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Astros defeat Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 to end 55-year championship drought

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The Astros have only been around since 1962, but their history is quite interesting. Some of the greatest players of all time have worn an Astros uniform, including Nolan Ryan, Roger Clemens, Craig Biggio, and Jeff Bagwell. The Astros switched leagues, moving from the NL Central to the AL West after the 2012 season. But one thing they had been unable to claim in their 55-year history was a championship.

That changed on Wednesday night as the Astros finally vanquished the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. They scored twice in the first inning and three times in the second against Yu Darvish, sustaining them over the remaining seven innings. For a recap of the scoring, click here.

Starter Lance McCullers wasn’t brilliant by any means, as he hit four batters, but he was able to execute pitches when he needed to most, which resulted in the Dodgers going 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Ultimately, McCullers went 2 1/3 innings, yielding three hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Brad Peacock got the final two outs of the third inning, then remained in the game until putting Dodgers on first and second with one out in the fifth inning. Francisco Liriano and Chris Devenski combined to clean up that mess, getting an out apiece.

Charlie Morton took the hill to begin the sixth and found himself in hot water, putting his first two batters on base via a single and a walk. With one out, Andre Ethier was able to sneak a ground ball single into right field to put the Dodgers on the board. Morton, however, buckled down and struck out Chris Taylor, then got Corey Seager to ground out. Morton then worked a 1-2-3 seventh and eighth.

In the ninth, Morton came back out for another inning of work. He struck out pinch-hitter Chase Utley, got Taylor to ground out weakly, and Seager to ground out to seal another 1-2-3 inning and the 5-1 victory.

The Astros defeated the Dodgers, who had baseballs best record. And they beat them at Dodger Stadium, where the Dodgers compiled baseball’s best home record. The Astros are your 2017 world champions.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.