History was made by the Houston Astros on Nov. 1, 2017. On this date, the Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series with a final score of 5-1.
— Houston Astros (@astros) November 2, 2017
The win was their first in 56 years, and their first as the Astros. When they last won the World Series, Houston’s team was called the Colt .45s. Houston last saw a major sports championship win in 1995, when the Houston Rockets won the NBA Championship.
The Houston Astros did not have an easy road to their first World Series win. A relatively slow regular season start had them battling for the top spot in their division, and the mid-summer injury of infielder Carlos Correa hurt them on both offense and defense.
Beginning on Aug. 17, Hurricane Harvey ravaged the Texas coast in addition to Louisiana and much of the Caribbean. This disaster effectively put the city of Houston underwater well into September and made baseball difficult, if at all possible.
As the city recovered from the hurricane, the Astros rebuilt as well.
— Houston Astros (@astros) November 9, 2017
Toward the end of August, the Astros acquired veteran Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and signed outfielder Cameron Maybin from the Angels. On Sept. 1, Carlos Correa returned to the lineup after being on the disabled list for nearly six weeks. Throughout the end of the season, Houston continued to improve.
By the end of the 2017 regular season, the Astros had the third-best record in all of baseball behind the Cleveland Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Upon entering the playoffs, Houston made quick work of the Boston Red Sox in the first round.
Their postseason continued against the New York Yankees, who they outlasted to win the American League and clinch their spot in the World Series. Here, the Astros would take on a formidable Los Angeles Dodgers team that boasted the best regular season record in baseball.
The Dodgers were also busy in terms of new acquisitions, adding two intimidating pitchers to their rotation: longtime Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish and former Cincinnati Reds starter Tony Cingrani.
November 1, 2017 is one date #Astros fans won't soon forget.
— Houston Astros (@astros) November 7, 2017
Throughout the first few games of the World Series, it was apparent that baseball fans were witnessing two evenly-matched teams, who were truly the best two in Major League baseball.
Game 7 started well for Houston, and despite a bit of doubt, ended with the best possible outcome. Astros batters scored a quick five runs off Dodgers starter Yu Darvish, but hit a wall when Darvish was removed.
Seasoned Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took the mound as a reliever and stumped the Astros offense for innings to come. On defense, Houston starter Lance McCullers was removed during the third inning after hitting four Dodgers batters and subsequently setting a disreputable World Series record.
After McCullers left the mound, Astros pitching would ultimately win the day. Though seven of the first 12 Dodgers batters reached base, none scored. Lance McCullers was the first of five pitchers the Dodgers would face that night. Brad Peacock, Francisco Liriano, Chris Devenski, and Charlie Morton all contributed to the World Series win from on top of the mound.
Morton would surrender the lone Dodgers run, which came in the sixth inning when Andre Either hit a single that would allow Joc Pederson to score. Morton finished out the game, holding the score at 5-1 and solidifying the win for Houston.
The win could not have come at a better time. The city is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey, and bad news about the city’s NFL team, the Texans, seemingly never ends.
There is no question that the Astros deserved their Series win, but a new question was presented on Nov. 3 by Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel.
During the team’s victory parade, Keuchel gave a voice to the thousands of Astros fans wondering the same thing as he said, “What the hell took us so long to win a World Series?”