The Dodgers clinched their first World Series win in 32 long and painful years. There’s many Dodger fans who were born long after the iconic Kirk Gibson home run in the 1988 World Series. Generations of Dodger fans had yet to witness their favorite baseball team win a championship during their lifetime. I was nine-years old when the Dodgers won in 1988, and now my nine-year old daughter gets to experience it with me.
Cody reminded me in the game thread that the Dodgers can’t string two World Series wins together and haven’t done so since clinching the 1988 World Series win in Game 5. They snapped that streak with a 3-1 win over the Rays in Game 6.
Being a Dodger fan is painful. Those of you who are new around here, welcome. And I’m sorry.
I love you, Vin.
There was early pain.
Tony Gonsolin started off the first inning shaky, a Dodgers 2020 starting pitcher tradition it seems. The Rays came out bats a-blazing. Randy Arozarena continued his onslaught with his 10th postseason home run, a solo shot off Gonsolin with one out in the 1st put the Rays ahead early.
That’s not what you want to see in Game 6 of the World Series.
Gonsolin finally got three outs on 25 pitches in the first. It could have been a lot worse.
Pesky Kevin Kiermaier doubled over the head of Betts with one out in the 2nd. Gonsolin came back and struck out Mike Zunino. That brought up Ji-Man Choi with the runner at second and two outs. After Gonsolin walked Choi, Roberts brought the early hook for his young right-hander. Gonsolin threw 48 pitches in 1.2 IP with four strikeouts and two walks.
Dylan Floro was thrown into the fire to face Arozarena. He got the job done with only three pitches, striking out Arozarena swinging with a changeup to end the threat. Exhale.
Alex Wood was the next arm to come out of the Dodgers’ bullpen. It was Good Wood this time. The southpaw retired the Rays in order.
The Dodgers got their first hit of the night off Snell in the 3rd. Chris Taylor started things off with a single up the middle. Of course AJ Pollock hit it hard, but right at third baseman Joey Wendle. Wendle made another good play on an Austin Barnes chopper to third for the second out. With the tying run at second at two outs, Betts came up and struck out for the second time of the night.
Another perfect inning from Wood – an unexpected subplot – kept it a one-run affair.
The L.A. offense couldn’t get anything going vs. Snell in the 4th either, and he struck out another three batters.
Pedro Baez came in for the 5th, the fourth pitcher of the night for the Dodgers. Arozarena kept on doing lots of baseball things. He singled off Baez with two outs, spurring Roberts to go to the pen again. Victor Gonzalez came in to face Meadows. He only needed one pitch to end the inning.
Snell had already struck out nine batters going into the 5th. No one struck out in the inning, but he did set the Dodgers down 1-2-3 while John Smoltz salivated over him in the booth. Fun times.
Gonzalez struck out the side in the 6th, and we have ourselves a shit ton of strikeouts. 21 to be exact.
The Dodgers finally got their second hit when Barnes singled with one out in the bottom of the 6th. I was honestly a little surprised Kevin Cash took out Snell after 73 pitches. He went to Nick Anderson to face Betts, which blew up in his face. Betts promptly banked a one-out double down the third base line.
With Seager at the plate, a wild pitch on a slider allowed Barnes to come home and tie the game. Betts brought in the second run for the lead with his excellent base running on a fielder’s choice.
Turner missed hitting one out by a hair at the warning track, but that’s a good inning in my opinion. Thank you Mr. Cash.
Brusdar Graterol came in for the 7th. Zunino got a two-out hit off Graterol’s slider, and Roberts once again went to his pen and brought in Julio Urias, the seventh pitcher for the Dodgers. Urias started Game 4, and now Roberts looked to him in a high-leverage relief situation. Perhaps all the Dodgers’ flip-flopping of Urias over the years between roles paid off with his ability to be effective as a starter and reliever. He struck out Yandy Diaz to end the inning.
Smith’s booming double off Pete Fairbanks to the left field corner opened the bottom of the 7th. Their two catchers have hit two of the four hits thus far for the Dodgers.
Joc Pederson pinch-hit for Pollock with Smith on second and two outs. Cash intentionally walked Pederson to take their chances with Barnes who flied out, stranding the insurance run.
After another stellar inning from Urias, the Dodgers pulled within three outs of that elusive World Series victory.
Mookie made me believe. They got their insurance run. Betts blasted a huge World Series dong off Fairbanks (at least we got one tonight) to give the Dodgers a two-run lead.
Turner had been taken out of the game, replaced by Edwin Rios in the prior inning. There was no word to what happened to Turner at first.
Urias was back there to start the top of the 9th, a decision I was for.
Manuel Margot flied out to Betts in right field. Out 1.
Mike Brosseau struck out looking. Out 2.
Willy Adames struck out looking. Game 3.
THEY DID IT! Finally.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are World Champions! I’m crying, are you crying?