Thursday, November 2, 2017

George Springer Leads Houston Astros To Game Seven Victory, World Series Championship

Players of the Day for Wednesday, November 1, 2017

World Series

George Springer's two-run homer in the second inning off Dodger starter, Yu Darvish, proved decisive as the Houston Astros captured the first World Series championship in franchise history, dating back to 1962, when they entered the National League as the Colt 45s.
Springer: World Series MVP

Houston's 5-1 victory was the first road win for either team.

Springer's blast - his fifth of the series - tied a World Series record held by Reggie Jackson and Chase Utley and capped a three-run, second inning uprising that sent Darvish to the showers early for the second time in the series.

Darvish lasted just 1 2/3 innings, the same span as in game three, when he allowed four runs on six hits in a 5-3 Houston win.

With the lead in hand, Houston's pitchers took over, keeping the Dodgers off the scoreboard until the sixth inning, when they plated their only run of the game, when Andre Ethier singled off Charlie Morton, sending home Joc Peterson.

Morton, who gave up just two hits over four innings, was credited with the win, his first of the series, striking out four and issuing one walk.

Especially early on, the Dodgers had their chances, but failed to come through in the clutch, leaving 10 men stranded for the game.

Springer, in addition to his five home runs, drove in seven runs and batted .379. He was named Most Valuable Player of the World Series.

Houston played in the National League from 1962 to 2012, then moved into the AL West division in 2013, losing 111 games in their first year in the new league, but they continued to build and improve. In 2014, they finished the regular season with a record of 70-92. In 2015, they went 86-76, finishing two games behind the Texas Rangers in the division, reaching the playoffs as a wild card.

In 2016, the Astros didn't make the playoffs, going 84-78, but rebounded to a record of 101-61 in 2017, winning the West division by a whopping 21 games. While Houston's regular season home record of 48-33 was impressive, the Astros were beasts on the road, going 53-28.

Houston defeated Boston in the ALDS, three games to one, but, in the championship series, were sent to a seventh game by the Yankees, winning a 4-0 shutout engineered by Charlie Morton, who took the win, allowing two hits over five innings. Lance McCullers completed the whitewash with four innings in relief, allowing only one hit.

The Astros will have ample time to enjoy their championship. Houston's first Spring training game isn't until March 3, 2018.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Chris Taylor, Kenley Jansen Power 3-1 Dodger Win, Force Game Seven With Astros

Players of the Day for Tuesday, October 31, 2017

World Series

Taylor: RBI Double
Chris Taylor's sixth-inning double off Houston starter, Justin Verlander, sent Austin Barnes to the plate, tying the game at a run apiece in game six of the World Series. Chase Utley moved to third on the play, and scored when Corey Saeger nearly left the yard, lifting a long fly ball to the wall in right field. Josh Reddick calmly made the catch, but had no chance to get Utley, who tagged up and scored on the sac fly.

Jansen: 2IP, 0H, 3K, 0ER
An inning later, an ebullient Joc Pederson added insurance with a solo home run and closer Kenley Jansen made the runs stand up with two perfect innings in relief for the 3-1 victory over Houston, tying the series at three games each, setting up a fitting final game seven.

Houston's only run came in the third inning on a home run by George Springer, his fourth of the series, but that was all the Astros could produce, despite scoring chances in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings.

Taylor's double was his only hit of the game. He's batting .259 with three homers and seven RBI in the post-season. Jansen, who was saddled with the loss in game five, was nothing short of brilliant, throwing 18 of 19 pitches for strikes against the six batters he faced, striking out three. It was Jansen's second save of the series and fifth in the post-season. Jansen was tied with Colorado's Greg Holland for the National League regular season lead in saves with 41.

The baseball season will officially end sometime late Wednesday night at the conclusion of game seven. First pitch is slated for 8:09 pm ET at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.