PCI: Best Sports Moment of 2017
Astros Win First Title
By Ethan Ticehurst ’18
The best sports moment of this past year occurred when the Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series in Game 7 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It was a triumph of David over Goliath, a true underdog storybook moment. The team that had never found sustained success in franchise history finally overcame the odds and took down one of the most storied teams in Major League Baseball history.
Part of the excitement over this victory is due to the nature of the playoffs that took place before the World Series was even played. In order to have a shot at being world champions, both the Astros and the Dodgers encountered difficult opponents in their respective League Championship Series.
It took the Astros seven games to take out the resurgent and youthful New York Yankees, while the Dodgers had to finish off the previous year’s champion, the Chicago Cubs. Both series helped to raise the stakes and the excitement for the final showdown.
After seven hard-fought games, the Astros emerged from the dust as the champions of the 2017 MLB season. After many years of less- than-stellar play and a transfer from the National League to the American League, many baseball fans were happy to see the Astros finally win their first championship in team history, and do it in a very entertaining way. It ranks as the best sports moment of 2017 not just for all of the above reasons, but also because it was nice to see the Astros win their first championship only a year after the Cub’s ended their 108-year World Series drought. Here’s hoping that next year brings the rise of another underdog.
By Jack Belanger ’21
By winning Game 7 on Nov. 1, the Houston Astros officially won the 2017 World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Houston scored five runs in the first two innings off of Los Angeles starter Yu Darvish, to put the Astros ahead early and take the life out of the crowd.
The Dodgers threatened to score multiple times throughout the game, but left 10 men on base and would only score one run.
The Astros dominated all nine innings and won the game 5-1. Outfielder George Springer was named World Series MVP. He tied a series record by hitting five home runs and set a record for extra-base hits with eight and total bases with 29.
This is Houston’s first World Series title in team history, dating back to 1962 when they were known as the Houston Colt .45’s.
Since 2013 when they lost 111 games, the Astros have been improving every season to the point of winning 101 games this year.
A World Series to Remember
By Jack Belanger ’21
What a series it has been. Every game in this World Series was a hard fought battle; neither team got blownout. The Dodgers and Astros won over 100 games this year and couldn’t have been more evenly matched. The teams have three Cy Young Award winners in Clayton Kershaw, Dallas Keuchel, and Justin Verlander. Neither team lacked any firepower as 14 different players hit at least one home run, and through five games the teams combined to hit 22 home runs which set a new World Series record.
In Game One, we saw Kershaw and Keuchel square off. Kershaw managed to put on one of the better pitching performances in recent years as he went seven innings only allowing one run on three hits, while striking out 11 Astros. Keuchel also seemed to be cruising, allowing one run through the fifth inning. In the sixth inning, Dodger Justin Turner hit the go-ahead two run home run to give LA a 3-1 lead which they would hold onto.
Game Two foreshadowed the late game theatrics we would see later in the series. This game featured eight home runs, including five in extra innings. Down 3-2 in the ninth inning, Houston left fielder Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo shot to tie the game. Houston then took a 5-3 lead in the top of the tenth with home runs from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. In the bottom of the tenth it was the Dodgers’ turn to rally as they tied the game with a home run from Yasiel Puig and a RBI single from Kike Hernandez. Houston finally took the lead for good in the 11th on a two-run homer from center fielder George Springer, making the lead 7-5.
Game Three did not feature any late game drama as Houston grabbed four runs early in the second inning off starter Yu Darvish, with a home run from Yuli Gurriel and RBI singles from Gonzalez and catcher Brian McCann. The Dodger close the gap with runs in the sixth but couldn’t gain any more ground on Houston.
Game Four saw the Dodgers rally for five runs, after a 1-1 tie, in the ninth inning off closer Ken Giles, to tie the series at two games apiece. Dodger Joc Pederson hit the dagger, with a three-run shot to make the game 6-1, and eventually tying the series at two games apiece.
Nobody could have expected how Game Five turned out. With Kershaw and Keuchel squaring off again, no one could have imagined the firepower that would be on display. The wild game featured seven home runs, three ties, and four lead changes. The Dodgers managed to grab a 4-0 lead but the Astros rallied to tie it in the fourth inning on a three-run shot from Gurriel. In the fifth, each team traded three-run home runs to make the score 7-7. In the seventh inning, the Astros managed to make it 11-8, but the Dodgers were not out yet. Down 12-11 in the top of the ninth inning with a guy on third and two outs, Dodger Chris Taylor hit a game-tying single to keep LA’s hopes alive and send the game into extra innings. Then, in the bottom of the 10th inning, Houston put the game to rest when Alex Bregman hit a walk-off single as Derek Fisher scored all the way from second base.
In game six, Verlander looked to seal Houston’s first ever World Series title, and through five innings that is what it looked like. Going into the sixth up 1-0, Verlander allowed the first two LA batters reach base. Then Taylor hit a double to tie the game. Seager hit a sacrifice fly to put the Dodgers up 2-1. Joc Pederson hit a homer in the 7th to make it 3-1 and the bullpen for LA was able to shut down the Astros to force a game seven.