Sports: The Drought Is Over, Dodgers Capture Elusive 7th World Series Title With Game 6 Victory Over The Rays

by Eric Torres

A 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night saw the talented, fan favorite Los Angeles Dodgers end a 32-year World Series drought. 

ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: Members of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate on the field after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 6 to clinch the 2020 World Series at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

A fantastic effort from the Dodgers’ pitching staff led the way. Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw seemingly exorcised his postseason demons, allowing only three earned runs combined through two starts. He pitched 11.2 total innings, striking out 14. In addition, young phenom Walker Buehler, who was scheduled to start both games three and seven (if necessary), gave a quality start, allowing one earned run through six innings, and struck out 10.

Meanwhile, the Dodger bullpen anchored down these electric starts. In Games one, three, and five, the bullpen held onto leads without much trouble, only giving up three runs total. In game six, a scheduled bullpen game, seven different Dodger pitchers combined to allow only one run on four hits, and struck out 16, with Julio Urias slamming the door on any potential comeback. The only blemish on a wonderful bullpen performance was a disastrous game 4 ninth inning, where a fundamental error would lead to a blown save and a Rays win. 

To complement an electric pitching performance, the Dodgers’ dynamic offense, led by MVP Corey Seager and Mookie Betts, provided enough run support. Although the offense struggled at times, they always seemed to come up with clutch hits, scoring 18 runs throughout the series with two outs. Nine different Dodgers hit home runs in the series, with Justin Turner, Mookie Betts, and Corey Seager each homering twice. In a crucial turn of events in Game 6, the Dodgers jumped on a controversial decision by Rays manager Kevin Cash to pull ace Blake Snell, as Mookie Betts set up a momentum swinging inning with a double, leading to what would prove to be the game winning RBI from Corey Seager. 

Corey Seager, rightfully, was named the MVP for the Dodgers in the World Series. After a phenomenal postseason, he continued his hot streak into the World Series. In the World Series, Seager had a batting average of .400, and homered twice, in games two and four. Furthermore, Seager had four doubles, a stolen base, and reached base fifteen times. He scored seven runs and had five RBIs en route to earning World Series MVP. 

However, shortly before the end of the final game, controversy emerged. Before the 8th inning, Dodger third baseman Justin Turner was removed from the game due to a positive COVID-19 test. Although removed from the field, Turner returned to the field to celebrate with the team, and was even seen removing his mask to take pictures. However, the MLB released a statement condemning Turner, stating that Turner was initially placed in isolation following his removal from the game, but later chose to disregard protocols in order to return to celebrate with the team. The MLB has launched an investigation into the causes, and further tests for tracing, with more to come later in order to determine how COVID-19 entered the Dodgers’ soft bubble.

Although Tampa Bay came up just short, there are a lot of positives to take from the series, especially being the team with the third-lowest payroll. Randy Arozarena, a young star from Cuba, hit ten home runs throughout the postseason, the most ever in a single postseason. Furthermore, their ace, Blake Snell, pitched well in both games two and six. Although the bullpen didn’t fare as well in the World Series, the Rays got great production from them throughout the regular season and early postseason. The Tampa Bay Rays will look to be back in the World Series next season.

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