Houston Astros fulfill the once-ridiculed Sports illustrated World Series prophecy.
LOS ANGELES – In the end, it was pretty simple. The Houston Astros lived up to the hype and finally broke the Sports Illustrated jinx.
Back in 2014, the magazine – known for being terribly wrong for forecasting champions in sports – claimed the Houston Astros, winners of nothing in their existence, would win the 2017 World Series.
Most chuckled. Many chalked it up to SI reaching, at best.
Not only that, it also had rookie George Springer on the cover. It was another stretch.
On Wednesday night, in a sold out Dodger Stadium, the Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1.
By doing so, they actually won the 2017 World Series in seven games. And by all accounts, it was a memorable series and TV-ratings winner. MLB America was all in on the Astros first championship, ending a 55-year drought.
Even more improbable, Springer, the poster boy from that pie-in-the-sky prediction of three years ago, won the World Series MVP trophy.
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Its unbelievable, Springer said. Its indescribable.
Im so happy to be a part of it to bring a championship back, to a city that desperately needed one, is a surreal feeling.
Indeed. The city of Houston was devastated by a hurricane a few months ago. The city was flooded and damaged. It was a horrible scene. The Astros season was derailed. They had to play some of their home games in Tampa. Some players were separated from their families.
We won a couple of games along that stretch, Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. But if you want to humanize baseball, look at that story.
And it will show you what these guys go through daily in their personal lives. And on top of that, I think we were able to really keep in perspective what was going on in Houston.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers didnt deliver for LA. The city was pumped. The Dodgers had a magical regular season and made it to the World Series for the first time since 1988.
The joint was jumping for Game 7, the first time Dodger Stadium ever hosted a winner-take-all final World Series game.
But the Dodgers were no-shows in the biggest game of the year. They quickly fell behind 5-0 after the first two innings. Starter and loser Yu Darvish was roughed up for second time in the series.
I didnt make the adjustments or the stuff that I didnt have hurt, said Darvish, who lasted just 1 innings. But this pain is going to stay with me for a while.
Springer – who struck out all four at-bats in Game 1 – wound up being the World Series MVP. Hence, it was fitting that he led off the game with a double. He scored in the first inning. In the second, Springer crushed a two-run homer. It gave Houston a 5-0 lead. Ballgame.
I remember swinging and hearing the sound of the bat, Springer said about the two-run blast. And I knew it was a good sound.
Its a very surreal feeling because this is Game 7. This is what you dream about as a kid. And for that to happen is indescribable.
That homer tied him with Reggie Jackson and Chase Utley for the most in World Series action.
Springer batted .379 with five homers and seven RBI. His eight extra-base hits were the most in a World Series. Also, according to ESPN stats, he was the first player to homer in four straight games in a single World Series.
Oh yeah. Springer was fire.
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The Dodgers just werent up to the task, stranding so many base runners, 10 to be exact. They were a woeful 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
One team can only win this, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. Thats a great ballclub over there.
As for the Astros, the future is bright. Many thought they had a shot at greatness. But by no stretch was it easy. Just ask Jose Altuve.
Its a crazy journey, man, he said. But I think I was the only one in 2011, 12 and 13, those hundred losses three years in a row.
Its not easy. But I kind of believed in the process.
Or for the rest of us, all we had to do was read SI three years ago and you would have known it would, indeed, happen.