Astros Beat the Dodgers Behind George Springer and Jose Altuve
It’s still hard to believe what we witnessed in the 2017 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros. After the historic World Series victory by the Cubs last year, few thought we’d get an even better seven-game series to top last year. Producing two of the most memorable World Series games in recent decades, the 2017 World Series will be fondly remembered by baseball fans for many years to come. Packed with more twists and turns than most spy thrillers, the epic World Series produced new superstars like World Series MVP George Springer and goats like Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish.
Houston Astros fans experienced their first championship in franchise history, ending decades of playoff futility. Winning over 100 games in the regular season, it seemed fitting the Astros would win the World Series to cap their season. After the massive flooding by Hurricane Harvey wreaked the city, Houston Strong became a slogan that seemed to fuel the team’s championship run. Getting ace pitcher Justin Verlander at the trading deadline didn’t seem to hurt, either.
The 2017 World Series: Collector’s Edition is MLB’s gift to Houston fans that want to re-live every single pitch of all seven games. From the dominating game one pitching performance by Clayton Kershaw, to the incredible game five comeback by the Astros that went into extra innings, it’s all here. This is the FOX broadcast in all its glory with announcers Joe Buck and John Smoltz. Each game includes the post-game show with player interviews and the MLB Network’s quick recap.
The 2017 World Series will be remembered beyond its memorable moments for introducing several new young stars to America. On the Astros side we have AL MVP Jose Altuve, World Series MVP George Springer, and SS Carlos Correa. Included in game seven’s wild post-game show is Correa’s on-field proposal to his girlfriend, one of the few non-baseball moments that really created news after the game.
The Dodgers also introduced themselves across the country, making the World Series for the first time since 1988. Rookie Cody Bellinger won the NL Rookie of the Year award in a runaway vote, breaking the NL rookie record for homers while still missing a month of the season. While Cody had some struggles hitting the slider in the World Series, he showed everyone why his future is so bright. Rightfielder Yasiel Puig became notable as much for his colorful personality as for his hitting and excellent defense. Kids, licking your bat on national television is just wrong.
While I doubt many Dodger fans will want to watch Yu Darvish get hit around in both his starts again, the thrilling 2017 World Series produced many indelible moments for the Astros. Making it almost essential their fans get this set as a memento to remember this championship. If you want a smoother documentary on the 2017 World Series that gets solely to the good stuff, Shout Factory’s companion 2017 World Series: Houston Astros disc is a better bet for the casual fan.
All seven games of the 2017 World Series are given their own BD-50, encoded in high-bitrate AVC. These discs are nothing more than the original FOX game broadcasts in their highest possible quality, presented in their native 1.78:1 aspect ratio and original 720P resolution.
If you happened to catch the 2017 World Series on Fox, you already know what to expect from this set’s video quality. This is crisp HD video with decent definition and a prime contrast. Given the demands of a live sporting event, the camera work isn’t quite as polished as scripted entertainment.
The AVC encode flawlessly handles the clean video for each game. The digital transfers perfectly translate on Blu-ray without anything mucking up their video.
Each World Series game comes with four different audio choices in 2.0 DTS-HD MA. The primary offering is the FOX game broadcast with announcers Joe Buck and John Smoltz. Having heard Joe Buck call the World Series for years, he’s gone from disliked by many baseball fans to grudging acceptance. Buck is made better by Hall of Famer John Smoltz in the booth with their easygoing relationship that seems cordial on the surface. Also included are the radio feeds by the Astros and Dodgers. Dodgers announcer Charlie Steiner holds court with former player Rick Monday on the Dodgers radio broadcast. The high-energy Spanish-language broadcast is the last audio option.
The sound quality is fairly pedestrian and rather standard for broadcast sports. The announcers come across in fine, clear quality with intelligible dialogue. Crowd noise is an issue, getting selectively muted by FOX’s producers when they think it’s distracting. It’s lively audio when the ball is hit around the field but the stereo presentation is not going to win any awards.
No subtitles are included.
There isn’t much in the way of bonus features on this eight-disc Blu-ray set. You’ll have to buy the companion 2017 World Series feature-length documentary for more insight into the games themselves. All games include the post-game interviews and discussion seen on MLB Network. Shout Factory and MLB includes a slipcover over the sturdy Blu-ray case that holds all eight discs reasonably well without complaint. This is a set clearly made for die-hard Astros fans that want to watch the 2017 World Series over and over.
The eighth “bonus” disc contains the Astros’ pennant-clinching ALCS Game 7 victory in its entirety against the Yankees, presented in the same A/V quality as the World Series games.
A neat booklet contains factoids and box scores for all eight games.
MLB Promo (03:16 in HD) – A series of MLB promos for their network and other various initiatives plays before the main menu of each game.
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