The Houston Astros won their first World Series in franchise history Wednesday, beating the Dodgers, 5-1, in Game 7 in Los Angeles. The Astros jumped on Yu Darvish early – just as they did in Game 3 – scoring five runs in the first two innings. The Astros arms took it from there, scattering six hits and allowing just one run.

For this, the Astros – who beat both the Yankees and Dodgers in seven-game thrillers – deserve credit.

“I just love all the young energy,” MLB Network Radio and MLB on TBS analyst Casey Stern said on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “It was a lot of fun and the cool part of this team is that we always have that question about chemistry and is it important. Clearly you have to have players that are good, but there’s absolutely no doubt that the chemistry this club has, the way they believe in each other, the tight-knit group, the energy that you could see through the TV when you’re watching on the field or at home, I think that was a big part of why they won. I think it’s a special group, and they’re not going anywhere for a while. They’re going to be around now.”



The Dodgers, meanwhile, deserve some criticism – Dave Roberts, specifically. Was winning 104 games – the most since 1953, when the franchise played in Brooklyn – a success? Yes. Was advancing to the World Series – for the first time since 1988 – a success? Yes.

But Roberts will likely be kicking himself for sticking with Darvish, who was chased in the second inning for the second time in this series.

“Look, I think Dave is fantastic. I know him well, I love him, I covered him in ’04 when I was covering the Red Sox. He is a good person, and he will learn from this,” Stern said. “But he had a very bad series. I don’t think he necessarily got out-managed because I don’t think it was necessarily toe-to-toe in that way, but I think he had some bad moments. . . . I think pulling Rich Hill in Game 2 early put him in a bad spot. (Kenta) Maeda got tired, (Brandon) Morrow got tired, and they were kind of chasing themselves in that bullpen ever since then.”

For the series, Darvish allowed eight runs on nine hits in 3 and 1/3 innings – good enough for a 21.60 ERA and a 3.30 WHIP.

“The first game you could tell he didn’t have his stuff,” Stern said. “Sometimes with pitchers, they just don’t have it. He had no feel of the fast ball, he couldn’t spot any of the curveballs, his slider, and he just left him in there to give up runs. Tonight was the worst move of them all. I was literally losing my mind because I’m rooting for a good game and I’m screaming. You cannot sit there after Darvish looked bad in the first inning. If you’ve got Clayton Kershaw available – who should have started this game anyway when you saw how good he was – you got to put him in there. You got the best pitcher on the planet. You got Alex Wood behind him. You don’t sit there and watch Darvish. This is Game 7. This isn’t May 9.”

After allowing two runs in the first inning, Darvish walked Brian McCann and gave up a double to Marwin Gonzalez to begin the second. At that point, Roberts, one would think, would go to his bullpen.

Nope. He left Darvish in the game. Three batters later, it was 5-0, with George Springer going yard for the fifth time this series.

“You allow yourself to get in a position where Darvish gives up a two-run home run,” Stern said. “That should have been a 2-0 game. That was on Dave Roberts, and I think it was the worst decision we probably saw honestly from a manager in the postseason. Everybody talks about Dusty (Baker) with (Stephen) Strasburg and Joe Maddon had a few blunders. When you get in a spot like this, (you have to have) urgency. You cannot get in a position where you’re watching Darvish give up five runs – and that was the difference in the game because guess what? The amount of runs allowed after Darvish left? Zero.”

Comments (10)
  1. Robert OBrien says:

    Actually he didn’t walk Mccaan that was a strike out for what ever reason the up called to good strikes balls should have been out of it before the dude hitting the home run came up, after what was a strike out turned into a walk i turned it off the ups was horrible and so inconsistent in this series specially game 5 for Houston i mean how can Enrique Hernandez standing way back in the batters box almost get hit by a pitch and it be called a strike


  2. Jay Bunker says:

    Roberts misused his pitching in every game except 1&6. I think your article was way too easy on him. While I think the better team won, Robert decision making sure didn’t help the Dodger cause


  3. Graham says:

    The best team won…..period.


  4. William Norton says:

    He’s right. And it wan’t just pulling Hill. It was pulling Stripling and Morrow after one f’ing batter in Game 2. Who the hell does that?


  5. wes oh says:

    There was a throwing error which scored a run; it should have been an out. in the second with men in scoring position and the pitcher at bat, why didn’t the infeild move up? That would have saved a run and then walk Springer? The game should have been closer.


  6. joe says:

    youre a moron!!


  7. bluz1st says:

    If you follow the Dodgers……and I watch every game they play…….STARTING Darvish in game 7 was a mistake……….but it wasn’t Kershaw who should have started that last game, he was used EXACTLY how he should have been used in that game. Alex Wood should have started game 7 instead of Darvish.


  8. Tru says:

    I agree they should have pulled Yu sooner, but as Dave said, he actually only gave up that one hit and then the error, so it wasn’t completely clear if Yu was the same guy from the earlier game. Yes, he should have pulled him in the 2nd sooner, agreed, but all this “Why didn’t they just start Kershaw” stuff is absurd – Yu was brought on for exactly this purpose, and HOW many golden gloves does the guy have!? It’s reasonable, after the amount of time off he had between games and working with staff to think he could come in and do what he often does, i.e. blister the other team. But more so, the Dodger’s offense was so set back on their heels they never recovered, which was surprising because I’ve watched the Dodgers come back all season long… but it was game 7. That part is not Yu’s fault. As far as pulling pitchers inning to inning, even batter to batter, that’s totally front office concreting that they have stuck to all season. Roberts said it endlessly, ‘we’re not going to change how we use the bullpen’.

    As far as TX being a better team, I’m not totally sure. I think they’re batting was amazing, but I think the Dodger’s defense is immensely better. I think Turner made far more difficult plays than their 3rd baseman – I don’t know his name and I’m still too frustrated by the loss to go look it up and return to this post, lol.

    I was at game 2, win/loose, craziest game I have ever seen. Thought I’d need a pacemaker after.

    And yes, the umping in game 5 may very well have cost them that game.


  9. fan says:

    Taking care of Boston, New York and then the Dodgers, same year, in the playoffs. Wow, is there anything that can top that post season? (like ever). Not really a Houston fan, but doing that to the most arrogant and over-rated franchises in Baseball was awesome! Just listening to Ortiz and Alex Rodriguez making comments and trying to hide their own frustration was enough for me … Best series in the last 25 years at least.


  10. Disappointed Dodgers Fan says:

    All of this is after-the-fact information. Hindsight is 20/20. It’s easy to say you should have started Kershaw “when you saw how good he was”. Guess what? Because of Kershaw imploding in game 5 is a main reason we were even in a game 7 in the first place. Yes, Darvish was bad, and you can say he shouldn’t have started because of the way the Astros hit him in game 3 but, the same could’ve been said about Kershaw if he starts and has a bad outing yet again.


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