Thirty-two years is a long time to wait for the LA Dodgers to finally win another MLB World Series, but the true-blue Dodger faithful never gave up. Anywhere the Dodgers played, there was always a sizeable contingent of loyal LA fans all dressed out in their blue and white jerseys of their favorite Dodgers players. They finally got what they waited for and the Dodgers have captured the championship against a hard-fighting Tampa Bay Rays team.
For the Tampa Bay Rays, and manager Kevin Cash, a tremendous season will now be reduced to a single moment of failure, one the team and its brain-trust will be forced to live down for decades. Cash’s decision to lift starter Blake Snell in the sixth after 5 1/3 innings of brilliant two-hit ball, with nine strikeouts, cost the Rays the game and the series. The debate over the emphasis placed on analytics will rage all offseason.
The Dodgers Take the World Series
Orel Hershiser, who pitched in the Dodgers’ 1988 World Series victory, is now up in the announcer’s booth, where the great Vin Scully sat, doing the in-game analysis with Vin’s handpicked successor Joe Davis. Hershiser, who was named MVP for the 1988 World Series, is beginning to look like an old guy now. That’s how long it has been.
At the beginning of Game 6 of this year’s World Series, the stadium was unusually quiet as everyone there, players, coaches and fans, knew that this could be the one. Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts put up his usual lineup and selected Tony Gonsolin to start the game.
Right away, Dodgers fans knew that Roberts would be going to his eclectic bullpen when the time came to pull Gonsolin, who lasted 1.2 innings and struck out four Rays. He did give up a line drive home run to Randy Arozarena, but then, that was not at all uncommon during this series.
However, that homer in the first inning was enough to allow Arozarena to set a new MLB record for the most hits in a postseason – at 29 – and the postseason record for total bases with 64. Before it was all over, Roberts wisely used seven of his bullpen pitchers to finally become only the third manager in Dodgers’ history to win a World Series.
By the time Game 6 rolled around, the pregame speculation was at a minimum, only concentrating on whether or not Roberts would use his veteran closer Kenley Jansen to finish the game. Jansen had a couple of bad outings previously in this World Series, even committed a throwing error.
The Dodgers Bullpen Proved Strong
One of the commentators speculated that a wild card choice to finish the game might be young Julio Urias, who had been spot on all during the series. That is what came to pass at the end of the game. Urias took the mound and proceeded to throw the baseball like a laser gun and struck out 4 Rays to finish the game including whipping a fast ball by Willy Adames for the final out of the game, and of the 2020 World Series.
Mookie Betts, the newest Dodger on the team, hit a long home run in the eighth inning to make it 3-1 and seal the victory for LA. His contributions to the team throughout this turbulent season have been invaluable and clearly justifies the large expenditure from Andrew Friedman and company.
In the sixth inning, with Austin Barnes on base, Mookie Betts hit a solid double off of Rays’ pitcher Nick Anderson that sent Barnes to third base. Then, with Cory Seager at the plate, both Barnes and Betts scored on a wild pitch; and that was the last run of the evening, and of the World Series. Dodgers win 3-1, and the rest is baseball history.
The MLB Season Is Now Over
Sportsbooks recaptured some of their losses from earlier in the series when over 80% of bettors went for the over and were mightily disappointed by the lack of runs in the game as the Rays and Dodgers pitchers combined to strike out an awesome 27 batters during Game 6, setting a new record for WS games that went the full nine innings.
Congratulations to Dave Roberts and the entire Dodgers Championship team, as well as all of MLB, for one of the most memorable seasons in baseball history.