 with 5 Home Runs and 7 RBI’s. But, both teams are set up for future success, as they each have talented young cores that could keep them in contention for years to come. Overall, the 2017 World Series was a perfect ending to an unforgettable season of baseball.

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