LA remains City of champions as Dodgers defeat Rays in World Series
SAT. | 11-07-20 | SPORTS
The condensed MLB season has come to an end as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. The Dodgers only needed six games to take care of the Rays in the best of seven series. The series began on Tuesday, Oct. 20th and concluded on Tuesday, Oct. 27th. All games were played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas where the Texas Rangers played their home games. Similar to the NBA bubble in Miami, the MLB established this bubble in order to minimize the chances of a COVID-19 outbreak and to ensure the health of the players and coaches participating in the series.
MLB condensed the season to 60 games, limiting travel, etc. There were rules and guidelines issued for handwashing, clubhouse and dugout activities, social distancing, wearing masks, checking temperatures and symptoms. Players could no longer spit tobacco or sunflower seeds, pitchers could not lick their fingers before throwing a pitch, and celebrating a walk-off home run by mobbing the hitter at home plate was forbidden. These rules carried over into the postseason with teams and families quarantining in a hotel. The Dodgers and their families were at a 400-acre resort between Dallas and Arlington.
In game one, the Dodgers defeated the Rays by a score of 8-3 thanks to an excellent outing from Clayotn Kershaw who struck out six batters.. In game 2, The Rays won 6- 4, tying the series one game a piece with two home runs from Brandon Lowe. In game three, the Dodgers jumped on the Rays early scoring five runs in the first four innings and defeated them 6-2 thanks to an impressive outing by Walker Buehler who struck out ten
Graphic by Jay Tyndall
batters and only gave up two runs.
The Rays took game four with a pinch hit walk off base hit from outfielder Brett Phillips to beat the Dodgers 8-7. In game five, the Dodgers rallied late to win game five with a score of 4-2 with the help of Joc Pederson and Max Muncy who each hit a home run. In game six, the Dodgers beat the Rays 3-1 to win the 2020 World Series thanks to spectacular hitting performance by outfielder Mookie Betts. This Dodgers World Series victory makes them champions for the first time since 1988.
The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the postseason as the number one seed for the National League, while the Tampa Bay Rays were the number one seed for the American League. The Dodgers offense was remarkable throughout the regular season and postseason with a slugging percentage of .483, over 500 hits and over 100 home runs. The Dodgers were led by Corey Seager National League Championship series (NLCS) and World Series MVP, last season's MVP Cody Bellinger and 2018 World Series MVP Mookie Betts.
The pitching staff for the Dodgers was very consistent with a 3.02 ERA and a winning percentage of .717. Many of these contributions were made by former Cy Young award winner and veteran lefty Clayton Kershaw, filthy left hander Julio Urias, flamethrower Walker Buehler, Kenly Jansen and Dustin May.
The Tampa Bay Rays were known for their young talent offensively and a deep pitching staff. Led by a strong bullpen and impressive starters Blake Snell, Tyler Glasnow and Charlie Morton, the rays had a strong season with a 3.56 earned run average (ERA) and a .667 winning percentage. The Rays offense was solid with 470 hits, a batting average of .238 and a slugging percentage of .425 at the end of the season.
Offensive records were broken this postseason by the hot bat and offense provided by Randy Arozarena. Arozarena set all-time records for the most hits (29) and home runs (10) in the postseason. He also tied the record for extra base hits with 14, just two short of the runs record. Other key contributors were centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, second baseman Brandon Lowe, third baseman Yandy Diaz, and first baseman Ji-Man Choi.
The last game of the World Series posed a few unique circumstances. Snell struck out nine batters and was pitching a gem into the sixth inning before giving up a hit to the ninth batter in the lineup, Austin Barnes. Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash decided to pull Snell and replace him with Nick Anderson. The Dodgers ended up taking the lead that inning and never looked back. One other interesting fact was Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner was removed from the game in the eighth inning due to a positive COVID test that was taken earlier. He faced criticism from the media, the commissioner of the MLB, and certain fans for celebrating with his team after the game. Anxieties increased for many of the Rays and Dodgers players and families as testing would have to be done and possible quarantining before returning home. The MLB season started with fears surrounding the coronavirus and actually ended with the spotlight being on the coronavirus.
Overall, it was an exciting series with two very competitive teams. Fans were very fortunate to be able to watch Major League Baseball this season. It will be a season fans will never forget.