By Sam Bush
Only four years after losing a club-record 111 games — in their first year in the AL in 2013 — the Astros completed a remarkable run to the World Series by beating the Yankees, 4-0, to win the ALCS and send Houston to its second World Series.
“We’ve earned it,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “I think our team has been singularly focused from the very beginning. In spring training, we felt we had this caliber team, and at that point, we stopped talking about it. … There’s two teams left standing, and I don’t care what cities they’re from — one of them is from Houston.”
After disposing of the Red Sox in the AL Division Series and the Yankees in the ALCS, the Astros will meet another iconic franchise in the World Series — the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the NLCS after posting the best record in baseball this year.
Game 1 is Tuesday night in Los Angeles. This will mark the first time since 1970 (Reds-Orioles) that 100-win teams will meet in the World Series.
“[The Dodgers are] a good team,” Astros third baseman Alex Bregman said. “I think if you looked up about halfway through the season, both of us were leading the AL and the NL, and … a lot of people were saying, ‘Hey, Astros-Dodgers.’ I think a lot of us have been keeping a close eye on what they’re doing. We just need to go in and play our game.”
For just the fifth time, the home team won all seven games in the series, with the Yankees scoring just three runs in four games at Minute Maid Park after outscoring the Astros by 14 runs (19-5) in the middle three games of the series in New York. The Yanks fell a game shy of their 41st World Series appearance and were eliminated by Houston for the second time in three years.