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The Astros’ World Series-clinching Game 7 win explained in 9 stats

The 2017 World Series is over, at last and abruptly.

The Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 7 on Wednesday night in Chavez Ravine to claim the first World Series championship in franchise history. After both teams tussled evenly through six mostly bonkers and thoroughly homertastic games, the Astros quickly took control of the winner-take-all tilt and never let go.

Here are nine numbers that tell the story of Game 7:

5

Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish recorded just five outs while surrendering five runs (four earned) in his second straight disastrous World Series outing. The 31-year-old righty allowed a leadoff double to Astros center fielder George Springer to start the game and then each of the next two at-bats — against Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve — produced runs for a 2-0 lead after one inning.

8 pitches in to Game 7, the @astros take the 2-0 lead. #WorldSeriespic.twitter.com/qGwT16J0hE

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 2, 2017

The second inning was actually even worse for Darvish — and the Dodgers.

1

Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers didn’t last too long on the mound either, but he did make his impact felt at the plate before exiting. With the Astros already leading, 2-0, in the second, McCullers drove in their third run of the game with an RBI groundout.

It was the first RBI by a pitcher in a winner-take-all World Series game since 1986. It was the first RBI by a pitcher in any World Series game since 2012. It was the first RBI by an American League pitcher in a World Series game since 2009. It was the first RBI of McCullers’ MLB career.

Lance McCullers drives in Brian McCann with a RBI groundout. @astros take the 3-0 lead in the 2nd. #WorldSeriespic.twitter.com/DWuNK3pQmS

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 2, 2017

5

Astros center fielder George Springer added to his haul of World Series records with a game-breaking, two-run homer in the second inning. The 438-foot blast to center chased Darvish from the game and stretched the Astros’ lead to 5-0. It was Springer’s fifth home run of the 2017 World Series, matching the all-time high for homers in a single World Series established by Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009).

It’s the biggest stage. George Springer owns it. #WorldSeriespic.twitter.com/VjSLocFNRI

— MLB (@MLB) November 2, 2017

7

Darvish didn’t escape the second inning as the Dodgers fell behind, 5-0, early. On the mound for the Astros, McCullers didn’t last too much longer. Houston’s 24-year-old righty went 2.1 scoreless innings and bonked a historic four batters with errant pitches. He also allowed three hits for seven total baserunners while recording his seven outs. It was the first Game 7 in World Series history in which neither starter escaped the third inning, according to Elias Sports Bureau:

There were only two previous World Series Game 7s in which neither starting pitcher made it through four innings: Hal Gregg, Dodgers (3⅔) and Spec Shea, Yankees (1⅓) in 1947; and Jeremy Guthrie, Royals (3⅓) and Tim Hudson, Giants (1⅔) in 2014.

10

The Dodgers fell behind early but didn’t want for opportunities to get back into the game. Los Angeles outhit Houston (6-5) and added baserunners through hit-by-pitch (four) and walks (two). Ten of those baserunners were stranded.

.@Dodgers leave ’em loaded in the bottom half of the 1st.

Astros lead 2-0. #Worldpic.twitter.com/5Kp16nySyH

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 2, 2017

12

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts turned to Games 1 and 5 starter Clayton Kershaw to start the third inning of Game 7. The 29-year-old lefty went four scoreless innings, giving his team a chance to close the gap. With his 12 outs recorded in relief, Kershaw retired more batters out of the bullpen in Game 7 than Darvish did in his two starts combined (10).

Clayton Kershaw DOMINATED out of the ‘pen in Game 7. #WorldSeriespic.twitter.com/3SzwV2pIy4

— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) November 2, 2017

64

Astros manager A.J. Hinch upended conventional wisdom by relying on starting pitchers out of his bullpen throughout the 2017 postseason. In Game 7, he called on four pitchers in relief of McCullers with 64 combined regular-season starts this season among them: Brad Peacock (21), Francisco Liriano (18, all before a midseason trade to Houston), Chris Devenski (0) and Charlie Morton (25). Over 6.2 innings in Game 7, they allowed just one run.

3

Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger struck out three times in Game 7, going down swinging twice against McCullers and down looking against Morton. His 17 strikeouts in the World Series established a new record.

4

Astros pitcher Charlie Morton started Game 4, going 6.1 innings and allowing just one run while taking a no-decision in a 6-2 loss. In Game 7, he made his first relief appearance since 2008, his debut season. In Game 7, he found himself on the mound in a ninth inning for the first time since 2011. In Game 7, he went four, one-run innings while striking out four and allowing two hits.

CHARLIE. FREAKIN. MORTON. #EarnedHistorypic.twitter.com/rQGUFQ2CDI

— Houston Astros (@astros) November 2, 2017

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