Home runs and extra-inning games don’t necessarily define a great World Series. Those things, plus a tight and compelling Game 7 – which could also have aces Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel working out of the bullpen – could lift the 2017 World Series into the category of classic.
Sometime after midnight, and probably for the sixth time during this Series after the sixth inning, MLB will have a new champion, and the 39th crowned after a Game 7.
“This is the biggest stage, the best stage, an opportunity to win the World Series in Game 7,’’ said Astros manager A.J. Hinch.
Hinch’s ace, Justin Verlander, the loser in Game 6 who could be available for a batter or two tonight, said Game 7 was inevitable.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, said the same: “It seems fitting. You’ve got the two best teams in baseball going head to head. Like we’ve talked about from the beginning, these two teams mirror one another. And the compete and fight in both teams is the most important thing I see as similarities.’’
The Dodgers won 104 games this season, while the Astros won 101 games. It is the first time since 1970 – Orioles vs. Reds – that both teams won over 100 games.
This World Series has had just about everything. Outstanding pitching and explosive offense. It has had great defense and crappy defense. It has had stars, both on the field and in the stands – although a few less shots of celebrities would be nice.
There’s been so much to like about this Series. The one thing it hasn’t had is former Mets start Carlos Beltran delivering in the clutch.
Maybe we’ll get that tonight.