After a 32 year drought, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the 2020 World Series Champions after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1, closing the series out four-games-to-two on Tuesday night at Globe Life Field.
It was the Dodgers’ third World Series appearance in the last four years, but Los Angeles ultimately was able to capture its seventh World Series in franchise history during a pandemic-shortened season in Arlington, Texas.
“This is our year! We said it! This is our year!” shouted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts during the postgame celebration. “Everyone all over the world wearing Dodger blue never wavered. This is our year!”
The Dodgers were one of the best teams on paper all season and proved why it’s hefty $107.9-million roster was all worth it.
Cory Seager was awarded the World Series MVP and delivered in clutch moments throughout the postseason while batting .400 with two homers and five runs batted in.
“What this team’s accomplished this year, throughout the regular season, grinding through every series,” Seager said. “We got down three-one [in the National League Championship Series], and we came all the way back. Just the resilience, the effort, the energy, the everything that this team has done this year. This has been fun to be part of.”
Mookie Betts hit a solo homer to give the Dodgers an insurance run in the eighth and the Rays had no answer after trailing 3-1.
Betts, who was traded to the Dodgers back in February, agreed to a 12-year $365-million extension, the largest in Dodger history and helped deliver big time in his first season with the team showing his worth.
“It felt amazing,” said Betts on hitting his second homer of the World Series. “It’s been a good year baseball-wise, we set our goal and we accomplished it.”
Tampa Bay struck first after Randy Arozarena crushed an opposite-field solo shot in the first on Tony Gonsolin to take an early 1-0 lead.
However, the game changed in the blink of an eye once Rays manager Kevin Cash questionably pulled his Ace in Blake Snell.
Snell came out throwing viciously, striking out six of the first 10 batters he faced but allowed a one-out single in the sixth that led to the substitution.
“I was pretty happy because he was dominating us, and just weren’t seeing him,” said Roberts on Snell’s exit.
“At that point I was like, I got a chance. Snell was rolling out there,” said Betts. “You’re not really seeing it that well. He was mixing it up. He was tough.”
“I gotta tip my hat to him. I wasn’t asking any questions. I was like, ‘Hey, your manager said you’ve gotta go. The next guy’s coming in.’ I knew at that point I could try to put an at-bat together and go from there,” added Betts on the pitching change.
Nick Anderson was called to relieve Snell and instantly gave up a double to Betts, and the Dodgers then tied the game on a wild pitch. Betts then sprinted home on a grounder to first from Seager to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
“I just believe in me, I was dominating,” said Snell on his performance. “I wanted to keep going, I felt so confident how I adjusted in seeing [the lineup] a second time.”
Julio Urias was then called upon and retired the final seven batters, lastly throwing a 97-mph fastball past Willy Adames to close out the game for the Dodgers.
In a bizarre moment, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner tested positive for COVID-19 and was pulled from the team to start the eighth inning during Game 6 of the World Series.
“Thanks to everyone reaching out!” Turner said on Twitter after the game. “I feel great, no symptoms at all. Just experienced every emotion you can possibly imagine. Can’t believe I couldn’t be out there to celebrate with my guys! So proud of this team & unbelievably happy for the City of LA #WorldSeriesChamps.”
Turner returned to the field for the team picture after being removed from the game and the MLB is looking further into the situation.
In all, it has been a magical run for sports in Los Angeles and the city of champions was back on display.
In 1988, the Dodgers and the Lakers won their respective league titles, making LA the first city to win a World Series and NBA title in the same year.
They accomplished that same moment again this year, marking just 16 days apart of two historic franchises claiming titles in October.
“We’re bringing the trophy home; it’s been too long,” said president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman. “To our incredible fans, thank you for all the support, we’re sorry it took us this long, thank you for your patience, but it’s coming home where it belongs, we are the champions.”