Photo by Dodgers via Twitter
In a close matchup against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won the 2020 World Series 4 to 2. Although they have been close many times, this is their first win since 1988, finally ending the 32-year streak of losses. Shortstop Corey Seager was also named World Series MVP. The Tampa Bay Rays put up a good fight, winning two games, but was overtaken by the offensive power of the Dodgers. That doesn’t mean that they did poorly; Randy Arozarena took the record for the most home runs in a single postseason with a whopping 10 home runs. Arozarena also set the record for most hits by a rookie, beating Derek Jeter. With the Rays trying their best and almost overtaking the Dodgers, how did the Dodgers win it?
In the first game of the series, the Dodgers took control with an 8 to 3 win. Clayton Kershaw had a superior six-inning start, allowing only 1 run and striking out 8, while Mookie Betts went 2 and 4 with a home run–putting up a great offensive game. The Dodgers blew it up in the fifth inning, scoring 4 runs after back to back walks by Rays starter Tyler Glasnow. Kevin Kiermiar, center fielder for the Rays, said “They had better at-bats than us, and did all the little things right.” With the Dodger offense backing up the dominant pitching, the Dodgers took game one.
In game two, Tampa Bay Rays tied up the series with a 6 to 4 win. Blake Snell started for the Rays, and he shut the Dodgers down in a 5⅔ inning start until the 5th inning where he gave up a two-run home run to Chris Taylor, proceeded to walk Mookie Betts, and give up a single to Corey Seager. But with the offensive talent of the Rays lineup and their bullpen strength, they took the win for game two.
Game three was 6-2, giving the Dodgers another win. The Dodgers received another dominant start from Walker Buehler, going six innings with 10 strikeouts and only allowing one run. The Dodgers opened the game up with a first inning solo home run from Justin Turner, and then they followed that up in the second inning with a 2 out RBI double from Max Muncy, scoring 2. Randy Arozarena hit a solo shot in the ninth inning, but overall the Ray’s offense was weak the whole game, and they couldn’t follow up their previous win because they were being shut down by Buehler.
Game four of the World Series was one of the closest games this postseason. With home runs galore the whole game, the Dodgers struck first with Justin Turner shooting another home run in the first inning, and then Corey Seager in the third inning hitting another solo home run. But in response, Randy Arozarena hit a home run the very next inning, making the score only 2 to 1. Later in the sixth inning, the Rays finally took the lead with a three-run home run from Brandon Lowe, opening the game up for the Rays. The two teams bit at each other’s lead the whole game until the ninth inning, where the Dodgers had reclaimed the lead, 7 to 6. Finally, in the ninth inning, with runners on first and second, two outs, and the count at 1-2, Brent Philips hit the biggest hit of his career. Brent Philips delivered with a single into center field, scoring one, but with a game-ending error from Chris Taylor, the Rays were able to squeeze another runner. The Rays won the game 8 to 2.
The Dodgers took the lead once again in game five of the World Series, winning 4 to 2. Clayton Kershaw started again for the Dodgers, going six innings and only allowing two runs. Kershaw also took the title for the most postseason strikeouts, with 207 strikeouts and counting, beating Justin Verlander’s record of 205. The Dodgers struck early again, scoring two in the first inning after a leadoff double from Mookie Betts. The Dodgers followed up with a solo home run, in the second inning, from Joc Pederson and another solo home run, in the fifth inning, from Max Muncy. The Rays, on the other hand, were only able to score in the third inning. Randy Arozarena beat the record for most hits in a postseason (26) with his 27th hit. The Dodger bullpen later finished the game, letting no runs in after another great Kershaw start.
With the Dodgers leading 3 to 2, the Rays had to win this game and force a game 7, but they came short of winning. The Dodgers took game six in a 3 to 1 game. The game was really decided when Rays starter Blake Snell, who was going 5 innings without a single run, was pulled in the sixth inning after giving up his second hit. The Dodgers proceeded to score two on relief pitcher Nick Anderson, taking the lead 2 to 1. The Dodgers also added on to the lead, with a Mookie Betts solo home run in the eighth inning, which basically guaranteed the win for the Dodgers. The only run the Rays managed to earn was a solo home run, in the first inning, from the great offensive power of Randy Arozarena, who almost carried his whole team throughout the World Series. The game was then closed off by pitcher Julio Urias of the Dodgers, shutting down the Rays in his two innings of pitching.
This win for the Dodgers not only ends a 32-year streak of losing, but it also adds on to the Los Angeles athletic franchise. The Dodgers won just a few weeks after the Lakers won the NBA Championship, where they also won 4 to 2. But where does that leave Tampa Bay? The manager of the Rays, Kevin Cash, helped the Dodgers win game six because pulling out Blake Snell after giving up his second hit didn’t seem like the best move. Cash later said, “I regret the decision because it didn’t work out.” Snell also felt that he could perform, stating, “I am definitely disappointed and upset.” He continued on to say, “I just want the ball. I felt good. I did everything I could to prove my case to stay out there, and then for us to lose, it sucks. I want to win, and I want to win the World Series, and for us to lose, it just sucks.” Regardless of the Rays manager’s decision, the Rays have lost the 2020 World Series. They just have to hope that 2021 is going to be their year. The Dodgers, on the other hand, will look for another win at the next World Series. We all just have to wait and see as we continue to be excited for the 2021 season of baseball!