OOTP 21: Dodgers defeat Astros to claim first World Series in 33 years

Obviously, the simulation isn’t going to mirror real life because of the pandemic, but if the ultimate result is the same, I think there are gonna be a lot of happy Dodger fans at the end of October.

The Dodgers (92-70) took down the Astros (102-60) in seven games, somewhat replicating what happened in 2017. Here’s how it went.

Game 1: Dodgers 11, Astros 0 – Wood fires 1-hitter

Alex Wood picked up where he left off in 2017. He stymied the Astros as the Dodgers brought the offense in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. Wood’s line was even more impressive than that of the line he posted in Game 4 of the 2017 Series. He threw a 1-hitter and faced the minimum number of hitters in the win.

Mookie Betts, hitting leadoff, went 2-for-3 including a 3-run homer off Justin Verlander in the fifth inning. Corey Seager went 2-for-4 with a homer and three runs scored. Max Muncy also homered off Verlander in the contest.

Game 2: Astros 5, Dodgers 4 – Tucker walks-off LA with 2-run single

It was looking like the Dodgers were going to take a 2-0 series lead, but Kyle Tucker‘s 2-run single in the bottom of the ninth tied the series at 1.

Will Smith homered twice and drove in two runs. Cody Bellinger and Seager accounted for the other RBIs, but the Dodgers couldn’t muster any more against Astros’ pitching.

Buehler was solid (6 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 0 BB, 6 K), but he was bitten by the home-run bug like Verlander was in Game 1. He allowed three big flies, while Lance McCullers limited the damage against Houston.

Brusdar Graterol got into trouble in the ninth after a solid eighth inning. He logged 32 pitches, which was probably 10-15 too many. Blake Treinen tried to save the game, but he was unable to do so.

Game 3: Astros 14, Dodgers 1 – DumpsterFire.jpg

I’d almost rather not write about Game 3, as the Dodgers lost 14-1. That’s not a typo. Lance Lynn, who had been so good in the NL playoffs, lasted just 2/3 of an inning. Dustin May gave up four runs in two innings of relief. Later, Kenley Jansen didn’t record an out and gave up three runs. It was a brutal showing for Dodger pitching. It didn’t matter that the offense didn’t show up.

Game 4: Dodgers 6, Astros 2 – Muncy’s dinger proves pivotal

Muncy saved the season by launching a 3-run home run in the sixth inning in the Dodgers’ 6-2 win. Julio Urias made his first appearance in two months after coming down with elbow tendinitis and threw three innings of 2-run ball. Rookie Josiah Gray piggybacked with him and threw three scoreless innings at a time the team really needed it. The rest of the ‘pen held Houston scoreless.

Game 5: Dodgers 8, Astros 4 – LA takes crucial fifth game behind big bats

Prior to heading back to Houston for Game 6, the Dodgers got a pivotal Game 5 win in LA.

Seager went 4-for-5 with a home run. Justin Turner went 3-for-5 as he was moved back into the leadoff spot. Gavin Lux had three hits of his own, while Muncy went 2-for-3. Wood was good enough in his second start of the series, despite giving up 10 hits and four runs in five innings. The bullpen held the Astros at bay over the last three innings as LA won 8-4.

Game 6: Astros 4, Dodgers 0 – Graterol implodes as Houston ties series

It was so close, they could taste it. With the score tied at 0 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Dodger bullpen faltered and allowed four runs. Graterol was charged with all four runs in a 4-0 loss. The win forced a winner-take-all Game 7 in Houston, just the opposite of what happened in ’17.

Game 7: Dodgers 8, Astros 5 – Turner’s double dong night clinches championship

Both teams scored two runs in the first inning, as May got touched up for LA and some dude named Tyler Ivey got the start for Houston. Betts had a 2-run triple, while a triple, double and sac fly led to the Astros’ scoring.

The Dodgers trailed 5-3 after four innings, but some strong bullpen work from Pedro Baez, Adam Kolarek and Treinen held Houston scoreless over the final 5 2/3 innings.

In the sixth inning, Turner hit a game-tying 2-run home run. It wouldn’t even be his biggest hit of the game! That came in the top of the ninth inning, when his 2-run homer off Ryan Pressly was essentially the difference in the game. The Dodgers tacked on another run on a Muncy sac fly.

Treinen got Michael Brantley to ground out to Seager to end the 2020 season.

Turner was named World Series MVP. The Dodgers are champions. All is right in the (sim) world.

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And that’s all she wrote. Who woulda thunk the Dodgers would have ended up as World Series champions? This simulation wasn’t smooth, it wasn’t as dominant as others out there, but in the end, the computer finally gave the Dodgers and their fans a break.

Here’s hoping we’re writing about a real Dodgers’ championship in three months.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.