LOS ANGELES -- Remember back to when this series was headed to Game 2? I know it seems like ages ago, given the roller coaster we've been on. It was so long ago that Astros manager A.J. Hinch was fielding questions about what was wrong with George Springer.
At the time, he was 3 for his last 30 and had just gone 0 for 4 with four strikeouts in Game 1.
George Springer is now the World Series MVP.
Since that brutal stretch, he was a man possessed. After leading off the game with a double and then giving the Astros a 5-0 second-inning lead with a two-run homer, Springer finished with eight extra-base hits (three doubles and five home runs) and 29 total bases this World Series.
Those are both new records. The total bases record was previously 25, held by Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson (1977) and Willie Stargell (1979).
Here's the shot that broke those records and tied another:
"My approach was to get something out over the plate, get something I could drive," Springer said after the championship. "If I was going to go down, I was going to go down on my own accord. I just remember swinging and hearing the sound off the bat, and I knew it was a good sound. Then I saw the flight of the ball and I got to first base and I round third and got home and that's a crazy feeling."
"It's a very surreal feeling because this is Game 7. This is what you dream of as a kid, and for that to happen is indescribable."
Springer's five home runs also ties the all-time single World Series record. The others to hit five homers in a single World Series are Jackson -- that same 1977 Fall Classic when he earned the nickname "Mr. October" -- and Chase Utley from 2009.
Even in spotting the rest of the field that 0 for 4 with four strikeouts, Springer ended up hitting .379/.412/1.000 in the seven-game Fall Classic. He had three doubles, five home runs, seven RBI and eight runs scored. Remember those pesky four strikeouts from Game 1 that I rudely keep bringing up? The rest of the series, he walked five times against four strikeouts.
We know about Springer's strong defense in center. He did make one major gaffe, which was diving for that liner in Game 5 that allowed the Dodgers to take a one-run lead. Springer immediately redeemed himself with a solo shot to lead off the bottom half of that inning, and the Astros would rally to win the game. He also hit the decisive home run in the thrilling Game 2 victory.
The Astros have many players worthy of praise in this World Series victory. They are excellent champions and have the gear to prove it. Springer stood the tallest in this series, however, and was the easy MVP choice.