The LA Dodgers have wanted to be in this position for a very long time now and just the idea that one more victory over the Tampa Bay Rays will get them the World Series Championship title that they have coveted all these years must be exhilarating. The energy in the dugout must be electric, just like this MLB World Series has been.
The Rays Are Against The Fence
The road to a World Series title has not been without its setbacks and disappointments for the Dodgers. On Saturday evening, in Game 4, most everyone on the Dodgers team thought that they had the game won. However, the Rays had other ideas.
In the bottom of the ninth, bizarre circumstances and a passed ball by Dodgers catcher Will Smith brought Randy Arozarena from third base scurrying, stumbling and sliding for home plate to take the game away from the Dodgers and even up the series at 2–2.
Still hurting from that unexpected loss, LA took to the field for Game 5 behind their ace veteran pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who had a reputation of melting down in big playoff games. This was a reputation that he seems determined to correct, and he brought his ‘A’ game to Globe Life field for Game 5.
Kershaw Proves Too Strong
Kershaw pitched for 5.2 innings, struck out 6 and walked two throwing a total of 85 pitches during which he only gave up two runs in the third inning when Yandy Diaz tripled to deep right field and Kiemaier scored. Then, Arozarena singled to shallow left and Diaz scored. That was it. The Kershaw pitched two more innings before the Dodger bullpen took over and shut Tampa Bay out for the remainder of Game 5 and the Dodgers held on to win by a final score of 4-2.
Kershaw told sports reporters after the game, “It feels pretty good. Anytime you can have success in the post season, it just means so much. That is what you work for. That is what you play for this month. I know what the other end of that feels like, too. I will definitely take it when I can get it.”
LA picked up three runs off of Tyler Glasnow in the early innings thanks to long home runs by Joc Pederson and Max Muncy. Then, in the bottom of the fourth inning, Manuel Margot, who had made it all the way to third base on his own initiative, decided it was a good time to make one of baseball’s rarest and sometimes most spectacular plays and steal home plate. Perhaps Margot forgot who was on the pitcher’s mound, but Kershaw threw him out easily and sent him back to the dugout still looking somewhat confused.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts caught a few boos from the sparse crowd when he pulled Kershaw from the game after the ace had just retired 5 Tampa Bay batters in a row. Roberts shrugged off the boos and made the move remembering the times when he left Clayton in the game a little too long and things did not work out so well. Then came Dustin May, Victor Gonzales and Blake Treinen, who proceeded to shut down 10 of 13 Rays batters and seal a victory in Game 5 for the Dodgers.
After the game, Roberts justified his unpopular decision, “I understand that fans, players get caught up in emotion. And I’m emotional … but I still have to have clarity on making decisions, because ultimately my job is to help the Dodgers win the World Series.”
The Dodgers Close In On The Title
When the Dodgers won the important and pivotal Game 3 after splitting the first two with the Rays, the team was in the driver’s seat for the 2020 World Series, then the odd and disappointing ending to Game 4 evened things back up again. Now, with a Game 5 victory in their pockets, the Dodgers are once again poised to win just one more game and become MLB World Series Champions for the first time since 1988. Game 6 comes tomorrow night, and this could be the last game of the series.