By Will Keyse
Two weeks ago, the Houston Astros (101-61) faced off against the Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58) in Major League Baseball’s World Series. The Astros outlasted the Dodgers in dramatic fashion, winning game seven on the road in Los Angeles with a score of 5-1.
The Astros came within a game of tying their franchise record in wins, falling just short of their 102 win mark in 1998. This postseason, the Astros defeated the Boston Red Sox in the Division Series and the New York Yankees in seven games during the Championship Series. Their postseason appearance was only their second in the last ten years.
2017 marked the Dodgers’ first appearance in a World Series since 1988, when they were able to bring the World Championship home to Los Angeles. The Dodgers have won five consecutive division titles in the National League West, but have fallen twice in both the division and championship series the past four years.
The World Series was the first major sporting championship following the destructive fall of hurricanes, which was of direct relevance to the city of Houston as it continues to recover from the massive damage caused from Hurricane Harvey. Throughout the postseason, Astros players wore “Houston Strong” patches on their jerseys as a symbol of solidarity with their home city.
Sophomore Noah Bader-Fourney (Boise, Idaho), a current fan of the Astros with family ties to the Houston area, weighed in on the weight of the Astros’ win:
“Seeing the Astros win the Series after all the destruction happening down in Houston is really a heart-warming thing. Especially given how bad the Astros have been for years, having them make this dark-horse run to the championship is really a sign of hope for all those victimized by the hurricanes.”
The series featured a combined 22 home runs from both teams, including a single-game record of eight home runs in the explosive game two. George Springer, the Astros’ World Series Most Valuable Player, also tied a World Series record with five home runs.
For Dodgers fans, the World Series loss represented another disappointment in a string of seasons marred by failed expectations. With the uprising of rookie Cody Bellinger this season and the acquisition of ace pitcher Yu Darvish at the trade deadline, the Dodgers were heavy favorites to take the title.
Los Angeles native, longtime Dodgers fan and Puget Sound sophomore Jacob McKinney lamented the team’s thwarted championship run:
“Watching game seven was definitely a devastating experience for me. To see the team come so close to pulling out a World Series title at home but blowing it in the last game was tough. Still though, I gotta hand it to my team for pulling their act together after their rough stretch towards the end of the regular season. They beat two high-caliber teams in the Diamondbacks and Cubs through the first two rounds and that Houston team was as hot as they come.”
Major League Baseball fans can tune in this week to the different awards presented to players and managers, including the Most Valuable Player and Cy Young awards.