Houston Astros outfielder George Springer was mired in a postseason slump heading into the World Series last October when he reached out to a former UConn teammate — Colorado Rockies pitcher Scott Oberg — for advice.
Springer (New Britain, Conn.) was slated to lead off Game 1 against Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw on the heels of an ALCS in which the Astros leadoff man hit just .115 (3-for-26 with seven strikeouts). Springer wanted a scouting report from Oberg (Tewksbury, Mass.).
"He wanted to know how Kershaw approaches righties," Oberg said. "I was texting with him, ‘Don’t be afraid to swing at the first pitch of the World Series. That could be your best opportunity against Kershaw.’"
This isn’t a story about how two New England natives put their heads together to make baseball history. Springer took Oberg’s advice — albeit half-heartedly — and regrettably forced a check swing for the first strike in the World Series. Springer struck out to end that at-bat — as well as each of his next three at-bats. The Dodgers won Game 1, and Oberg decided to spare Springer the scouting reports for the rest of the series.