The Year of the Homer ended with the World Series of the Homer.
The world champion Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers set several records during the seven-game series, most of them centered around the long ball. Following a regular season that produced more home runs than any other in baseball history, the Astros and the Dodgers combined to launch a record 25 home runs, shattering the previous record of 21 set in 2002 by the Angels and the Giants.
World Series MVP George Springer smashed five to tie Reggie Jackson (1977) and Chase Utley (2009) for the most in a single World Series. His three-run shot in the second inning of Game 7 was the Astros’ 15th of the series, breaking the previous team record of 14 held by Barry Bonds and the 2002 Giants. Springer also set World Series marks with 29 total bases, eight extra-base hits (surpassing Willie Stargell’s seven in 1979) and home runs in four straight games within the same Series. Not bad for a player who struck out four times in Game 1.
Other home run records set in 2017 included the most in one game (eight in Game 2) and the most three-run homers in one game (three in Game 5). But there was plenty of other non-HR, record-setting activity worth mentioning:
Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. hit a Series-record four Dodgers batters in Game 7 -- Justin Turner twice and Yasiel Puig and Enrique Hernandez once each. In fact, McCullers allowed fewer hits (three) than the number of hit batters. His four HBPs are the most by any pitcher in any game in postseason history. McCullers also became the third pitcher in postseason history -- joining Roger Clemens (1986 ALCS) and Orel Hershiser (1988 NLCS) -- to hit multiple batters in a Game 7 and the first to do it in a World Series game.
When he relieved Yu Darvish in the second inning of Game 7, the Dodgers’ Brandon Morrow distinguished himself as only the second pitcher, along with Darold Knowles of the 1973 Oakland A’s, to face a batter in all seven games of a World Series.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts placed his name in the World Series record books with 32 pitching changes, setting a record formerly held by Tony La Russa, who made 30 pitching changes while managing the Cardinals to a Series title in 2011.
According to Elias Sports Bureau research, Dodgers leadoff hitter Chris Taylor tied a single Series record with his fourth first-inning hit. The last player with four first-inning hits in a World Series was Edgar Rentería for the 1997 Marlins.
Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger struck out three times in Game 7 to finish with 17 overall, establishing a new World Series and overall postseason record. He shattered the previous Series mark of 13, shared by Javy Baez (2016) and Ryan Howard (2009), and broke the postseason record held by fellow rookie Aaron Judge, who struck out 16 times in the ALDS against the Indians.
The two Game 7 starters, McCullers and Darvish, combined to pitch four innings. That’s the fewest combined innings pitched in a winner-take-all game in World Series history. The previous record was five innings combined in 1947 (Hal Gregg and Spec Shea) and 2014 (Tim Hudson and Jeremy Guthrie). Meanwhile, Darvish is the second pitcher ever to fail to complete the second inning in multiple starts within the same World Series. The other is Art Ditmar, who did so for the Yankees in Games 1 and 5 of the 1960 World Series against the Pirates.