This was a hitter’s Series, and America should be thrilled. After a record-breaking number of home runs in both the regular season and the World Series, an inspirational run by an underdog team from a devastated city, and a better marriage proposal than yours, this was easily one of the greatest World Series of all time.
The story of the 2017 season will undoubtedly be all about the long ball. We were introduced to guys like rookies Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger who blew our minds, and next year’s likely #1 overall fantasy baseball pick Giancarlo Stanton going ham in Miami. The World Series was a perfect reflection of the 2017 season by featuring the two best teams from the regular season and also a ludicrous amount of home runs at 25 over 7 games.
If Disney isn’t already casting an inspirational film about the 2017 Astros, someone else is. Seriously, you’ve got every single element of an inspirational movie here: a hurricane-ravaged city looking for some kind of hope, a 5’6” second baseman who will likely be honored with a Rudy-esque movie of his own, a slugging World Series MVP who has overcome a stutter, and I’m sure Yasiel Puig would be fine being portrayed as a villain.
The outcome of the Series comes down to two big numbers going against expectations: The Dodgers and their $240 million payroll again failed to get it done in the postseason, and the Astros bullpen, straining under a 7.29 ERA going into Game 7, shut down a loaded Los Angeles lineup to lock down the win. Postseason pressure makes every player different, and that’s why Yu Darvish, a regular season ace with a career 3.42 ERA, was saddled with the Game 7 loss and Charlie Morton, with a career losing record and 4.41 ERA, got the win.
This Series featured two of the most powerful offenses from the regular season, and the power was certainly present, but the .201 average posted by Dodgers hitters, and particularly their lack of patience at the plate at the end of Game 7, and too much eagerness for the long ball or the big hit.
After failing in the NLCS last year, the disappointment of losing in the World Series is certainly magnified in 2017 for Los Angeles: “Obviously, this one hurts,” manager Dave Roberts told the Associated Press
“And like I told the guys, when you put everything, every ounce of your being into something and you come up short, it hurts. And it’s supposed to hurt.”
While the Dodgers will have to console themselves with their millions and probably some dramatic walks on crowded beaches, they’ll likely be right back in it last year, as they return all the major pieces of the franchise.
The Astros, on the other hand, get the first title in franchise history and the love of a city still rising from the ashes, and that’s something worth cheering for.