For the first time in franchise history, the Houston Astros are World Series champions. The Astros edged out the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers had baseball’s best record during the regular season and are looking to end a fairly long World Series drought. They haven’t won a title since 1988. These past few seasons have featured more than a few disappointing postseason exits.
Following the Game 7 loss, a somber Clayton Kershaw spoke to reporters in the clubhouse. Here’s what he said, via Josh Peter of USA Today:
“Maybe one of these days I won’t fail, we won’t fail and we’ll win one of these things,” Kershaw said, finding little consolation in the team’s 104 regular-season victories. “…There’s only one team that can succeed. There’s only one team that wins the last game, so that’s tough.
“I think once the dust settles and we go home, we can realize that we had a pretty amazing season and we finished in second place, which nobody cares about or remembers.”
Harsh, but fair. The Dodgers won’t be remembered for winning 104 games during the regular season or going an absurd 52-9 from June 7 to Aug. 19. They’ll be remembered for losing the World Series. That’s the way it goes when you’re the biggest spender in all the land. The Yankees have occupied that stratosphere for decades.
Kershaw made two starts and one relief appearance in the World Series, allowing seven runs in 15 2/3 innings. For all intents and purposes, he had two bad innings in the series. He was great in Game 1, great in Game 7, and great for the first three innings of Game 5. Everything fell apart in the fourth and fifth innings of Game 5. Those two innings will surely get the most attention.
The Dodgers don’t figure to fall by the wayside, of course. They have a great young core, a productive farm system and more money than any other team in the league. There’s no reason to think they won’t be a World Series contender again in 2018. And in fact,shortly after the final pitch Wednesday.
At some point they have to actually win one though. The string of postseason defeats is thoroughly unsatisfying.