World Series 2020
Dodgers Win World Series in Six Games
By David A. Avila
Published: October 28th, 2020
As Dodger southpaw Julio Urias fired a fastball passed Tampa Bay’s Willy Adames for a strike three call, suddenly 32 years of heartache were magically erased.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are the 2020 World Series Champions once again after battling through the strangest of seasons. It was a year shortened to 60 games due to the worldwide coronavirus epidemic and a year with no fans allowed until the final series in Texas.
Despite the restrictions, and new rules by Major League Baseball, the two best teams eventually battled to the end and the Dodgers won the championship four games to two over the Rays.
In the final game, Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell stymied the Dodgers for 5 1/3 innings striking out nine batters and seemingly blazing through the opposing lineup. But after Dodger catcher Austin Barnes smacked a line drive single to centerfield, the Rays manager Kevin Cash walked onto the field and removed Snell for a fresh arm.
Mookie Betts doubled off the Rays reliever Nick Anderson and suddenly the Dodgers were back in business. As Cory Seager batted against the Ray reliever, a changeup bit the ground and got away from the catcher sending Barnes to score from third. Then a contact play saw Betts score from third on a grounder by Seager and suddenly the Dodgers led 2-1.
In the bottom of the eighth inning Betts led off the inning with a homerun blast over against Rays reliever Pete Fairbanks to score the final run of the game and the final score 3-1.
Dodger pitcher Urias, of Mexican descent, shut down the Rays for the final 2 1/3 innings to save the victory and the team of Dodger relief pitching - that included fellow Mexican Dodger Victor Gonzalez, and fellow relievers Floro Graterol and Baez - did the rest.
Urias became one of the big heroes of the World Series with repeated performances that saw him assist Walker Buehler’s victory in a previous Dodger victory.
“Today they showed you. I’m happy for Julio man, and all he’s gone through. I’m proud of him and Victor too, he almost gave up baseball,” said Kenley Jansen. “Viva Mexico man.”
The Dodger bullpen had been criticized throughout the playoffs by fans and critics, but when the moment of truth arrived, especially on Tuesday night, the bullpen put out the Ray’s fire for the victory. Dodger pitching struck out 16 Rays in the World Series clinching victory. That eclipsed Sandy Koufax’s 15 strikeouts against the Yankees in 1963.
Finally, after 32 years of unsuccess, including two failures in the 2017 World Series and 2018 World Series, the Dodgers crashed through the barrier with one of its strongest teams ever assembled.
Although the 2020 Dodgers lost former pitchers Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Ross Stripling and Rich Hill to free agency and trades, this year’s roster added rookie pitchers to mend the holes and managed to produce the best record in the Major Leagues. They also added former American League MVP Mookie Betts to the team along with healthy players in AJ Pollock and Cory Seager.
Seager, in particular, provided offensive clout that proved pivotal throughout the playoffs and led to his being voted MVP in the NLCS and the World Series.
“The resilience, the effort, the energy the everything its just so fun to be a part of,” said Seager after winning the Willie Mays Trophy for MVP of World Series.
Dodgers starting pitching led by its veteran leader Clayton Kershaw kept the Rays from doing what they accomplished against the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays.
Kershaw won two games in the World Series and proved that despite previous lack of success in other years, 2020 was his and the Dodger’s year and he proved it with 14 innings allowing only three earned runs while striking out enough to surpass Houston pitcher Justin Verlander’s 205 strikeouts on the all-time career playoff record.
During the celebration Kershaw’s teammates all surrounded him and thanked him for his contributions that led them to World Series triumph.
“I can’t put it into words I’m just so very thankful to be part of these guys,” said Kershaw during the press conference. “I think this year has been crazy. But no matter what, we’ll look back at this and we’re World Series champs. To get to be a part of this is so special.”
Los Angeles claimed two world championships within a month with the L.A. Lakers conquering the NBA Finals and the Dodgers winning the World Series. The last time that had happened was in 1988 when both teams accomplished the feat.
This Dodger team just might be the best ever in the history of the franchise. Though they have won eight consecutive division titles, they also averaged 102 wins in four consecutive seasons. Not even the great Yankee teams of 1998 to 2002 could match that record.
Depth and quality are a trademark of this 2020 Dodger team both offensively and defensively. They could very much be among the best teams ever assembled.
“This is our year,” screamed Dodger manager Dave Roberts.
Next year could be too.