Astros thrash Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 7 to claim franchise’s first World Series title

Astros catcher Brian McCann leaps in the arms of pitcher Charlie Morton, who pitched four innings to close out Game 7 and secure Houston’s first World Series title. (Matt Slocum/Associated Press)

By Dave Sheinin  |  Washington Post

 As they awoke from restless sleep on the first day of November, as they stared into their morning coffee, as they held their faces under their hotel-room showers, as they gazed out bus windows at the gray haze of afternoon on their way to work, the Houston Astros couldn’t shake the magnitude of what was to come. They have spoken openly about the awe they have felt playing at some of the game’s most storied venues during these playoffs, but nothing that came before would compare to this: Game 7 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium. They told themselves their time had come.

And as they came hurtling out of their dugout after the final out Wednesday night, amassing behind the pitcher’s mound and tossing gloves, hats and care to the air, they did so with all the euphoria befitting a franchise’s first World Series title and with all the confirmation they needed: This was the Astros’ time after all.

In a definitive and thorough 5-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the American League champion Astros broke a taut, nine-day stalemate with the National League champs, in a series full of intrigue and drama, and validated the organization’s long teardown and rebuild that for a long while made them an industry laughingstock.

“Going through Boston and going through New York,” Astros Manager A.J. Hinch said, naming the two American League behemoths they conquered to win the pennant, “and now coming to Los Angeles and winning the World Series, it’s pretty unbelievable. It’s hard to draw it up any better.”

The Astros celebrate their franchise’s first World Series title. (Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

The Astros, a 101-win juggernaut during the regular season, had to win their second Game 7 in two weeks, following the one at home against the Yankees in the AL Championship Series, and thus became the first team since the 1985 Kansas City Royals to pull that off.

The Astros’ first championship comes 55 years after the franchise was born as the Colt .45’s, 12 years after they lost to the Chicago White Sox in their only other Series appearance, four years after their teardown bottomed out with 111 losses, three years after Sports Illustrated foresaw their rise and anointed them “Your 2017 World Series Champs” and two months after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Houston area and thrust the Astros into the center of the region’s emotional rebuild.

I’m so happy to be part of it — to bring a championship back to a city that desperately needed it,” said center fielder George Springer, who was named the series MVP after hitting .379 with five homers, seven RBI and eight runs scored. The five homers equaled a World Series record held by Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009).

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