After six outstanding games in the World Series, Game 7 turned out to be somewhat of a dud as the LA Dodgers couldn’t muster any offense to compete with the offensive juggernaut that is the Houston Astros. After going through the entire season as the best offensive team in MLB, the Astros came up big early in Game 7 and put the Dodgers away by a final of 5-1 to become World Series Champions.
Here are three takeaways from the series.
Warm weather leads to warm bats
This year’s World Series was played in relatively warm-weather cities. Typically, the weather has cooled down considerably by the time the Fall Classic rolls around and we’re risking snow delays. When the weather is cold, pitching becomes crucial.
That wasn’t the case in this series with temperatures anywhere from 50 to 90 degrees. Warm weather keeps bats warm and helps the baseball fly. Offense was destined to prevail. The Astros were the better offensive team coming into the series and they proved it by outhitting the Dodgers in nearly every game.
Astros center fielder George Springer (series MVP) and second baseman Jose Altuve came through with big hits when it mattered most for Houston throughout the entire series. Springer in particular dominated at the plate with dingers in each of the final four games of the series and five homers overall.
Bend but don’t break
The Dodgers got into an early five-run hole behind a dismal outing by starting pitcher Yu Darvish, but the offense scratched and clawed to give themselves a chance. Down just 2-0 in the bottom of the first, center fielder Chris Taylor led off the inning with a double to center. The Dodgers then loaded the bases with two outs, but left fielder Joc Pederson struck out to end the inning and came away empty. Starting pitcher Charlie Morton bent, but didn’t break.
In four of the next five innings, LA put a runner in scoring position, but couldn’t score until pinch hitter Andre Ethier drove in Pedersen with an RBI single to right field. However, the threat didn’t break the Astros as the next 11 batters went down in order to end the season. (That’s depressing.)
Stack the bats
The 1-through-4 hitters in the Houston lineup were lethal throughout the World Series. Astros manager AJ Hinch stacked his strongest hitters at the top of the order, and it led to Houston stringing together hits on a nearly nightly basis. The four big sticks of Springer, Altuve, Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa in the Houston order combined to go 32 for 117 (.274 average) on the series. They also drove in 23 of the Astros’ 34 runs total scored.
The Dodgers were given consistent production by Corey Seager, Taylor and Cody Bellinger, but Houston’s focus on third baseman Justin Turner shut down any rally that might have been as he hit just .160 for the series. If Turner had produced as he did in the NLCS with a .333 average and seven RBIs, this series might have gone a different direction.