clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Top Ten Most Clutch Plays of the 2017 World Series

New, 16 comments

It was one of the most exciting and hard fought World Series ever. Without each of these 10 plays/performances the Astros lose.

MLB: Houston Astros-Championship Parade Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Here at TCB, we’re supposed to be gearing up for the new baseball season. But, of course, not only is baseball postponed, but most public activity. We are wishing and hoping that all of you who are part of our Crawfish Boxes family are safe and healthy.

I don’t know about you, but my bio-rhythms are telling me it’’s time for baseball. When the trees turn green and the bluebonnets bloom, it’s time for baseball. Where’s the baseball? I’m going a little bit stir crazy waiting for baseball. I bet you feel the same.

If we cant watch live baseball, let’s watch some great plays from the past. And what better to watch than the greatest World Series ever, the 2017 World Series won by our own Houston Astros in seven games.

Re-living these great plays has given me the most fulfillment with baseball since Brandon Taubman start acting the fool last October. It’s been downhill ever since. For everything. I hope you enjoy this nostalgic diversion into the magic moments of yesteryear.

I have compiled what I believe are the top ten plays or performances without which the Houston Astros would not have won the World Championship. After you’ve read mine, feel free to tell me how wrong my choices were in the comments.

Top Ten Plays/Performances of the 2017 World Series

Honorable Mention #1

Lance McCullers gets Game seven RBI, knocking in Brian McCann.

In a game the Astros won 5-1, the career AL pitcher could have struck out, and the Astros probably would have won anyway. But you never know.

Anyway, it’s hard to decide which is more unlikely, McCullers hitting a run scoring grounder in one of the very few at bats of his career, or Brian McCann scoring from third, maybe the slowest man who ever played baseball.

Honorable Mention #2

Joe Musgrove holds the Dodgers in the 10th inning of Game 5.

Doesn’t sound like much, but the bullpens of both teams were rarely able to hold the other. From the fifth to tenth innings, the Astros had scored nine runs, being held scoreless in only two. After the Astros came from behind to tie the score in the fourth at 4-4, the Dodgers went ahead in the fifth. When the Astros tied the score in the fifth, the Dodgers went ahead in the seventh. When the Astros went ahead in the bottom of the seventh, the Dodgers put the game in extra innings by scoring a run in the eighth and three in the ninth, tying the score at 12-12.

The Dodgers were taking batting practice on the Astros bullpen. And that’s why Joe Musgrove gets an honorable mention, because without Musgrove’s scoreless 10th, the Astros may not have gotten their miracle walk-off win.

He was the pitcher of record, the winner of the Greatest Game Ever Played.

#10

Chris Devenski strikes out Yasiel Puig to end Game 2.

It’s true, after the Astros got a two run lead in the top of the 11th inning, Devenski promptly allowed a home run. But with two outs, he faced Yasiel Puig, who had just tied the score in the 10th with a homer against Ken Giles. After a prolonged showdown, Devenski got the game winning swing and miss on a full count using his patented circle change of death.

Some might argue that all Devenski did was get one big out after allowing a homer, but it ended the game in a dramatic situation, and it was a strikeout of Yasiel Puig. Bonus points for that.

The following is a highlight video of Game 2. Catch Devenski vs Puig at about 9:05

#9

Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa go back to back yard in the 10th inning of Game 2.

After a miracle tied the score for the Astros in the top of the ninth, Altuve and Correa launched bombs beyond left center field to give the Astros a seemingly insurmountable two run lead. It wouldn’t hold, but the Astros went on to win anyway.

#8

Brad Peacock shuts down Dodgers for 3.2 innings to save Game 3.

The breakdown of the bullpens in this series was already noted. But in Game 3 Peacock, throwing almost nothing but 2-seamers, held the Dodgers to no runs and no hits for 3.2 innings to save a 5-3 win.

#7

George Springer 7th inning homer ties game in Game 5

After his error in the top of the inning gave Dodgers an 8-7 lead, Springer came back with a lead-off homer to bring the Astros back. Following Springer, Altuve got a run scoring double, and Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer, giving the Astros a seemingly insurmountable three-run lead. It was not insurmountable.

#6

The World Series MVP goes back-to-back in our rankings. His 11th inning, tie-breaking, two-run homer in Game 2 put the Astros ahead 7-5, just enough cushion for the Astros to hold on to win.

#5

Jose Altuve’s three-run, fifth-inning, Game 5, homer that tied the score 7-7.

After the Astros overcame a four-run deficit in the fourth inning, the bullpen allowed three runs in the bottom of the fourth, giving the Dodgers another lead. Altuve’s shot suddenly tied the score once again.

#4

Charlie Morton wins game 7

Although he inherited a five run lead when he entered Game 7 in the sixth inning, in this series no lead was ever safe. Morton allowed one run in the sixth, but after that he generally baffled the Dodgers, getting four strikeouts, and being the man at the bottom of the big World Series victory pile.

#3

Yuli Gurriel’s fourth inning, Game 5, three run homer to tie the score at 4-4.

It looked like all was lost. Dallas Keuchel was getting kicked around on the Astros’ mound, and the Dodgers ace, Clayton Kershaw, was dealing a shutout. If the Astros lost game five, they’d have to return to Los Angeles and win both games. And going into the fourth inning, down four runs, it looked like the series was as good as over.

But in the fourth, ahead of Gurriel, the Astros had eked out a run, And with two men on, Gurriel smacked one deep into the Crawford Boxes, tying the game with one stroke, and dispelling despair all around Astro-land. The Astros might win Game five after all, and they might even become World Champions.

It was the beginning of the wildest roller coaster ride in World Series history. The Astros would hit four more homers this game, and scored nine more runs. I think most of you know how it turned out.

#2

Marwin Gonzalez ties Game 2 with a ninth inning home run.

At this point, no one yet knew that relief pitchers in this World Series would seldom get through an inning without surrendering a run. So, when Dodger ace closer Kenley Jansen came into Game 2, eighth inning, with a one run lead, it looked like the Astros were coming home to Houston down 0-2.

Leading off the top of the ninth, Marwin Gonzalez did this. Even the announcers didn’t seem to believe it.

Subsequent homers in extra innings by Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer sealed the win in the 11th inning, 7-6.

#1

Alex Bregman hits a 10th inning, walk-off single to win the Greatest Game Ever Played.

In a game in which the Astros hit five home runs and the Dodgers two, it turns out the biggest hit of the game and the Series was a first pitch, two-out single by Alex Bregman just over shortstop Corey Seager’s head in the bottom of the 10th. Speedy pinch-runner Derek Fisher had just been put on second base to run for the slowest man on Earth, Brian McCann. He sprinted home, sliding just ahead of the throw from left field. He later remarked he felt like his shoes were stuck in cement buckets.

To this author, this wasn’t only the biggest hit in the 2017 World Series, it’s the biggest hit in Astros history.

Many would argue that in a series in which two of the victories were by one run in extra innings, every RBI in those two games was equally important. So why not claim that the most decisive hit was one of the home runs?

A World Series walk-off is like a royal flush in poker. It’s a mark of Alex Bregman’s professionalism that he handled the pitch he was given, and put it in exactly the place it needed to go to win the game. He did exactly what was needed in that situation, no more, no less. To me, it was even better than a home run.

Since that game, Alex Bregman has become acknowledged as one of the best players in baseball. But if all he ever did was make that one hit, he would have been forever enshrined as one of the greatest Astros.

If you disagree with my ratings, comment below.

Following are two polls. The first is, which is the biggest hit by the Astros in the 2017 World Series?

The second is, who is the most valuable player? George Springer won the award, and if anyone thinks otherwise, he’s an idiot or a troll. So, the question is, who was the Astros 2017 World Series MVP after George Springer.

Poll

What was the biggest hit if the 2017 World Series

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Alex Bregman’s Game 5 walk-off single
    (46 votes)
  • 46%
    Marwin Gonzalez’ Game 2, game tying ninth inning homer
    (52 votes)
  • 7%
    Yuli Gurriel’s Game 5, fourth inning, 3-run homer to tie the game 4-4.
    (8 votes)
  • 2%
    George Springer’s Game 2, 11th inning, 2-run homer to put the Astros up 7-5
    (3 votes)
  • 3%
    Jose Altuve’s Game 5, fifth inning, 3-run homer to tie the score 7-7
    (4 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now

Poll

Who was the second most valuable player of the 2017 World Series?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Alex Bregman
    (12 votes)
  • 34%
    Charlie Morton
    (36 votes)
  • 40%
    Jose Altuve
    (42 votes)
  • 1%
    Carlos Correa
    (2 votes)
  • 4%
    Marwin Gonzalez
    (5 votes)
  • 2%
    Yuli Gurriel
    (3 votes)
  • 2%
    Justin Verlander
    (3 votes)
103 votes total Vote Now