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George Springer’s first taste of World Series action was a complete disaster. The 28-year-old kicked off the Houston Astros’ championship hopes with an abysmal 0-for-4 performance from the leadoff spot. He struck out all four times.
Six games later, moments after the Astros celebrated their first-ever World Series championship, Springer was named World Series MVP.
It was quite the turnaround for a player some fans wanted benched after Game 1. And if you think that’s an exaggeration, we’d like to introduce you to the Internet, because you’ve obviously never been here before.
Springer took the brunt of the blame during the Astros’ 3-1 loss in Game 1. As the leadoff man, he was tasked with setting the tone for the best offense in baseball. He didn’t succeed in Game 1, but no one did. Clayton Kershaw completely shut down every Astro that night.
Thankfully for Astros fans, Springer had a short memory. With the game tied in extras in Game 2, Springer blasted a go-ahead two-run homer to put the Astros on top for good. His bat was on fire all night, as that was his third hit of the game, and the fourth time he reached base. His golden sombrero from Game 1 was already in the rear view. He was hitting .333 in the World Series by the end of the Game 2. And he was the hero.
In Game 4, he once again put the Astros ahead, breaking up a no-hitter and shutout with one swing of the bat in the sixth inning. The Astros’ bullpen would falter, preventing Springer from being the hero again, but he produced when the team needed him in the loss.
As you might expect, Springer played a crucial role during the Astros’ unbelievable walk-off win in Game 5. His home run in the seventh inning tied the game, and kickstarted a rally that saw Houston go up by three runs. He reached base five times, including three walks.
The Dodgers only scored one run in a Game 6 loss, but it came on a Springer home run to put his team ahead in the third inning. He once again gave them the lead, but they couldn’t hold on.
And, of course, in a crucial Game 7, it was Springer who got the Astros started. A leadoff double against Yu Darvish set the tone for Houston immediately. One pitch later, he scored the game’s first run on a throwing error. Then, with the team up by four runs in the second, Springer added the fifth run of the game on his fifth home run of the series.
After the worst Game 1 possible, Springer rebounded to hit .379, with five home runs, eight runs scored and seven RBI in the World Series.
No player on the Astros personified the team’s perseverance and never-say-die nature more than Springer. In Game 1, he looked lost. By Game 7, he was the most feared hitter on a team full of them.
George Springer led off the World Series with a strikeout. He ended it by scoring the final run of the Astros’ first-ever World Series championship.
There was no better choice for MVP.
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