By Ethan Marshall — SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
The Houston Astros won their first World Series championship by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
The Astros struck early on Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, scoring twice in the first inning and three times in the second. Darvish was pulled from the game in the second inning after allowing a two-out, two-run home run to centerfielder George Springer.
While Brandon Morrow, Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Alex Wood combined for 7.1 shutout innings, the Dodgers’ offense couldn’t get much going against the Astros. The Dodgers went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 baserunners. Their only run with runners in scoring position came on a pinch-hit RBI single by Andre Ethier in the sixth inning, accounting for the team’s lone run.
The Astros pitching went by committee, with starter Lance McCullers Jr. pitching 2.1 shutout innings before Brad Peacock pitched the next two innings. Francisco Liriano and Chris Devenski recorded the final two outs of the fifth inning. Charlie Morton pitched the final four innings, allowing just one run on two hits, walking one batter and striking out four, earning the win in Game 7.
Springer led off the game with a double to left field, scoring on first baseman Cody Bellinger’s throwing error on a groundball hit by Alex Bregman. Bregman, who advanced to second on the error, stole third before scoring on a Jose Altuve groundout. In the second inning, pitcher McCullers Jr. drove in a run on a groundout, becoming the first American League pitcher to record an RBI in the World Series since Andy Pettite of the Yankees in the 2009 World Series. The next batter, Springer, hit a two-run home run, putting the Astros up 5-0 at the time.
Springer, who would be named World Series Most Valuable Player, was the catalyst for the Astros offense in Game 7. Springer went 2-for-5 at the plate with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored. He batted .379 in the World Series, with five homers and seven RBIs. He is the first player to hit home runs in four consecutive games in a single World Series, doing so from Game 4 to Game 7. His eight extra-base hits set a record for the most by one player in a single fall classic.
“This is a dream come true and an honor,” Springer said upon receiving the Willie Mays World Series MVP Award. “But it’s about the Houston Astros tonight, our city, our fans. That patch on our chests really does mean something. We’re coming home champions.”