Dodgers Finish Off Rays In Six Games To Win Their First Championship In Thirty-Two Years

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latimes.com

Dylan Epstein, Staff Writer

In the blink of an eye, the MLB season and World Series are over, upsetting baseball fans across the world.  However, the 2020 World Series was a thriller, and it couldn’t have been more exciting to watch.  The Los Angeles Dodgers, coming out of the National League, faced off against the Tampa Bay Rays, the American League representative.  Each team was dominant in its own way and challenged the opposition to leave everything on the field.  This World Series was one for the record books, and there is a lot to take away from it.

Although the series ended in six games, each game was a nail biter.  In game one, Tyler Glasnow, the Rays’ ace, pitched against future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw.  Both pitchers felt the nerves in the first inning, but they settled down and kept the game scoreless through three innings.  In the bottom of the fourth, Cody Bellinger gave the Dodgers the lead with a two-run blast into right field.  In the next inning, Kevin Kiermaier followed up with a solo shot to cut the lead to one.  

Sadly for the Rays, the Dodgers opened the game up big with a solid four-run inning highlighted by two stolen bases and a run by Mookie Betts in the fifth.  This set the tone for the rest of the game, and the Dodgers won eight to three to take the series lead.  

Usually, it’s hard coming back from a deficit in the World Series, but it’s different with the Rays.  

“The Rays’ starters and the pitching depth established by manager Kevin Cash was too good for the Dodgers to take the trophy home easily,” said junior Dustin Noto. 

In the next game, Blake Snell, a deceiving left-handed pitcher for the Rays, dueled against the Dodgers’ rookie pitcher, Tony Gonsolin.  The Rays jumped out to an early lead which took Gonsolin out of the game and forced the Dodgers to dive deep into their bullpen.  Riding on the bat of Brandon Lowe, who hit two home runs with three RBIs, and stellar pitching by the Rays bullpen, the Rays cruised their way to victory to tie up the series.

The Dodgers dominated the Rays in every way in game three.  Walker Buehler, a rising star for the Dodgers, pitched six innings with one earned run and racked up ten strikeouts.  For the Rays, Charlie Morton allowed five earned runs over four innings.  Morton wasn’t wild; it’s just that the Dodgers knocked the cover off the ball.  The Dodgers piled up ten hits including homers from Justin Turner and Austin Barnes.  They regained the series lead with a 6-2 win.

Game four was the most exciting game in the series,with Corey Seagar leading the charge for the Dodgers with four hits, three runs, and two RBIs, while Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe knocked in a bunch of runs for the Rays.  

In the last inning, the Rays trailed by one run, and the game was put into the hands of Brent Philips who came off the bench to pinch-hit.  He hit a single into centerfield and, with a sloppy play from centerfielder Chris Taylor and an error by catcher Austin Barnes, the Rays walked off the game and tied the series, two to two. 

In game five, the aces for each team were back on the bump except this time, the Dodgers hit Glasnow early.  Mookie Betts hit a leadoff double and Corey Seager followed up with a single to knock him in.  Seager’s baserunning in that same inning led to another run for the Dodgers.  The Dodgers got two more runs that game, and the Rays scored their only two runs in the third, which meant that the Dodgers would go on to win four to two and take the lead in the series.

In game six, the do or die game for the Rays, Blake Snell took the mound and Tony Gonsolin pitched for the Dodgers.  The Rays jumped out to an early lead with a home run by Arozarena.  Snell pitched phenomenally well throughout the game, but was pulled after he let up one hit in the sixth.  Consequently, Barnes scored on a passed ball and Seagar drove in Betts to give the Dodgers the lead.  The Dodgers bullpen shut down the Rays the rest of the game, and, with a homer by Betts to add another run, the Dodgers won the series four games to two and took the trophy back home to LA.

A few players on the Dodgers played well and helped the Dodgers win, but there could only be one MVP.  Although Mookie Betts had game-changing baserunning plays, multiple key hits, and played flawlessly in the field, Corey Seager got the award.  Seager played superbly at shortstop, racked up four hits to keep the Dodgers in game four, and delivered big in game six.  

“I think Seager won MVP because he batted .400 with two home runs and got the game-winning RBI in the final game,” said freshman Ryan Farrell.  

Even though Seager won MVP, it was still a team effort, and every player on the Dodgers contributed to their victory.  Both of these teams have bright futures, and they should be formidable this upcoming season.  The Rays have an amazing bullpen and a young group of players who all have talent, while the Dodgers also have an outstanding pitching staff and a lineup filled with all-stars.  The Dodgers and Rays never faced each other in the regular season this year, but there is a possibility they will play next year and, if they do, it will be one to watch.  

“If they play next year, the winner will be based on who hits the best, and I hope that the Rays can get their revenge,” said sophomore Cal Gober.