MLB World Series 2020 Amid a Pandemic: Complete Recap

MLB World Series 2020 Amid a Pandemic: Complete Recap

It was an unpredictable year for Major League Baseball (MLB), with the 116th World Series played on a neutral site at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. The World Series managed to provide entertainment for the few fans in attendance, as well as all those who watched the six game series on television. 

The matchup featured the “old school” Los Angeles Dodgers and the young rostered Tampa Bay Rays. With the Dodgers recently signing right fielder Mookie Betts, it seemed like this was the year for them to win their sixth championship after a 32 year drought. However, the Rays were seeking their first ever championship.

Game 1: TUESDAY OCT. 20 

The Dodgers won the first game of the series 8-3 and featured an All-Star caliber pitching matchup between Dodgers Clayton Kershaw and Rays Tyler Glasnow. Kershaw lasted six innings, only giving up two hits, one earned run and eight strikeouts. The Rays finished with a total of six hits. Max Muncy, Dodgers first baseman, had a great day at the plate scoring two runs, two runs batted in (RBI), and earning one walk. Betts matched Muncy’s night with two hits, including a home run and one RBI. Between the combined hitting efforts of Muncy and Betts, the Dodgers were able to begin the best of seven World Series games with a win.

Game 2: WEDNESDAY OCT. 21 

The Tampa Bay Rays tied the Series 1-1 with a final score of 6-4. Seattle native and Rays pitcher Blake Snell started the game and pitched deep into the fourth inning, allowing two hits, and giving up two earned runs and nine strikeouts. The offensive player of the day was Ray’s second baseman, Brandon Lowe. Lowe finished the night with two home runs, two hits and three RBIs.

 Game 3: FRIDAY OCT. 23 

The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead in the series, which required a complete team effort, winning 6-2. Walker Buehler pitched six innings, giving up three hits, one earned run and ten strikeouts. Buehler also had help from his defense. Third baseman Justin Turner scooped up a line drive from the Rays catcher Mike Zunino and threw it to second for a double play in the bottom of the third inning. Turner also helped his team on the offensive side of the plate, ending the night with two hits and a home run. Austin Barnes, Dodgers catcher, also hit a home run. Muncy joined in with two hits, earning two RBI’s. 

Game 4: SATURDAY OCT. 24 

The Rays came back in dramatic fashion, tying the series 2-2 after winning the game with a walk-off win in the ninth inning. In a game featuring four lead changes, the matchup did not fail to entertain. Corey Seager, Dodgers shortstop, had a great night at the plate with four hits, a home run and two RBI’s. However, the highlight of the game came at the bottom of the ninth inning when the Rays were down 7-6 with two outs and runners on first and second base. Brett Phillips, Rays right fielder, hit a one-hop single that was mishandled by Dodgers center fielder, Chris Taylor. Taylor threw the ball to first baseman Muncy, who then threw it to Rays catcher, Will Smith. The ball was there in time but Smith got ahead of himself and tried to tag the go-ahead runner Randy Arozarena before he could squeeze the ball, causing it to roll toward the backstop. Despite Arozarena tripping on the way to home plate, the Dodger’s errors allowed him to score. 

Game 5: SUNDAY OCT. 25  

The Dodgers won 4-2 in a game that once again featured pitchers Kershaw and Glasnow—a rematch of game one. Glasnow went five innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs. The Rays bullpen did a great job of holding down the Dodgers’ offense to stay in the game. However, the Dodgers won because Kershaw—future Hall of Famer—pitched great for almost six innings. The Dodgers bullpen then followed, allowing few runners to get on base.

Game 6: TUESDAY OCT. 27 

The Dodgers took advantage of their 3-2 series lead, clinching the World Series title in a final score of 3-1. The game once again featured a pitching duel. Snell started the game for the Rays. Through five innings, he only gave up two hits, dominating the pitching mound. The momentum soon shifted in favor of the Dodgers after a controversial call to pull Snell from the game at the top of the eighth inning. It was Betts who hit a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning that solidified their win, earning the Dodgers their seventh championship title. 

L.A.: The City of Champs

When the COVID-19 pandemic first began in March, it caused many large sports organizations to put seasons on hold, including the MLB and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Both organizations were forced to go on hiatus, leaving fans unsure of whether or not they would be able to watch their favorite teams play a 2020 season. However, in the midst of a pandemic where people are unsure when the world will ever return to a sense of normalcy, the city of Los Angeles has a reason to smile. 

Within the span of a month, L.A. has witnessed both the Lakers and the Dodgers bring home city championships in their respective sports. Now, the city of L.A. will shift their attention to the National Football League, cheering on the Rams and/or the Chargers. Could one of these teams continue the championship streak in L.A.? Perhaps, but until that time comes, L.A. can continue to soak in the championship wins that the Lakers and the Dodgers delivered to the city.