Viscarra’s Vice: Fall Classic already an undisputed treasure

first_imgAngel Viscarra | Daily TrojanAward-winning sports columnist Rick Reilly often reflects and speaks on an experience of his in which the stage was just “too big.” Whenever Reilly reminisces about the 1986 Masters, when Jack Nicklaus won his sixth green jacket, he mentions a media member who held his head and uttered, “It’s too big. I can’t write it,” as Nicklaus won his 18th and final major championship. Media members that day in Augusta, Ga., including Reilly himself, admit they had no clue how they were going to encapsulate the historical significance of what had just occurred in front of them — while hitting deadline for their stories. I have a similar feeling I type out this column. To write a column on the brilliance of this year’s World Series between the Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers is intimidating. Through the first five episodes of the 2017 Fall Classic, millions of spectators worldwide have been captivated and honed in on every pitch thrown, ball hit and ball fielded. Entering this series, we all knew these two teams each had the makeup and track record to make this an iconic Fall Classic. Rarely in sports does a great series on paper translate to a great series on the field of play. All the elements have been there. This series includes Cy Young winners, league MVPs, batting title champions, All-Stars and more on both sides. For the first time since 1970, this series includes two teams that boasted 100-plus wins in the regular season.This World Series has been the epitome of a heavyweight title bout between the two undisputedly best teams in baseball. This is Ali-Frazier. Through five games, both sides have thrown — and connected on — several devastating haymakers. The most recent installment of this series, Sunday night’s Game 5, was a contest that will be immortalized in baseball lore. Alex Bregman dumped a 10th-inning walk-off single over the head of Corey Seager into short left field that was the finishing blow for the Dodgers in a 13-12 loss in extra innings. Bregman, who homered off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen the night before in Game 4, once again torching the all-world reliever to give Houston a 3-2 series lead.A five-hour, 17-minute slugfest, Game 5 gave baseball and non-baseball enthusiasts everything they could hope for in a postseason contest. It was the Cy-Young pitching matchup that saw neither pitcher survive through five innings. It was a game with huge leads, blown leads, regained leads and, in the end for the Dodgers, leads again painfully lost.Per ESPN, Houston became just the fifth team in World Series history to rally from three deficits in a game (two of which were three-run deficits) to win it in the end. But Los Angeles also displayed resilience and a flair for the dramatic, rallying for three runs in the ninth to force extra innings. It must be said, Games 1 through 5 of this Fall Classic have all been incredible to take in. This brings me back to my Reilly reference. In many ways, this series has been just “too big” to handle as both a media member and a Dodgers supporter. While it is not over yet, it wouldn’t be fool’s gold to say that this year’s Fall Classic will go down as one of the finest ever played. Houston, coming together as a community after facing natural tragedy, is hungry for its first title in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Dodgers appear to finally have the right puzzle pieces to end their nearly three-decades-long World Series drought since the start of the season. The Astros will enter the confines of Dodger Stadium Tuesday night with a 3-2 series lead — nine innings away from hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy. Game 6 will be just the fifth World Series game ever played on Halloween night. No team has ever clinched a World Series title on Halloween, and the Dodgers are certainly hoping this will still ring true when they wake up on Wednesday morning. Los Angeles will needback-to-back victories to secure its first World Series trophy since 1988. A day marked by ghosts, ghouls and goblins, Halloween is the annual holiday centered around fear. The Dodgers themselves encounter a scary reality Tuesday night: going up against Astros pitcher Justin Verlander in an elimination game and facing a Houston lineup loaded with ERA-killers like Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.Tuesday night’s contest will end one of two ways: The Dodgers will either be the character in the horror flick who is brutally slain in the dark forest, or they will emerge as the resilient survivor who withstood the violent onslaught, which in this case would be surviving to see a Game 7. Halloween baseball at its finest. Angel Viscarra is a junior studying broadcast and digital journalism. His column, Viscarra’s Vice, runs Tuesdays.last_img read more

Dortmund 0-1 Bayern: Lewandowski on target as Munich win at Borussia

first_imgBayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski scored the winner in a 1-0 victory over his former club Borussia Dortmund on Saturday as the Bundesliga leaders maintained their 10-point lead at the top despite a string of absentees.The Poland forward, who joined Bayern this season, shrugged off a hostile welcome on his league return to the Signal Iduna Park, heading in the winner on the rebound in the Bundesliga’s big game.The result lifted Bayern to 67 points while Dortmund suffered a setback in their hunt for a European spot, remaining in 10th on 33 points following their first defeat in eight league games.Missing injured Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and David Alaba among others, the Bavarians lacked their usual punching power but they made up defensively as they completely shut out the hosts.The 80 667 sell-out crowd had to wait 16 minutes for the first shot on goal in a finely balanced and physical first half.With a new-look midfield of captain Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Bayern gradually found space to go forward while efficiently shutting down space for the hosts. Neither team had a major scoring chance until Lewandowski’s header after keeper Roman Weidenfeller had denied Thomas Mueller the Pole’s 14th league goal of the season.Dortmund had the edge in the second half but, apart from a fine Marco Reus free kick in the 88th that Manuel Neuer did well to save, they struggled to break past a tight Bayern back line on the way to their second home league defeat of the year.Earlier, Borussia Moenchengladbach scored three times in 10 minutes to come from a goal down and demolish hosts Hoffenheim 4-1 to tighten their hold on a Champions League spot.VfL Wolfsburg struggled initially against VfB Stuttgart but two goals from Swiss international Ricardo Rodriguez and another from Andre Schuerrle, his first for the club, earned a 3-1 win.Wolfsburg are in second place and have all but secured a top-four finish with seven matches left. Bayer Leverkusen also took a big step towards a top-four finish, crushing relegation-threatened Hamburg SV 4-0 with two goals from Gonzalo Castro to stay in fourth on 48 points, nine ahead of Schalke 05, in fifth, who are in action at Augsburg on Sunday.Former European champions Hamburg, who were defeated in interim coach Peter Knaebel’s debut game, are in 16th place, the relegation playoff spot.–last_img read more