By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
After some 32 years, with a lot of setbacks and let downs the Los Angeles Dodgers came away with a World Series Championship at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
The Dodgers came away with a world Series win against the feisty Tampa Bay Rays. They never quit.
Holding a 3-games to two lead L.A fell behind 1-0 in the first inning as Randy Arozarena hit a solo homerun off starter Tony Gonsolin.
It was the rookies 10th homer in twenty post season games setting a play-off record. Rays pitcher Blake Snell was sailing along striking out nine and giving up only a couple of singles. He appeared to be untouchable as Dodgers hitters struggled at the plate.
That all changed in the sixth with one out Austin Barnes singled and out came Rays manager Kevin Cash. The next three hitters Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, and Justin Turner were all 0-for 6 with six strikeouts between them. Cash still gave him the hook. A resistant Snell left the mound and headed to the dug-out.
Betts then doubled off new pitcher Nick Anderson. He then threw a wild pitch scoring Barnes to even the score 1-1 and moving Betts to third. Seager hit a hard ground ball to first and Betts shot towards home on contact that made it 2-1 Dodgers. When Snell left the game the Rays Catcher Mike Zunino appeared to be un-enthusiastic behind the plate.
Dodger relievers Dylan Floro, Alex Wood, Pedro Baez, Tony Gonzalez (got the win), Brustar Gratertol, and Jose Urias shut out the Rays the rest of the night.
Urias showed his dominance giving up no hits while striking out 4 in the 2-2/3 innings to get the save. He finished this post season with a 4-0 record.
Mookie Betts led off the eight with a 417-foot homerun that made the score 3-1 and that’s how it ended.
“We didn’t need to go to a game seven,” said Betts. “We felt we had to do it tonight.”
On the removal of Rays pitcher Snell. “I’m not one to complain, he had his good stuff going that’s all I know, we just did what we had to do.”
Justin Turner was taken out of the lineup during the sixth. It turned out later it was due to an inconclusive COVID test the day before so Turner was tested earlier in the day and the test came back during the game. MLB had him removed from the field. Turner did set a record with four doubles in the Series.
“We learned during the game,” said Commissioner Rob Manfred. “He was removed to help prevent spread.”
Turner did reappear briefly for the post game celebration with his teammates. Players are tested daily by MLB.
He later joined his teammates in post-game ceremony.
“He’s part of the team and he belongs in the celebration,” said Betts who became the 55th player in history to win titles in both the American and National Leagues. He was also one of nine players to homer for the Men in Blue.
“I know Magic Johnson played basketball but when he became a part of the Dodgers front-office I knew it wouldn’t be long before they would
have a title,” said David Ortiz on FOX Sports and former three-time champion with the Red Sox. “Magic is a winner and he would bring that attitude to the team.”
It was different kind of year do to COVID and social justices risings. At one point it appeared there wasn’t I going to be a season.
“All the things we had to deal with,” said skipper Dave Roberts. “You could argue to say that it was even more difficult. Not even talking about the play-off format just all the things we had to do as opposed to the long six-week spring training, the 162, the regular format.”
Corey Seager took home the Willie Mays MVP award. He had a team record 20 RBI’s in the post season to go with nine homers while batting .400 for the series.
“Talent is God given your born with talent,” said Kershaw who won two series games. “I just love to see how these guys have dedicated themselves to work better. The way Cory was this post season was unbelievable the focus, the drive to make everyone around him better.”
Seager joins Dodger greats -Johnny Padres, Sandy Koufax (2 times), Ron Cey, Steve Yeager and Oral Hershiser and Pedro Guerrero in winning the award.
This was the sixth title for the Dodgers since moving to L.A.
Dodger pitchers had 70 strike outs which is a World series record. The last two series games they pitched 10 and 2/3 scoreless innings.
Kike Hernandez a native of Puerto Rico is feeling better after the win with all the personal things happening in his life. “I haven’t seen my family in areal long time. I think there’s a lot of people in that clubhouse who can share that sentiment. Baseball the most challenging part in dealing with the daily life as it is.”