As the regular season came to a close, we examined the rare occurance of how many teams won 100 games in MLB this season. In the World Series matchup between the Houston Astros and LA Dodgers, we were treated with an even rarer and astounding occurrence as two 100-win teams squared off in the Fall Classic. We got what we wanted as far as the series went, but we should have expected it with two teams that were head and shoulders above the competition the rest of the season.
The World Series hasn’t disappointed in general the last several years, as four of the last seven have gone the distance to seven games. However, we have to go all the way back to 1970 to find the last time two 100-game winners faced off in the World Series, and that series wasn’t nearly what we got this year as the Baltimore Orioles dismantled the Cincinnati Reds 4-1.
Through seven games, the Astros and Dodgers exchanged blows. Each game felt like the heavyweight bout that we had been waiting for as we were treated with pitching duels and slugfests. Each time the Astros dealt a body blow, the Dodgers countered with a cross. The Dodgers came off the ropes in Game 6, but an early haymaker in Game 7 left the Dodgers stunned and disoriented before they hit the mat in the seventh inning.
The explosive Astros offense brought dominant Dodger pitching to its knees by the end of the series and put a struggling Yu Darvish out of his misery in his Game 7 start. Darvish, who had been lights out with just two earned runs allowed in two starts in the postseason, allowed nine runs (eight earned) in two starts in the World Series.
In a series where offense dominated, the Astros and Dodgers showed what championship hitting looks like with 34 runs scored apiece. The difference ended up being timing, though, as the Astros came through with clutch runs in the extra innings, one of which came in the form a two-run dinger by Astros outfielder, and World Series MVP, George Springer in Game 2.
The 2017 World Series was truly a once-in-a-lifetime series. It really was as good as you thought it was. Now, let’s hope the offseason moves quickly so we can get back to baseball. On the bright side, there are only 100 days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.
Photo by Brigham Berthold