MemberOctober 27, 2020 at 11:01 pm
The Los Angeles Dodgers have won the 2020 World Series!
Behind a big sixth inning and a stellar bullpen performance, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Tampa Bay Rays in Game Six of the World Series by a final of 3-1, officially crowning them as champions.
Looking to clinch a World Championship, Tony Gonsolin, who suffered a solo home run in his inning and a third Game Three start, took the mound for the Dodgers. With LA back as the Series’ home team, Gonsolin pounded a 96mph strike as his initial pitch. He then threw two off-speed pitches and Ji-Man Choi whiffed on both, giving Gonsolin a three-pitch strike-out. Two pitches later, Randy Arozarena flicked one over the wall in right for a solo shot, giving the Rays the instant edge, 1-0. Next, Austin Meadows riffled a base hit, and Brandon Lowe earned a walk. Gonsolin responded with a shallow fly-out of Manuel Margot, and he got Joey Wendle swinging. Gonsolin’s near-nightmare postseason continued, but he did a great job mitigating the damage to only the lone run in the top of the first. Blake Snell went to work for Tampa Bay, looking to recreate his early success from Game Two. He struck-out Mookie Betts and Corey Seager, both swinging through multiple pitches while seeming quite uncomfortable, to get his evening started. Snell struck-out Justin Turner as well to complete a nearly immaculate first frame. Gonsolin froze Willy Adames for strike-three to open the second, but allowed a double with one-away to Kevin Kiermaier. Gonsolin proceeded to run the count full before striking-out Mike Zunino swinging, and he did the same before walking Choi. With two-on and two-out, Gonsolin was yanked. Dylan Floro entered to face Arozarena and got him swinging on three pitches — stepping up in a big way to strand a pair. Snell fielded and fired in time to get Max Muncy after a swinging bunt for the first out of the home half. With the help of strike call nearly six inches off the plate, Snell got Will Smith to chase for the strike-out. Snell made a fool of Cody Bellinger with a three-pitch strike-out to end the inning. Alex Wood was given the third with the task of length and cleanliness. Wood struck-out Meadows, fielded Lowe’s comebacker, and worked a line-out of Margot in a 1-2-3 frame. Chris Taylor picked on a hanging breaking ball and lined a single into left to leadoff the bottom half. AJ Pollock battled before pulling a liner that was unfortunately right at Wendle at 3rd — a lucky break for Tampa Bay. Wendle made a good play on a chopper to rob Barnes of an infield single, and Snell struck-out Betts to leave Taylor at 2nd. Wood worked a soft line-out of Wendle prior to striking-out Adames and Kiermaier in a spotless beginning to the fourth. Snell struck-out Seager, Turner, and Muncy in another overpowering frame. In the sixth, Pedro Báez took over for the Dodgers. He struck-out Zunino and got Choi to pop-out on the infield, but Arozarena pulled a two-out single through the hole. At that point, Báez was relieved by Victor González, who retired Meadows on one pitch. Smith’s fly-out to right preceded Bellinger’s poor at-bat where he missed a couple very hittable pitches and ultimately grounded-out softly. With the count full, Taylor made contact on a check swing and dipped his head in disappointment as the game went to the sixth. González struck-out the side to commence the fifth, setting Lowe, Margot, and Wendle all down swinging. AJ Pollock attacked the first pitch of LA’s turn and hit a high pop-up on the infield. Barnes watched two pitches before he pounced and floated a base hit to center, surprisingly knocking Snell out of the game with the Dodgers’ lineup turning for a third time. The decision to pull Snell proved to be very costly as Nick Anderson fell behind quickly, and then left a fastball over the heart of the plate. Betts, awaiting nothing less, crushed a double down the line. An odd ricochet off the side wall kept Barnes at 3rd, but the unfortunate bounce was canceled out when Anderson’s change-up in the dirt to Seager got by Zunino, allowing Barnes to score. LA tied the game, and on the next pitch, they grabbed a 2-1 lead when Seager pulled a grounder, and Betts’ incredible combination of speed and savviness on the base paths prompted him to beat Choi’s throw to the plate. Subsequently, Turner lifted a towering fly-ball towards left that jolted a collective excitement. Turner knew he missed it however, and everyone else learned the same when the ball died at the wall. Aaron Loup trotted in from the Rays’ bullpen, and he won a battle against Muncy with a ground-out. Now attempting to play keep away, the Dodgers turned to Brusdar Graterol for the seventh. Graterol was immediately wild, but fought through it to work a ground-out of Adames. Kiermaier lined his next pitch into left where Pollock made the catch. Graterol was a strike away from completing a spotless frame when he missed his spot with a slider, resulting in a two-out single by Zunino. With Choi coming up, Dave Roberts made the decision to go with Julio Urías out of the ‘pen. Kevin Cash countered the move with the right-handed bat Yandy Díaz. Urías got Díaz looking to finish the top half. Tampa Bay gave the ball to the hard throwing righty Pete Fairbanks in the bottom frame. Smith welcomed him with a ringing double, but Fairbanks responded with a pop-out of Bellinger. Taylor chased strike-three, and Joc Pederson walked to the plate in place of Pollock. Fairbanks fell behind Pederson and as a result, he intentionally walked him. With two-on and two-down, Barnes spoiled a few good pitches but eventually flew-out to shallow right. Urías went back out for the eighth with Arozarena leading-off. Arozarena poked one towards the gap, but Bellinger tracked it down. Hunter Renfroe, fresh off the bench, broke his bat on the first pitch he saw and grounded one to the left side. Edwin Ríos, recently replacing Turner at 3rd, fielded and threw to get Renfroe at 1st. Urías struck-out Lowe swinging to top off a scoreless eighth. With Fairbanks still in, Betts made his paramount Dodger moment. Smashing a solo homer over the wall in left, Betts provided LA an insurance run and put them in front 3-1. Fairbanks proceeded to walk Seager, but answered with a strike-out of Kiké Hernàndez. Ryan Yarbrough relieved Fairbanks with one-away and rolled a sharp inning-ending double-play of Muncy. With the Rays down to their final thee outs, Urías went back out for the top of the ninth. Margot lifted a weak fly-ball into right where Betts made the catch, one out. Urías then struck-out the pinch-hitting Mike Brosseau looking, two outs. With a championship right there for the taking, Adames was the final chance for Tampa Bay. Urías blew strike one by him, then dotted strike two. Urías came home and made a perfect pitch to freeze Adames, and as the home plate umpire made the call for strike three, all the emotions could finally be let loose. Urías earned the save, LA took the ballgame, and the Dodgers won World Series.
It is with extreme happiness that I write: the Los Angeles Dodgers are World Champions! After 31 years of Dodger blues, the city of Los Angeles is back on top. There is so much more to write, but let’s keep it simple. Clayton Kershaw is a World Champion. Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner, Dave Roberts, and all the fans are World Champions. Led by the acquisition of Mookie Betts over the offseason, the Dodgers cruised through the unprecedented pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season. Additionally, the expanded postseason and October bubble brought new struggles. That said, fueled by the MVP-play of Corey Seager, outstanding performances out of the bullpen by Julio Urías, Victor González, Blake Treinen, and Pedro Báez, along with the leadership of Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernàndez, Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and (virtually) David Price, the Dodgers overcame all the challenges. Behind the plate, Austin Barnes and Will Smith did a spectacular job leading the staff. Walker Buehler’s dominance and Joc Pederson’s clutch performances cannot go unmentioned. The boys in blue, the fans, the city of LA — we did it. What an incredible season. This historic 2020 World Series belongs to the Dodgers. I will see you all in March. Go Dodgers!
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