2020 World Series recap


As the dust settled after an almost 3 month wait, MLB baseball was finally back and in full swing. All teams were in the race this year it seemed as the season would only consist of 60 games. The MLB also went into a full experimental route this season as they tried out an expanded playoff bracket as well as new doubleheader and extra inning rules. With all of this chaos ensued, the stampede finally seemed to end at the advent of the World Series in Arlington, Texas this year, where the underdog Tampa Bay Rays and the high flying Los Angeles Dodgers met up to have a brawl for the ages. Let’s take a look at one of the most interesting and improbable journeys, and series’, ever.

The Tampa Bay Rays were not the favorite at all to start the year as they had the Bronx Bombers in New York ahead of them as the favorite to win the American League East. As the lowly Rays started to take a dive after losing 5 straight to start the regular season, they bounced back in a really big way. The longest streak of losses for the Rays was 3 all year as they had a huge turnaround. The Rays ended up finishing 40-20 after an improbable year as they stole the division from the Yankees.

As for the players, the Rays spent a combined $13 million in cap space on their entire starting lineup with the highlight of the team being 2nd baseman Brandon Lowe, who cruised throughout the regular season with 14 home runs and 37 RBI’s, but he wasn’t the hero in the postseason for the Rays as left fielder Randy Arozarena stepped up huge in the postseason. He had an over.400 average the entire postseason and hit an MLB record in home runs in a single postseason with 14 in total. He was getting hits left and right as the Rays would make it to their first World Series ever in franchise history. Even though this was a great accomplishment for Tampa Bay, they had a huge roadblock to pass as this team was grinding through opponents all season.

The Los Angeles Dodgers aren’t new to the World Series as they have made it to the promise land the past 3 years, but they haven’t been able to get it done. The Dodgers have lost every time they made it to the World Series, and have not won a title for LA since 1988. Even though this was in the back of so many people’s heads coming into this year, they were still the clear favorite to win it according to ESPN. With the addition of Mookie Betts in the offseason, the Dodgers looked to add on to an already star-studded team with players like 1st baseman Max Muncy, shortstop Cory Seager, 3rd baseman Justin Turner, pitcher Clayton Kershaw, left fielder Cody Bellinger, and many others. With this, they were all geared up and went on a tear. The Dodgers finished the regular season 44-16, good enough for a National League 1st seed and a division title in the NL West. 

With these accolades, the Dodgers swept through the NL bracket. Leading them the whole way was Corey Seager who led the team in all hitting categories and seemed to come up clutch in tight situations. He had a clutch hit to put up the go-ahead run in game 7 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, and seemed to get hit after hit in the World Series. With all of this star power, the Dodger looked to turn the tide on their curse as they traveled down to Texas to meet up with their opponent, the Rays.

With the stage set, the Rays and the Dodgers met up on Tuesday, October 20th to start out the World Series. The Dodgers started veteran Clayton Kershaw and the Rays started 3rd-year starter Tyler Glasnow, who was a pitcher who could throw over 98 MPH consistently. The Dodgers let up a few runs to start it off, but the offense came through in late innings as the Dodgers won soundly by a score of 8-3. Game 2 looked like a complete opposite with the Rays coming in hot as they scored the first 5 runs of the game thanks to Randy Arozarena as he hit a double and a home run to start off the game.  The Dodgers looked to prevail in late innings as they always do but ended up coming just short as the Rays won by a score of 6-4.

Game 3 cracked new dawn on Friday, October 23rd as the Dodgers finally brought out their secret weapon in starting pitcher Walker Buehler. Buehler shined in his start as he pitched just over 6 innings as the Dodgers won soundly 6-2, fed off of Buehler’s momentum. Game 4 started out as normal with the Dodgers taking control, but the Rays came back in the bottom of the 9th inning as the most unlikely of heroes stepped in and delivered for the Rays. Brett Phillips, a bench player most of the year, came up with his second career hit in the postseason. He brought home one run, and as Mookie Betts struggled with the ball in the outfield, Randy Arozarena came home from 1st base, he stumbled going from 3rd base to home, got back up, and as he tried to go back to third, he saw the throw go past the catcher at home and he slid in for the win as the Rays won in a battle by a score of 8-7.

Game 5 saw Kershaw back on the mound against Glasnow, and Kershaw didn’t look back as the Dodgers offense came out strong and their defense backed it up. The Dodgers got on the board first with 2 runs in the 1st inning, and they came up with a 4-2 win. 

Game 6 saw a scenario where the Rays needed to do what they haven’t done the whole series as they needed to win 2 games in a row to win the World Series. They came out strong with Arozarena hitting a home run in the 1st inning to make it 1-0. Then, after a long stalemate with pitchers Alex Wood for the Dodgers and Blake Snell for the Rays, the Dodgers came out in the 6th inning and scored 2 runs off of a Corey Seager double. Then, in the 8th, Seager came up to bat again, and just as he has done all year, he delivered with a single into left, putting the Dodgers ahead 3-1. Victor Gonzalez came in at the top of the 9th to close it out for the Dodgers, and it was almost a planned sequence of events. Gonzalez came up with 2 groundouts in a row, and as Gonzalez delivered a 2-1 pitch, Rays outfielder Hunter Renfroe hit a pop fly into right field, and Mookie Betts came up with a catch to put away the series for the Dodgers as they won with a final score of 3-1, and won their first World Series for the first time in 32 years.

With this season now gone, we can look back on how grateful we are for baseball finally coming back and giving us a glimmer of hope. This World Series was one of the best to watch since the 2017 World Series, and I will never forget it. So, let’s look forward, and see that the baseball future is bright and that we can always count on it to bring us joy in times of darkness.