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Durable Morrow proves his worth with LA

Reliever ties record by appearing in all seven WS games
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Sitting inside the home dugout late Wednesday night, Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow watched the Astros' trophy ceremony on the field after their 5-1 victory in Game 7 of the World Series over Los Angeles.

Morrow probably couldn't help but wonder how things might have been different.

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LOS ANGELES -- Sitting inside the home dugout late Wednesday night, Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow watched the Astros' trophy ceremony on the field after their 5-1 victory in Game 7 of the World Series over Los Angeles.

Morrow probably couldn't help but wonder how things might have been different.

View Full Game Coverage

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Morrow was the Dodgers' workhouse in the Series, joining the A's Darold Knowles (1973) as the only pitchers to appear in all seven World Series games. That performance capped a postseason where the right-hander appeared in 14 of L.A.'s 15 postseason games.

After going his entire career without appearing in a single postseason game, Morrow got his fill in 2017. The Dodgers and necessity pushed him to his limits. Overall, Morrow had a 3.95 ERA in his 13 2/3 innings of postseason work.

"I wish there was more," Morrow said. "I felt good most of the time. I kept going. Whenever the phone rang, I threw the ball."

In seven World Series games, Morrow tallied 5 1/3 innings, giving up five earned runs, though four of those runs came in Game 5 after talking manager Dave Roberts into letting him pitch. After that game, Morrow regretted making that call.

"I think it was a little bit selfish to try and get in when there was a plan to stay away," Morrow said. "I guess everybody is trying to step up."

Aside from that appearance, Morrow allowed just one run over those 5 1/3 innings. His final appearance of the postseason was short, as he got one out in Game 7 to close out the second inning after starter Yu Darvish had surrendered five runs (four earned).

Roberts said he didn't regret allowing Darvish to face George Springer twice, even after Houston's leadoff hitter started the game with a double. Roberts felt fine using Morrow in the spot that he did. Morrow struck out Alex Bregman to end the inning. With his spot due up in the order, Morrow was pulled for a pinch-hitter.

Video: WS2017 Gm7: Morrow on motivation for 2018

"You look up to that point, there were two balls that were hit hard," Roberts said about keeping Darvish in. "There was the first ball off Springer's bat. I understand it's Game 7, but I just felt his stuff was good. And I think anything other than a homer would have been considerably better."

Morrow's 2017 campaign was a far cry from the last two seasons, both of which were riddled with injuries. The Dodgers signed him to a Minor League contract in the offseason and promoted him in June. From there, he became a vital piece to Los Angeles' 104-win regular season team.

In fact, Morrow didn't allow a home run in the regular season and became the team's most trusted relief arm aside from All-Star closer Kenley Jansen.

Video: WS2017 Gm7: Jansen throws scoreless inning in relief

Free agency awaits Morrow, who said he would "love to" return to the Dodgers. But if this is the end for him with the team, Morrow said that he enjoyed every bit of his time in L.A.

"It was tough for me at first," Morrow said about first joining the Dodgers. "I only knew one person coming in when I signed. I kind of warm up slowly to people, I'm reserved at first. But once you get it in and you're a part of the team, it's awesome. The talent [here] is amazing. Everybody's so professional and prepares and is really close to each other."

Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Brandon Morrow