The drought is over.
After 32 years of misery, the Los Angeles Dodgers have won the World Series.
And for those of you still crippled with disbelief, I can verify this as fact because my neighborhood (I live all of two blocks away from Staples Center) was turned inside out until well past midnight. Good times. (I’m currently watching cleaning crews and electricians restore order from my office window.)
But while local residents did the absolute most celebrating throughout Los Angeles, Game 6 was played 1,400 miles away at a neutral stadium and provided the perfect ending to one of the most surreal seasons in baseball history—which also just so happened to serve as one of the best seasons in Dodgers history.
“We’ve heard it a lot, and we’ve seen a lot of highlights, and it’s fantastic,” Dave Roberts, the Dodgers’ fifth-year manager, said. “But we wanna make our own mark on Dodgers history.”
On Tuesday night, the Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6, giving the Dodgers their first championship since 1988 and a little over two weeks since the Lakers won their first championship in a decade. And for those wondering if Los Angeles has any plans to celebrate both with a parade during a pandemic, Mayor Eric Garcetti is up for it—as long as it’s safe.
“I’m down for anything safe,” he tweeted to LeBron James on Tuesday. “And so proud of you and the team.”
Let's talk. I'm down for anything safe. And so proud of you and the team. Thank you for ending our 32-year drought. And @KingJames you and the Lakers deserve the same. Thank you both and the @Dodgers and @Lakers for the best single month in LA sports history!
— Eric Garcetti (@ericgarcetti) October 28, 2020
For those who missed the game, here’s ESPN’s recap:
Tony Gonsolin, counted on to function as a traditional starter, recorded only five outs. But four relievers — Dylan Floro, Alex Wood, Pedro Baez and Victor Gonzalez — retired 13 of the next 14 batters, keeping the game within reach long enough for the Dodgers to get past an electric Blake Snell and tap into the Rays’ bullpen.
After Rays manager Kevin Cash turned to Nick Anderson with one on, one out and the top of the order due up for a third time in the sixth, the Dodgers’ offense finally came alive. Mookie Betts doubled, Austin Barnes scored on a wild pitch, and Betts slid home safely on a grounder to the right side. Betts, the offseason acquisition who has somehow exceeded expectations, tacked on an important insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth, and closer Julio Urias cruised past the finish line, leading the Dodgers to the title 16 days after the Los Angeles Lakers completed their championship journey.
The elephant in the room is Rays manager Kevin Cash’s decision to pull Snell after five scoreless innings. Cash caught the wrath of Twitter for doing so—up until that point, Snell had struck out nine Dodgers hitters and gave up two hits—and after the game definitely had his regrets.
“I regret the decision because it didn’t work out,” Cash said after the loss. “But you know, I feel like the thought process was right. [...] If we had to do it over again, I would have the utmost confidence in Nick Anderson to get through that inning.”
That “utmost confidence” lead to Anderson giving up a double, hurling a curveball into the dirt that allowed Austin Barnes to score, and an RBI groundout and spelled the Rays doom.
“Once Austin got that hit and they went to the ‘pen, I think that Mookie [Betts] looked at me with a little smile,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts admitted after the game. “We were just all kind of excited that Snell was out of the game.”
Pulling Snell there is worthy of losing a World Series. There isn’t a single analytical number that says pull Snell there.
— Chris Bassitt (@C_Bass419) October 28, 2020
You hate to see it.
Oh, wait—no I don’t. Go Dodgers!
Congrats to the Dodgers on bringing the championship back where it belongs: Los Angeles.