The Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 6 of the 2017 World Series 3-1 over the Houston Astros Tuesday night, setting up the first World Series Game 7 in Dodger Stadium history tonight.
A win this evening over the American League-champion Astros will give Los Angeles its seventh world title in franchise history and sixth since moving to the City of Angels.
The last time a Game 7 of any kind was played at Dodger Stadium, the Boys in Blue beat the Mets, 6-0, in the 1988 NLCS. The Dodgers are now 10-4 this Postseason, including a 6-1 mark at Dodger Stadium. The Astros are 2-6 on the road this Postseason.
This will be the first time the Dodgers have played in a Game 7 of the World Series since 1965, when the club beat the Minnesota Twins, 2-0, at Metropolitan Stadium, claiming the franchise’s fourth World Championship.
Tonight marks the 39th time in a best-of-seven World Series that the Fall Classic has extended to a final game and the first time there has been a Game 7 of the World Series in back-to-back seasons since 2001-02.
In those other 38 instances, the home team has won 18 times, including nine of the last 11 dating back to 1982 and most recently with the Cardinals over the Rangers in 2011. The Dodgers are attempting to become the 21st team in history to win both games 6 and 7 after trailing, 3-2 (in a seven-game format).
This is the seventh winner-take-all Game 7 in Dodger franchise history and the sixth in the World Series. The Dodgers are 3-3 in those contests.
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The Dodgers are playing in the World Series for the 19th time in franchise history (1916, ’20, ’41, ’47, ’49, ’52, ’53, ’55, ’56, ’59, ’63, ’65, ’66, ’74, ’77, ’78, ‘81 and ’88).
The Dodgers and Astros met once before in the Postseason, with Los Angeles winning a five-game Division Series, necessitated by the 1981 strike. The Dodgers dropped the first two games at the Astrodome in Houston, before roaring back to win three straight at Chavez Ravine, culminating with a Game 5 victory in which Jerry Reuss fired a shutout and L.A. broke a scoreless tie with three runs off Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan in the sixth inning.
This series marks the first time two clubs with 100+ wins are facing each other in the Fall Classic since 1970. In that World Series, the Baltimore Orioles (108 wins) beat the Cincinnati Reds (102 wins) in five games.
THIS MOMENT’S FOR YU: The Dodgers will send right-hander Yu Darvish to the mound tonight for his fourth start of the 2017 Postseason and the sixth of his career. Darvish is 2-3 with a 4.74 ERA (13 ER/24.2 IP) in his Postseason career and has won two of his three starts in this year’s playoffs with the loss coming in Game 3 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston. In those three starts, he has struck out 14 batters against just two walks. In the regular season, the native of Japan went 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA (19 ER/49.2 IP) and punched out 61 batters against just 13 walks, while limiting the opposition to a .235 average in nine starts since being acquired by the Dodgers at the July 31 trade deadline. Overall, the four-time All-Star went 10-12 in 31 combined starts with Texas and Los Angeles this season and posted a 3.86 ERA, while striking out 209 batters (12th, ML) against 58 walks.
Darvish is 5-5 with a 3.44 ERA (34 ER/89.0 IP) in 14 career regular season starts against the Astros and went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA (4 ER/12.0 IP) in two starts against Houston this season. He has punched out a career 118 Astros’ batters against just 30 walks and has held hitters to a .199 average.
In his last six starts since Sept. 13, Darvish is 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA (7 ER/32.1 IP) and has struck out 35 batters against just three walks. During that stretch, he has limited the opposition to a .197 average.
CENTURY CITY: Los Angeles finished with the best record in the Majors for the first time since 1974 and the National League’s best record for the first time since 2009. The Dodgers set a Los Angeles record for victories with 104 (104-58), tying for the second most in franchise history (also: 1942, 104-50) and finishing one shy of the club record of 105 (105-49), set in 1953.
Los Angeles’ 104 wins were the most by a big league club since 2004, when the Cardinals went 105-57.
OUR HOUSE: At Dodger Stadium, the club is now 32-22 (.593) in World Series games all-time and they have won 10 of their last 12 dating to Game 5 of the 1977 Fall Classic. Including the World Series, Los Angeles is now 11-2 this season against the American League at Dodger Stadium.
REDEMPTION SONG: Dodger outfielder Joc Pederson belted his third home run of the World Series last night, a solo shot in the 7th inning. Pederson is just the fourth player in Dodger history to hit at least three homers in a single World Series, joining Duke Snider (4 in both 1952 and 1955), Reggie Smith (3 in 1977) and Davey Lopes (3 in 1978).
Pederson has a hit and a run scored in each of his five games played this series. The only other player in history to accomplish that feat in his first five World Series contests was Baltimore’s Lee May in 1970.
Pederson’s .357 batting average (5-for-14) leads the club during the World Series.
POWER BALL: The Dodgers have scored more runs than any other team this Postseason (81), eight more than the Astros.
The two teams have combined for 24 home runs this World Series, already breaking the previous record of 21, which came in the 2002 Fall Classic (Giants and Angels). Of the 24 homers in this series, 16 have either tied the game or put a team ahead.
BE READY TO-MORROW: Dodger reliever Brandon Morrow has pitched in 13 of the Dodgers’ 14 Postseason contests, one shy of the all-time record of 14, held by Cleveland’s Paul Assenmacher (1997). Morrow is one of two Dodger pitchers to make six appearances in a World Series, joining Hugh Casey (6 in 1947).
The Dodger bullpen had tossed an MLB Postseason record 28.0 consecutive scoreless innings, going back to the seventh inning of NLDS Game 2 before giving up a run in the eighth inning on Wednesday night in Game 2 of the World Series.
BIRTHDAY MANIA!: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to the one-and-only Fernando Valenzuela, who turns 57 years young today. Valenzuela was 5-1 with a 1.98 ERA (14 ER/63.2 IP) in nine-career Postseason games (eight starts). All eight of those starts came with Los Angeles and he was the winning pitcher in Game 3 of the 1981 World Series at Dodger Stadium.
WE SEE YOU ‘DRE: Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier pinch-hit in the 7th inning last night, playing in his 50th-career Postseason contest with the Dodgers, which is the most in franchise history. Ethier also ranks among the Postseason franchise leaders in doubles (6, T-6th), home runs (5, T-7th), runs (18, 9th) and walks (18, T-5th). Ethier spent the majority of the season on the DL with a lumbar disc herniation and was reinstated from the 60-day DL on Sept. 1.
MR. UNANIMOUS: Cody Bellinger established a National League rookie home run record (third all-time) with 39 home runs, while also ranking among all-time Dodger rookies in RBI (97, 3rd) in 132 games. The Dodgers went 91-41 in games in which Bellinger appeared (89-38 in starts) after his April 25 call-up, and overall, he ranked among the NL leaders in homers (2nd) and slugging percentage (.581, 5th).
Last week, Bellinger was announced as The Sporting News Rookie of the Year and is hitting .235 (12-for-51) with two homers, four doubles and five RBI this Postseason. Bellinger is just the 34th rookie in ML history to record two-plus homers in the Postseason, and only the third Dodger, joining Corey Seager (2) and Jim Gilliam (2).
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Dodgers rated as one of the Majors best defensive teams in 2017, leading the Majors in Baseball-Reference’s Defensive Efficiency (.709), which measures the percentage of balls in play converted into outs. Also, according to FanGraphs, the Dodgers’ defense resulted in 48 defensive runs saved, the best mark in the NL and the second-best mark in Majors behind the Rays (51).
Yasiel Puig tied for the lead among NL right fielders and for eighth in the Majors overall with 18 defensive runs saved, according to FanGraphs.
On Friday, Rawlings Sporting Goods Company, Inc., announced their finalists for the 2017 Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Yasiel Puig and Dodger shortstop Corey Seager were named finalists at their respected positions.
ALL THAT POWER: The Dodgers established franchise records with 553 extra-base hits (previous high: 541 in 1953), 312 doubles (previous high: 307 in 2006) and 221 home runs (4th, NL), which topped the club’s previous high of 211 set in 2000. The club also set a Los Angeles record with a .437 slugging percentage, outpacing the previous high of .432 set in 2006.
Los Angeles had six players – Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner – finish the season with 20 or more home runs, the most in franchise history and tying for the most ever by a NL club.
JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED: Dave Roberts joined Tommy Lasorda (1977-78) and Joe Torre (2008-09) as the only Los Angeles managers to lead the Dodgers to the postseason in their first two years with the club. According to STATS, LLC, Roberts’ 195 wins through his first two full seasons as a Major League manager rank fifth all-time:
Most Wins in First 2 Full Seasons as MLB Manager – All-Time
1. Frank Chance, CHC 223-81 1906-07
2. Earl Weaver, BAL 217-107 1969-70
3. Ralph Houk, NYY 205-119 1961-62
4. Billy Southworth, STL 203-104 1941-42
5. Dave Roberts, LAD 195-129 2016-17
TOO GOOD: The Dodgers won 43 of 50 from June 7-Aug. 5, which was the best 50-game stretch in franchise history and the best in the Majors since the 1912 New York Giants, who went 43-7 from May 6-July 3. According to Elias, just four teams have ripped off 43 of 50 or better in baseball history: the 2017 Dodgers, the 1912 Giants, the 1906 Cubs and the 1884 St. Louis Maroons.
The club continued at that pace through Aug. 19, posting a .852 winning percentage from June 7-Aug. 19 (52-9).
The team posted a season-best 11-game winning streak from July 4-19, and had six streaks of six or more wins during the campaign.
From June 17-Aug. 24, the Dodgers went 40-0 when scoring more than four runs. Only two other teams in MLB history posted longer such streaks: the 1954 Indians (42) and the 1906 Giants (41) – Source: Stats, LLC.
The Dodgers established a Major League record by winning 53 consecutive games in which they had a lead in any point from May 17-Aug. 1. The previous mark was 44, established by the 1906 Cubs.
From June 7-Aug. 19, the Dodgers won 13 more games than any MLB club (Indians, 39-26), while leading NL clubs by 15 wins (Cardinals, 37-30). Entering play on June 7, the Dodgers were tied for second place, 2.0 games behind the Rockies, and passed Colorado for good on June 21. By Aug. 21, the Dodgers pushed their divisional lead to a franchise-record 21.0 games.
Following their win on Aug. 23, the Dodgers were a season high 55 games over .500 (91-36).
LEADERS OF THE PACK: Dodger All-Star closer Kenley Jansen tied for the NL lead with 41 saves (w/ Greg Holland, T-2nd MLB) and led the Majors with a 97.6 save percentage (41/42). Jansen also topped big league relievers with a 1.32 ERA and a 15.57 strikeout to walk ratio (109 SO/7 BB), while leading the NL with a 0.75 WHIP. Jansen’s 109 Ks ranked second in the NL as he posted the fourth 100+ strikeout season of his career.
All-Star Justin Turner finished third in the NL with a .322 batting average, behind only Charlie Blackmon (.331) and Daniel Murphy (.322), while posting a .415 on-base percentage (2nd, NL). Turner posted a .380/.477/.704 slashline against lefties, ranking fourth in the Majors in average, first in OBP and fourth in slugging vs. southpaws.
Turner was recognized as the Dodgers’ Roy Campanella Award winner and also as the club’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
HILLTOPPERS: The Dodgers topped the National League in ERA (3.38), opponents’ batting average (.228, 1st MLB), strikeouts (1,549), WHIP (1.15, 1st MLB) and shutouts (16). Los Angeles’ 3.39 starters’ ERA topped the Majors, while the 3.38 ERA by the club’s relievers led the NL (4th, MLB). The club’s 1,549 strikeouts established a franchise record.
HIGH 5: The Dodgers went 104-58 to win the NL West for the fifth straight year, marking their 16th overall division title, as the club reached the postseason in five consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history. Los Angeles is playing “October Baseball” for the eighth time in 12 years and for the 31st time in franchise history.
The Dodgers are the first team in NL West history to win the division in five consecutive seasons. The last MLB team to win five straight division titles was the Phillies, who won the NL East in five consecutive seasons from 2007-11.
The Dodgers posted the seventh 100-win season in franchise history (third in Los Angeles history) and first since 1974 (102-60). The Dodgers won 90+ games for the fifth consecutive season, a feat that had only previously been accomplished once in franchise history, 1951-56 (6).
HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The Dodgers posted their best home record in Los Angeles history at 57-24 (.704), which also led the Majors. The club’s previous top mark had been 55-26 (.679) in 2015. Los Angeles’ 47-34 road record (.580) was the second-best mark in NL, behind only Washington’s 50-31 mark (.617).
The Dodgers led Major League Baseball in attendance for the fifth consecutive season in 2017, finishing with 3,765,856 (46,492 average) – the third highest mark in franchise history and the 10th best in National League history. The Dodgers, who have reached three million in attendance in 21 of the last 22 years, have topped the National League in attendance 33 times since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, including leading the Majors 29 times in that span.
SIX PACK: The Dodgers were represented by six All-Stars – Cody Bellinger, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Alex Wood – at the Midsummer Classic, the most of any National League club and Los Angeles’ most All-Stars since 1991 (also six).
At 21 years, 354 days old, Bellinger became the youngest position player to be honored as an All-Star in franchise history (previous: Corey Seager: 22 years, 69 days) and the third-youngest Dodger All-Star overall (at the time of their first selection), behind only Fernando Valenzuela (20 years, 281 days in 1981) and Ralph Branca (21 years, 183 days in 1947). Bellinger participated in the Home Run Derby and defeated Charlie Blackmon (15-14) before falling to eventual champion, Aaron Judge (13-12) in semis.
Justin Turner earned his spot via the Final Vote, tallying an all-time record of 20.8 million votes during the balloting.
LOOKING LIVE: The Dodgers have been ramping up their pre and post-game coverage on Facebook Live throughout this Postseason. Both home and road, the team will host Dodger Insider shows on Facebook Live starting approximately two hours before games and also stream SportsNet LA’s Leadoff LA and Access SportsNet Dodgers, and the network’s postgame show. Dodger Insider shows will also air on Facebook Live on workout days with TBD times (depending on team workout schedule). The combined coverage, featuring SNLA’s Alanna Rizzo, John Hartung, Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ned Colletti, will be produced by the Dodgers and SportsNet LA.