MemberOctober 21, 2020 at 9:10 pm
Riding an early lead and timely pitching, the Tampa Bay Rays hold on to win Game Two of the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers, evening things up at one apiece with a 6-4 victory.
Tony Gonsolin, making only his second career postseason start (third appearance) in what is still considered his rookie campaign, fired a 95mph strike as the game’s first pitch. Gonsolin was forced to work for it, but he got Austin Meadows to pop-up on the infield for out number one. Gonsolin then attacked Brandon Lowe behind in the count, and Lowe made him pay. Hammering a solo shot into the gap, Lowe provided the Rays with an early advantage, 1-0. Gonsolin got Randy Arozarena to pop-out weakly and struck-out Ji-Man Choi to allow only the lone run. Now with his team ahead before he even threw a pitch, Blake Snell took the mound for Tampa Bay. Snell got Mookie Betts swinging to start his night. On the next pitch, Corey Seager ripped a line-drive that died on the warning track — he got it off the end of his bat. Snell punched out Justin Turner to complete a brief frame. Gonsolin issued a free pass to Manuel Margot, and he took 2nd on a ball in the dirt. Joey Wendle advanced him to 3rd with a sacrifice-fly, and Gonsolin was yanked to finish his day as the opener. With the defense pulled in, Dylan Floro worked a grounder of Willy Adames to Seager, who fielded and cut down Margot at the plate. Floro and Will Smith subsequently teamed up to cut down Adames attempting to steal 2nd. Snell walked Max Muncy to begin the bottom half, but he responded with a strike-out of Smith. Snell made four uncompetitive pitches to Cody Bellinger, bringing up AJ Pollock with two-on and one-down. Snell worked a weak pop-out of Pollock and fanned Kiké Hernàndez to strand the traffic. With his prior at-bat erased due to Adames’ caught stealing, Kevin Kiermaier grounded-out against Floro in the third. Floro then worked a soft pop-out of Mike Zunino before he was relieved with two-away. It took Victor González one pitch to retire Meadows with a weak fly-ball. Snell blew a fastball past Chris Taylor for the first out of the home half, and he worked a soft ground-out of Betts two pitches later. Snell got Seager swinging to end the inning — he and his breaking balls absolutely on point. González worked a check-swing grounder of Lowe, but walked Arozarena. He nearly erased it with a double-play, but Hernàndez’s bobble before getting the out at 2nd allowed Choi to beat the throw to 1st. With it, Dustin May was called upon out of the Dodgers’ bullpen. Margot chopped one against the shift for a base hit, and Wendle took advantage of an awful slider by May and delivered a two-run double into the gap off of May’s awful slider, pulling the Rays ahead 3-0. May worked a ground-out of Adames to leave Wendle at 2nd, though the damage was already done. In LA’s turn, Turner missed a hanging slider and flew-out, then Muncy chased ball four to go down swinging. Smith did the same, and Snell completed four no-hit frames with it. May struck-out Kiermaier and worked a ground-out of Zunino before Meadows reached with a two-out single. May, again, hung a slider and Lowe didn’t miss it, smashing a two-run homer the opposite way to grab the Rays a 5-0 advantage. May got Arozarena to ground-out on the next pitch to complete the frame, though his mistake a pitch prior was costly. Snell was two thirds of the way through another frame of overwhelming the Dodgers in their half, but he walked Hernàndez with two-down. Attempting to steal strike two on Taylor, Snell threw a curveball on the outside corner that Taylor swatted into the gap and over the wall. It was the first hit for LA, and it was a big one — a two-run shot to get them on the board, 5-2. Snell proceeded to walk Betts, and then allowed a single to Seager. With two-on and two-out, Snell was pulled. Nick Anderson, turned to in a big spot, won a battle against Turner — striking him out to escape the sudden threat. Joe Kelly entered for the top of the sixth and was welcomed by back-to-back singles from Choi and Margot. With runners at the corners, Wendle’s sac-fly brought home a run to make it 6-2 Tampa Bay. Kelly struck-out Adames and Kiermaier to mitigate things. Anderson remained in for the bottom frame and quickly worked a pop-out of Muncy. Smith, however, crushed a breaking ball into the seats to get the run right back for the Dodgers, 6-3. That was all for them offensively, and Alex Wood entered for the seventh. Wood worked around a single and an intentional walk to pitch a scoreless frame. Pete Fairbanks was given the home frame, and he set LA down in order with ease. Wood remained in for the eighth and worked around Adames’ two-out double. Fairbanks stayed in for the Dodgers’ turn, and Seager took him dead center for a solo bomb, pulling the Dodgers within two, 6-4. Turner’s subsequent at-bat resulted in a bloop double, bringing the tying run to the plate. Muncy battled and eventually flew-out, Turner stayed put at 2nd, and Smith smoked a line drive that unfortunately was right at Wendle. An out away from escaping, Fairbanks was relieved by Aaron Loup. With the count even, Bellinger froze on a fastball right down the middle, and LA was unable to pull any closer. Jake McGee got the ninth and he worked around two infield singles with a pair of strike-outs to keep it a two-run deficit for his team. Loup stayed in to face the pinch-hitting Edwin Ríos in the bottom of the ninth, and he struck-him out looking on three pitches. Austin Barnes, also fresh off the bench, lined-out to the track. With the Dodgers down to their final out, Diego Castillo entered to face Taylor. Castillo struck-out Taylor on three pitches to end the ballgame.
The boys in blue, struggling to get going early offensively, fail to overcome costly mistakes by their pitching staff and drop Game Two of the 2020 World Series. Now a 1-1 series, tomorrow will be an off-day. Friday, Game Three, will be a big one. Rightfully so, the pitching matchup is elite. For the Dodgers, Walker Buehler gets the start on five days rest. Buehler, 1-0 with an ERA of 1.89, has stepped up and been clutch when necessary this postseason. His opposition, Charlie Morton, has done the same. Morton has a spotless 3-0 record in October of 2020, paired with an incredible 0.57 ERA. The pitchers will duel, and their offenses will have to work for their runs. Should be a good one! 5:08pm first pitch Friday. Go Dodgers!
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