Houston, We Have a Winner

For the first time in franchise history, the Houston Astros are World Series champions.

The 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland Indians might have been the most iconic and exciting World Series in MLB history, mainly due to the fact that the two clubs had the longest World Series droughts in the MLB. A series that went to extra innings in Game 7 and the longest championship drought by any sports team was broken as the Cubs broke their 108-year losing streak. However, the Dodgers and Astros put on a show of their own and the excitement wasn’t short of last year’s World Series. The Astros had never won a championship going in and the Dodgers hadn’t won in 29 years. Records were broken left and right, home runs were plentiful, and the series went all the way to Game 7. Following up the 2016 World Series seemed nearly impossible, but the Astros and Dodgers came pretty darn close.

ASTROS vs DODGERS WORLD SERIES RECAP

It was a wild series to say the least. The Astros and Dodgers put on a show in Houston and Los Angeles, and each team played seven hard fought games. The Astros came out on top for the first time ever, in only their second World Series appearance.

The Dodgers took Game 1 behind their ace Clayton Kershaw and dominated the Astros to take Game 1. Kershaw was dominant almost the entire series and proved in Game 1 why he is the Dodgers ace. Chris Taylor homered on the first pitch he saw from Dallas Keuchel and Justin Turner hit a two-run dinger to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, and the score didn’t change after that.

The Dodgers looked like they had Game 2 wrapped up in the ninth, but after a Marwin Gonzalez home run, the Astros were right back in it. The game went into extras, and George Springer and Jose Altuve hit back to back home runs to go ahead. Ken Giles couldn’t get the save for the Astros as Enrique Hernandez singled in Logan Forsythe to tie the game. The game went to the eleventh inning where George Springer hit a two-run shot to put the Astros back up and Chris Devenski was able to strike out Yasiel Puig to end the game and tie the series at one game apiece.

The next three games were played in Houston and were all some of the most exciting games in World Series history. The Astros bats were hot early as they were able to knock out Yu Darvish early in the game. Yuri Gurriel hit his first postseason home run in the second, and hits by Marwin Gonzalez and Brian McCann brought home a few more runs. The Astros went on to win behind Lance McCullers who pitched well, going 5.1 innings and giving up three runs.

Game 4 was close until the ninth inning where Joc Pederson hit a three-run homer to put the Dodgers up 6-1. Game 5 was arguably the best World Series game to have ever been played. The two aces were facing off, Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers, Dallas Keuchel for the Astros. Keuchel had a rough start, giving up three runs in the first. Yuri Gurriel hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning to tie the game at four apiece. Cody Bellinger and Jose Altuve both hit fifth inning three-run home runs to tie the game at seven. The Astros had a three-run lead going into the ninth, but the bullpen couldn’t hold on and the Dodgers tied it at 12 in the top of the ninth. Alex Bregman wound up hitting a walk-off single to left field, and the Astros won the game 13-12. If you missed game five, you can see the highlights here. I promise it is worth your time. 

Game 6 was a struggle for both teams. Corey Seager and Joc Pederson were the heroes for the Dodgers hitting an RBI sac fly and a solo home run to put the Dodgers up 3-1. Game 7 was all Astros as they again got to Yu Darvish early. After an RBI groundout by Lance McCullers, George Springer hit a two-run homer to put the Astros up 5-0. Charlie Morton was outstanding in relief going four innings and giving up only two hits and one walk. Corey Seager hit a ground ball to Jose Altuve, who threw to first and sealed the win for the Astros.

A remarkable series with some outstanding pitching performances, home runs, walk-offs, and a Game 7. The Astros finally won a World Series, and the Commissioner’s Trophy is on its way to Houston.

World Series Scores

Game 1: Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1

Game 2: Astros beat the Dodgers 7-6

Game 3: Astros beat the Dodgers 5-3

Game 4: Dodgers beat the Astros 6-2

Game 5: Astros beat the Dodgers 13-12

Game 6: Dodgers beat the Astros 3-1

Game 7: Astros beat the Dodgers 5-1

Astros beat the Dodgers 4 games to 3.

 

RECORD BREAKERS

It was a record-breaking year around the MLB with a good number of new records coming in the home run category.

More home runs were hit this regular season than any other season in MLB history. A total of 6,104 home runs were hit, shattering the previous record of 5,693 homers set back in 2000. Aaron Judge broke the record for most home runs by a rookie in a season with 52. The Cleveland Indians also broke the record for the longest streak of wins in MLB history with 22.

The Astros and Dodgers set World Series records of their own. The biggest being the first Astros World Series victory in franchise history. World Series MVP George Springer became the first player to hit home runs in four consecutive games from games 4-7 and hit five total homers in the series. The Astros and Dodgers combined for a record-breaking 25 home runs in the series. Cody Bellinger broke the record for most strikeouts in a single postseason, which was held by Yankees rookie Aaron Judge, also in the 2017 postseason. Bellinger racked up 29 strikeouts in 15 games.

These were just a few of the several records set in the 2017 World Series and the 2017 season as a whole will be a year to remember.

NEVER GIVING UP

World Series MVP George Springer and possible 2017 AL MVP Jose Altuve each have a remarkable story about a challenge they overcame. Most people just see them hitting home runs and robbing hits, but there is more to these two than you might think.

Jose Altuve is known for his skills on the diamond, but he is also well known for his height. Standing only 5 feet 6 inches tall, Altuve is the shortest player to play in the MLB since 1981. Altuve was doubted throughout his career before the majors, and he was constantly told he was too short to play, and constantly told to quit because of his size. Altuve tried out for several teams and was turned away. Altuve said that the Angels saw him try out and gave him a few chances, but they didn’t take him. Altuve then tried out for the Astros. After his first day of tryouts, he was turned away. Altuve showed up the next day of tryouts, perhaps hoping they wouldn’t remember him. The Astros let Altuve tryout again when he came back the second day, just because he did actually come back. Some other scouts saw him hit pretty well, and they took a chance on him. The Astros offered him a very small amount of money and Altuve took it in a heartbeat. Now, he is a World Champion. He has inspired numerous amounts of kids and people who are smaller to follow their dreams and never give up. His love for the game, his determination, and his refusal to give up helped him to become one of the greatest players in the game today, and if he keeps doing what he is capable of, he may be one of the greatest players of all time.

George Springer also has an extremely inspiring story of a challenge he overcame. He had issues with a stutter as a young kid and even as a teen, and it was difficult for him to interact with others in school. Springer said he was very self-conscious growing up and became afraid to speak out. He didn’t participate in classes, he wouldn’t speak his mind, and he would count on his parents and sister to do things like ordering food at a restaurant or answering the phone. Springer eventually embraced his stutter in high school and became confident and comfortable with himself. Springer’s stutter has gotten much better, so much so that he became the spokesperson for an organization called SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young. He has helped tons of young kids overcome their fears and has given them the confidence to speak their minds.

These two are now both World Series champions, one of them is the World Series MVP and the other has a good chance to be the AL MVP. They have inspired many and have shown that anything is possible if you refuse to quit.

ARE THE SPORTS ILLUSTRATED EXPERTS PSYCHICS???

At the beginning of the 2017 season, there may have been a few that predicted the Astros to win it all. However, not many would have predicted that a few years ago. The Astros had 3 straight seasons where they won less than 60 games, and they showed almost no signs of improvement.

In 2014, SI predicted that the Astros, who at that point were last in the league, would win the World Series in 2017. Several people thought SI writers were out of their minds, but the staff said that they believed the Astros youngsters would be reaching their primes by that point. They admitted it was a long shot, but they guessed right!

As if that prediction wasn’t crazy enough, Sports Illustrated has come out with a new prediction. They have now predicted the Houston Astros to repeat as World Series Champions. We will see if they are correct in approximately one year.

After the past two seasons, many can now predict that 2018 will also be a season to remember. We can only wait to see what records are smashed next year and who will win it all in 2018. But for now, the Houston Astros are World Champions for the first time ever…. and Sports Illustrated got it right.

 

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