Behind their powerful lineup and a dominate performance from the bullpen the Los Angeles Dodgers capture their first World Series Championship since 1988.
By Ian Blum
And it as quickly as it came, it was gone. The Dodgers put the cherry on top of their fantastic 2020 season in Game 6 on Tuesday night with 3-1 victory over the Rays. The headline going into the game was Blake Snell. He was awesome in Game 2 when he went 4.2 and struck out 9 in route to a 6-4 Rays victory. Now they called to him once more to keep the series alive.
Snell came out guns blazing and went right at the Dodgers. Like a cowboy in an old western film with his back against the wall he mowed through the Dodgers lineup almost with ease.
While Snell did his part Randy Arozarena did what he has done all October long.
The scoring stayed that way through the 5th inning. The Dodgers rolled out the bullpen arms t0 hold off the Rays lineup. Meanwhile Snell kept on tearing through the Dodgers.
Then we get to maybe, probably, the decision that has become the story of the entire series. Blake Snell came out for the 6th inning and got the first out with ease. With 1 out here comes Austin Barnes who would single up the middle. It is at this point that Kevin Cash would come out of the dugout and pull Blake Snell from the game with 73 pitches thrown. He would call on Nick Anderson to come in and get the Rays through the 6th to avoid Snell seeing the Dodgers best hitters for a third time.
Anderson immediately gave up a double to Mookie Betts that moved Barnes to 3rd base. With Corey Seager up Anderson threw a wild pitch that scored Barnes and the game was tied. Seager then hit an infield ground ball that was thrown to the plate. Betts beat that throw and the Dodgers took a 2-1 lead.
Everyone is gonna break this down and tear apart so I won’t spend too much time on it. First off, analytics work. Objectively they do. No one in the sport uses them more effectively than the Tampa Bay Rays. They have their script, their plan, and they stick to it. Charlie Morton was pulled way early in Game 7 of the ALCS for the same reason. It is what they do. I won’t listen to anyone say that their process doesn’t work because Kevin Cash managed a team with a payroll of roughly $28.3 million dollars (3rd lowest) and got them to the World bleeping Series. They are not in this series competing with a team like the Dodgers if they manage conventionally. It would not happen.
Should he have pulled Snell? No and we know that because of the result. But Kevin Cash leaned on what he knew got him there and if you have a process that got you the number 1 seed in the AL, past the Yankees, past the Astros, and a 1-0 lead in Game 6 of the World Series vs the best team in baseball I think anyone would consider sticking to it.
It is also worth noting that Nick Anderson hasn’t pitched great in October. In fact he has the longest active streak in postseason history when it comes to allowing runs. I would’ve gone to Pete Fairbanks personally. So one could argue this is just as much the guy picked to replace Snell.
Anyways, Mookie homered and the Dodgers bullpen gave up absolutely nothing giving the Dodgers the 3-1 victory.
For the Los Angeles Dodgers, congratulations on your first title since 1988. The 2020 MLB season was one for the books after getting shutdown in the spring. The nasty labor negotiations put the season in jeopardy and then of course spring 2.0 and all the challenges of playing in the pandemic. For awhile it really seemed like we wouldn’t make it here but its great that we did.
Just some quick bullets on the night:
-Clayton Kershaw finally got a ring
-Corey Seager won the World Series MVP award after his 2 HR 5 RBI 7 runs scored and .400/.556/.700 slash line in the series
-Blake Snell is the only pitcher in the 21st century to have 9+ strikeouts and 2 or fewer hits aloud in the World Series and he did in both of his starts per MLBRandomStats on twitter
-Justin Turner was removed from the game in the 7th inning because of a positive COVID-19 test. He was seen on the field for the team photo after the game
Nobody knows if it was a false positive at the time of this writing but my goodness I hope it was because this is ridiculously irresponsible
A quick shoutout to drunk Rob Manfred
All jokes aside congratulations to both the Rays and the Dodgers for making it the end of the year. It was a hard fought series that had a lot of great moments. I really do hate to see it end. I’ll let the greatest broadcaster of all time have the final words.