LOS ANGELES — The Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 of the World Series, winning their first championship in their 56-year franchise history. More than that, they accomplished something no other team has ever pulled off so convincingly, going from three consecutive seasons of total hell to the top of the baseball mountain in a span of just four years.
LOS ANGELES — The second-highest-scoring World Series game ever. The most home runs in a World Series, ever. In a Fall Classic that’s given is so many huge, screaming highlights, the game that pushed us to a Game 7 had something else: a passel of tiny, little moments that reminded us of all the different ways that baseball can be great.
HOUSTON — Forty-three thousand, three hundred people attended Game 5 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park. Every man, woman and child in the building smoked a carton of cigarettes when it was over.
HOUSTON– We want to believe. We watch the ace pitcher mow down everyone in sight, and we believe he’s got the hot hand, and that he’ll go right on dominating. We see the star slugger go into a deep funk, and we yell at the manager to bench his sorry ass.
HOUSTON — The first World Series victory in Astros history was complete madness, a thrill ride that broke multiple records, and sent Dodger Stadium into fits of ecstasy and agony, all within minutes of each other. The second World Series victory was over by the second inning, because one of the most dominant pitchers in the world suddenly threw a bunch of meatballs.
LOS ANGELES — In retrospect, we should have seen it coming. When the great Vin Scully walked onto the field at majestic Dodger Stadium to address the crowd, we should have known. When he made us laugh and tear up, reminiscing about Jackie and the Duke, we should have raised our expectations.
LOS ANGELES — No matter how much we learn about statistical analysis, no matter how educated we get on sample sizes, no matter how much we try to embrace logic, sports will always be governed by one eight-letter word: ringzzzz.
That’s how we end up doing something as spectacularly stupid as doubting Clayton Kershaw.
LOS ANGELES — We’re gathered here for the 113th edition of the World Series, waiting for 101 degrees at first pitch. It’s going to be the hottest start ever to a Fall Classic.
The question then becomes: Will it also become one of the best? The Dodgers and Astros combined to win 205 games this season.
If you’re a fan of any MLB team that’s not the Dodgers, it’s easy to become cynical. They rolled into the season with the highest payroll in the majors (by far) at $242 million. Then they added pieces throughout the season, most notably the great Yu Darvish.
CHICAGO– Walking around Wrigley Field 90 minutes before the start of Game 3 of the NLCS, you’ll find lots of familiar faces. Dignitaries, shiny TV folks in immaculate suits and dresses, various superfans. But no one flashed a bigger grin than Dodgers General Manager Farhan Zaidi.
With good reason.