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Highlights from the Astros’ World Series Game 7 win over the Dodgers

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The Astros are your 2017 World Series champions after defeating the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7.

World Series - Houston Astros v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Seven Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Astros came out swinging early, and took out Yu Darvish before he could get through two innings, again. They wouldn’t score again, but they didn’t need to: the five runs they put up to get the game started were three more than they needed to defeat the Dodgers and win their first-ever World Series championship.

As usual, if you want to read from the beginning, scroll down to the “1st inning” header and work your way back up.

9th inning

Charlie Morton hit for himself to lead off the ninth inning. He just stood in place waiting to strike out, and he did strike out, but this means he’s just saving his energy to pitch in the bottom of the ninth.

Justin Verlander is warming up now, by the way. So Morton is starting the ninth, but that doesn’t mean he’ll finish it. Considering the Astros are here at all in large part because of Verlander, and he’s been waiting to win a World Series for basically his entire MLB career — the 2006 Tigers were an early disappointment he was involved in — you could see Hinch wanting him on the field to finish things off.

The Astros are retired in order, and we’re now on to the Dodgers’ last chance. It’ll be whoever pinch-hits for Alex Wood, then Chris Taylor, then Corey Seager due up.

Chase Utley is the pinch-hitter, and now would be a good time for him to snap that 0-for-9,000,000 postseason drought he’s in. Or he could just get hit by another pitch to reach base. It counts the same.

Utley strikes out, so he’s now 0-for-his-last-9,000,001 in the postseason. The Dodgers are down to their final two outs, and Morton is still here to face Chris Taylor. Taylor gets five pitches out of Morton, but ends up grounding out.

The Dodgers’ entire hope for coming back now rests on the shoulders of Corey Seager. He swings at the first pitch, grounds right to Jose Altuve in right field, who gets the throw to Yuli Gurriel to secure the Astros’ first-ever World Series championship.

The Astros win, 5-1, snapping a drought that began in 1962. The Dodgers will have to make like Brooklyn and wait ‘til next year, but with this young core, you know there will be a next year.

8th inning

Jansen is indeed not sticking around for the whole game, and he’s been replaced by Alex Wood. Wood gets Gurriel to line out to center for the first out of the eighth and his outing, and then gets McCann looking on a two-seamer on the outside part of the plate for the second out.

Marwin Gonzalez makes the third out of the inning, and it’s another 1-2-3 frame for the Dodgers. Pitching hasn’t been a problem for them since Yu Darvish left the game, but he sure made his mark in his short start.

Charlie Morton is pitching for the Astros here again in the eighth. He’s still rolling, too, as he gets Pederson to strike out, and then Forsythe to fly out. Keuchel is still warming up, but Morton just ended the eighth inning on his 43rd pitch of the night. The Dodgers have three outs remaining, the Astros have options, and more importantly, they have a 5-1 lead.

7th inning

It’s just the seventh inning, but Kenley Jansen is in all the same. It makes sense: if the Dodgers can’t keep the Astros from scoring more runs, they’re not going to have a chance to close this out with their normal ninth inning guy, anyway.

George Springer hit a fly ball to center, and it took a nifty sliding catch from Chris Taylor to turn it into an out, but it’s an out. A pretty out. Bregman strikes out for the second out, but Jose Altuve manages to work a walk against Jansen.

Altuve then steals second base with help from an off-target throw by Barnes, and the Astros have a runner in scoring position for Correa. Altuve will be stranded there, though, because apparently no one in this game will ever score a run again.

The Dodgers hope that’s not true, given their 3-4-5 hitters are due up this inning, and they’re also running out of chances to catch up. Los Angeles is down to their final nine outs of the 2017 season, unless they can score a bunch of runs in a hurry to tie this thing up or go ahead.

It’s Morton on the mound again, facing off against Justin Turner. Morton falls behind 2-1, but then Turner gives him the gift of swinging at a pitch that was closer to the ground than the strike zone.

Dallas Keuchel is warming in the Astros’ bullpen, by the way. AJ Hinch is probably going to do everything he can to avoid using another actual reliever from his bullpen.

Cody Bellinger struck out but that’s basically not even newsworthy at this point. Joe Buck deadpanning, “He’s had a rough night” during his intro for Bellinger, however, was glorious.

Puig grounds out, the Dodgers are down to six outs, and are still down by four runs.

6th inning

Carlos Correa reaches base when Corey Seager can’t quite get to a grounder that goes into the outfield. That’s only the second baserunner Kershaw has allowed since coming into the game in the third. Kershaw, by the way, has thrown just 36 pitches. 37 now, as he induces a grounder back to him that results in the first out of the inning. Correa gets to second base, however.

Logan Forsythe just made a great defensive play, as he was shifted all the way into right field and somehow still picked up a grounder and made a strong throw to first to get Brian McCann. Correa moves over to third, Marwin Gonzalez gets intentionally walked, and then Evan Gattis pinch-hits for Josh Reddick against the lefty Kershaw.

Remember, Gattis doesn’t have significant platoon splits, but it’s also not going to matter here, as he gets intentionally walked to bring up another pinch-hitter, Cameron Maybin — it gets Kershaw a different matchup, and also, maybe more importantly, forces AJ Hinch to take Chris Devenski out of the game now and go to another pitcher in the bottom of the frame.

Maybin pops out, Kershaw has still thrown just 43 pitches through four innings of work, and the Astros are going to put in a new pitcher for the bottom of the sixth. Even though Houston just failed to drive in any runners with the bases loaded, they still lead 5-0.

Charlie Morton, who threw just 76 pitches in Game 4, is now in the game for the Astros. Springer moved to right field with Reddick out of the game, by the way, with Maybin taking over in center. Morton took Gattis’ spot in the lineup, so the pitcher is now batting eighth for the Astros.

Morton’s appearance begins with Pederson singling to center. Forsythe works a full count, then fouls off the sixth pitch to stay alive. It pays off, with Forsythe drawing the walk, and now there are two on and no outs for Austin Barnes.

Barnes pops out, and now we come to the end of Kershaw’s night: Andre Ethier is pinch-hitting here with two runners on.

Kershaw certainly did his job, not allowing a run while giving the Dodgers four innings. It’s not quite a good “start” if you combine his run with Darvish’s, but hey, he didn’t make things even one tiny bit worse.

And the Dodgers are on the board! Ethier hits a ground ball into right field, scoring Joc Pederson. There are now runners on first and second, and the top of the Dodgers’ order is back up. This is their chance to close this gap, at least by a few runs, and with a few innings left to get the rest.

By the way, that might have been Ethier’s last at-bat with the Dodgers, as he’s a free agent this offseason. Or will be, once the Dodgers decline to pick up his option. While Ethier has been an injured non-factor for two years now, he’s still been in the majors with the Dodgers for 12 seasons, and has a 122 OPS+ with them.

Taylor strikes out swinging, and that’s two outs. Corey Seager breaks his bat on a ground ball — Morton had to avoid the bat, as it went to the side of the mound he falls off of — and the Astros end the threat while allowing only the one run.

5th inning

It’s a good thing Kershaw didn’t exit the game for a pinch-hitter, as he kicks off the fifth with strikeouts of George Springer and Alex Bregman. Here’s Jose Altuve. He pops out in foul territory to Bellinger at first, and Kershaw is through another 1-2-3 inning.

If you think that was a fast description of half-an-inning, let me introduce you to Chris Taylor flying out on the first pitch he sees from Peacock in the bottom of the fifth. Things slowed down considerably after that, as Seager drew a walk in a nine-pitch at-bat, which brings up Justin Turner. Turner is just excited that he’s not going to get hit by a pitch again.

There is action in the Astros’ bullpen, and neither of the names inspire confidence. Francisco Liriano is warming up, likely to face an eventual left-hander, and Chris Devenski is getting ready for what will likely be a lengthier appearance less concerned with platoon splits.

Bregman knocks down a Justin Turner ground ball, except it’s more like a deflection that keeps Carlos Correa from fielding the ball. So, instead of getting the second out of the inning, there is still just the one out, and now there are two runners on.

Francisco Liriano is coming in to replace Brad Peacock, and he’s doing so to face the left-handed Cody Bellinger. This is... going to be very sad for one of the two players. Bellinger vs. Liriano is the individual version of the Indians vs. Cubs World Series matchup right now. Someone has to succeed, against all odds, and the other one is just going to feel awful when they don’t.

Bellinger has struck out 16 times in the World Series, a record. He’s looked absolutely lost for most of the last few days, and is struggling against breaking stuff. Liriano has been avoided at basically every turn despite being the lone lefty in the Astros’ bullpen, because the Astros couldn’t fix him after trading for him like they hoped they could.

Good news, Dodgers’ fans! Bellinger didn’t strike out, and moved a runner over to third. The bad news? He grounded out. There was contact, though, and that’s been missing in this series. Here comes AJ Hinch again, not wanting Liriano to face Yasiel Puig with runners on: it’ll be Chris Devenski, presumably for more than just the one batter.

Devenski gets Puig down 0-2, but then throws a ball in the dirt McCann has to get to his feet to corral. Puig swings at the 1-2 and fouls it back, and is visibly incredibly mad at himself for not sending it into the bleachers.

Puig lines out, the Dodgers strand a couple more baserunners, and it’s still, somehow, 5-0 Astros.

4th inning

Kershaw strikes out Brian McCann on three pitches to open the fourth inning, bringing up Marwin Gonzalez. He singles on a grounder, and then makes his way to second on a wild pitch. Josh Reddick grounds out on the next pitch, so that wild pitch ended up keeping the Astros from ending the inning with a double play.

That brings up Brad Peacock, who will obviously come out to pitch in the bottom of the fourth here if the Astros aren’t pinch-hitting for him. Peacock flies out, but hey, contact!

In the bottom of the fourth, Logan Forsythe leads off against Peacock. He grounds out on the fifth pitch, bringing up Austin Barnes. The camera crew panned on Andre Ethier in the dugout for quite a bit during Forsythe’s at-bat, as he was putting in eye drops and standing, and then there was no one deck for the Dodgers.

With Barnes popping out for the second out of the inning instead of reaching base, however, Kershaw gets to stay in and bat, meaning he’ll also start pitching in the fifth. He strikes out, and the Astros remain up 5-0 after four innings.

3rd inning

Clayton Kershaw is here in relief of Morrow for his fifth career postseason relief appearance. As Buck mentions, his most recent came in Game 5 of the 2016 NLDS against the Nationals.

Kershaw wasn’t his usual dominant self in his Game 5 start, blowing a four-run lead the Dodgers gave him. He also wasn’t the most responsible for the Dodgers’ eventual defeat, as that was a team effort in the most ridiculous game of the World Series so far.

Kershaw gets the first two outs on just four pitches, so he’s looking more like the version of him the Dodgers need. Here’s Yuli Gurriel again, which I could tell without looking up thanks to the boos.

Gurriel ends up striking out looking on a pitch right on the inside corner, and Kershaw’s got the Dodgers’ first 1-2-3 inning of Game 7.

Here’s Corey Seager to lead off the third for the Dodgers. McCullers hasn’t given up a run yet, but three hit by pitches and two hits — now three hits, as Seager knocks a ball over the infield mid-sentence — isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in that trend continuing. On the other hand, the Astros’ bullpen doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in preventing runs, either, so this is some serious if it ain’t broke territory.

McCullers just hit Justin Turner with a pitch again, this time in the back, and the Astros’ right-hander cannot throw a fastball inside with any kind of command whatsoever. In a related story, Brad Peacock is warming.

Cody Bellinger is up, and swings right through a curveball that fell out of the zone. He lays off of the second one, at least, but eventually strikes out looking as lost as he has most of the World Series.

AJ Hinch comes out to pull McCullers, which, after a strikeout to Bellinger, is a move that’s insulting to both players. “Hey Lance, you’re pitching like shit, but also, literally anyone can get Cody Bellinger out right now, so I’m not going to make Brad Peacock waste the pitches on him.”

Also, Brad Peacock is on in relief of McCullers. Puig flies out, and it moves Seager over to third base, but otherwise is just out number two. Joc Pederson is up, and he’s still the hottest hitter on the Dodgers at the moment, and a significant part of why they’re even here for Game 7.

He strikes out here against Peacock, though, and the Dodgers have now stranded seven baserunners in three innings. Astros lead, 5-0.

2nd inning

Darvish isn’t exactly having an easy time putting hitters away, but he is pitching better than he was at the start when it started to look like it was going to be a short night for him and a long one for his Dodgers. Brian McCann works a full count on seven pitches, and then draws a leadoff walk.

Hey, it’s still better. It’s just not good.

It’s a good thing Brian McCann runs like you would expect a catcher in his 30s to run, as Marwin Gonzalez hit a double to the gap in right-center that got all the way to the wall. The Dodgers’ bullpen is now stirring, and here comes Josh Reddick with two runners in scoring position and no outs.

Reddick, as he has done since the ALCS began, makes an out, and here’s Lance McCullers. McCullers ends up avoiding the bunt, but gets essentially the same thing thanks to the Dodgers’ infield not playing in: a ground out to second drives in McCann, makes it 3-0, Astros, and brings George Springer to the plate once again.

It’s a full count to Springer, and Dodger Stadium gets on its feet, blue towels in hand. Springer unloads on the 3-2 pitch, and it’s now 5-0 Astros. That dinger also gives Springer a tie with Utley and Reggie Jackson for the most homers in a single World Series with five.

Also also, he passed Willie Stargell to take sole possession of the record for the most extra-base hits in one World Series with eight.

Yu Darvish exits the game, meaning in both of his World Series starts, he failed to complete two innings. Brandon Morrow comes in again, so he’s now pitched in every single World Series game, and ends the inning with a strikeout.

It’s 5-0, Astros, and on just three hits. Also that whole “it’s the second inning” thing.

Insult to injury, much?

Logan Forsythe, who again, has quietly been having a very good postseason, leads off the bottom of the second with a single. That brings up Austin Barnes with a man on and no outs.

Clayton Kershaw is now warming in the Dodgers’ bullpen, by the way.

We get it, Alex Bregman. You’re so good at defense. Stop rubbing it in! You’re going to hurt Austin Barnes’ feelings with plays like that.

McCullers hits Kiké Hernandez — pinch-hitting for Brandon Morrow — with a pitch, barely, and it puts a second runner on for Chris Taylor and the top of the Dodgers’ order. It might be 5-0, but the wrong pitch could make it 5-3 in a single swing here.

Or... the right pitch could be hit directly at Carlos Correa for the first out, and then Barnes could be doubled off second, and the Astros could escape the second inning unscathed. Oh, look at that!

It’s 5-0 Astros after two.

1st inning

Yu Darvish needs this start to go better than his last one. Don’t worry, this live blog is going to be full of super helpful analysis just like that! Seriously, though, Darvish pitched so poorly it was fair to wonder if he was once again tipping his pitches, but no, his stuff was just poorly located and flat as hell, and the Dodgers were lucky he allowed “just” the four runs.

He was typical Darvish in his first two postseason starts, striking out 14 over 11-1/3 innings with two runs allowed. If that guy shows up again in Game 7, even for just four or five innings, that will be a huge boost to the Dodgers.

George Springer leads if off for the Astros, one World Series homer shy of tying the single-series record — held by Chase Utley and Reggie Jackson — and an extra-base hit shy of an extra-base hit in six consecutive World Series games.

He gets the extra-base hit he needs with a leadoff double, and then is immediately driven in when the Dodgers can’t complete a play at first on a grounder by Alex Bregman, instead throwing it away. Springer scores, it’s 1-0 Astros, and Bregman gets to second.

That double also tied Springer with Willie Stargell for the most extra-base hits in a single World Series, with seven. While typing this, Bregman steals third base, and then Jose Altuve drives him in with a ground ball. 2-0, Astros.

There have been too many ridiculous comebacks and too many big dingers in this series for any Dodgers’ fans to panic at this quick lead of Houston’s, but still, having this start stop right about now would probably do a better job of reminding them of that than me just saying it.

Correa grounds out, bringing up Yuli Gurriel and the chorus of boos that accompany his plate appearances in Los Angeles. Gurriel tipped his helmet to Darvish, who he made a racist gesture against during Game 3 after hitting a home run off of the righty, but the crowd is not letting him off the hook. Don’t read that as me suggesting they should, either. At least someone is holding him accountable for his actions.

FOX, MLB

Gurriel has been up there for 12 pitches already, and it’s been a 3-2 count for most of them. Darvish finally gets out of the inning on pitch 13, but it’s already 2-0, and that will be hard to erase. Until the Dodgers answer with like four homers or something here in the bottom of the first, I’m not putting anything past this series.

It’ll be the usual for the Dodgers in the first: Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner. McCullers gave up one run last time out, and then the Astros’ bullpen allowed the two runners he left behind to score, giving him three allowed in 5-1/3.

Taylor leads off with a double, and Dodger Stadium is alive once again. Seager can’t do a thing to move him over, though, as McCullers exploits what Joe Buck describes as a hole Seager has had in his swing this series, and strikes out.

Justin Turner quickly goes down 0-2. McCullers ends up losing him with a hit by pitch, though, and Turner is now at first. Here comes Cody Bellinger, who spent Game 6 setting a new World Series record by striking out 14 times. Strikeouts are just another out, of course, but also, Bellinger has made a lot of outs this Fall Classic.

That record just increased, as Bellinger whiffs on a curveball, his 15th strikeout of the World Series.

Here’s Yasiel Puig, trying to keep the Dodgers from wasting this potential response to the Astros’ two-run first inning. If he can reach, Joc Pederson will come up, and that’s been good news for Los Angeles since he started playing on the reg again.

McCullers hits Puig to load the bases, and here’s Pederson, who is batting .357/.438/1143 in the World Series. Like Springer coming into this Game 7, Pederson has an extra-base hit in five consecutive World Series games. Unlike Springer, Pederson made an out in his first plate appearance of the game, and the Astros escape the first with a 2-0 lead.


George Springer is World Series MVP and hero to kids who stutter