Despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Americans were still able to enjoy their favorite pastime, baseball. On Oct. 20, the World Series began and competing for the title were the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays.
Both teams got a “home advantage” as the games were conducted in a neutral setting at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. This allowed for the games to be in a “modified bubble” as there was no travel involved for either team. Fans were allowed to attend the series, as the stadium is currently operating around 25 percent capacity (11,500 people). Tickets were sold in pods of four to allow for social distancing guidelines.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in the World Series 20 times and have won the championship title six times. For the 2020 season, the Dodgers won 30 games in the first 40 games, the best in franchise history. They finished out the regular season 43-17, rounding out to first place in the West even with a shortened scheduled.
The Dodgers are under head coach Dave Roberts. He comes in at seventh in franchise history with 436 wins. Top performers include Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger and Clayton Kershaw. Seager was named World Series MVP.
The Tampa Bay Rays have only advanced to the World Series twice in franchise history, once in 2008 and now in 2020. They have never won the championship game. This season the team had ended with a record of 40-20, first the in the East division.
The Rays are led by head coach Kevin Cash, former player himself. Top performances were led by players such as Randy Arozarena, Kevin Kiermaier and Brett Phillips. Pitcher Blake Snell, had a total of nine strikeouts, setting a franchise record. He became the first pitcher to have six or more strikeouts and no hits through three innings of a World Series game.
A baseball player himself, Billy Swanstrom, digital communication major, tuned in this year. “I was hoping that the series would be Rays and Braves because that would have made for in interesting series considering it’s been a while since both of those teams have made it,” he said.
After the Braves did not make it, he predicted that the Dodgers were going to win the championship title, due to them putting up more than five runs in a game. “That is plenty of runs to win any game in baseball,” he said.
Nicholas Kilroy, junior business management major, predicted that the Dodgers and Astros were going to compete this year in the series. However, the Rays ended up playing against the Dodgers, and Kilroy then predicted the Dodgers would win.
His favorite moment of the series was game four. “The whole game was an amazing one, it was a back and forth game,” he said.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Rays were losing and up to bat with two outs. Brett Phillips hit a single to right center field, that was not caught by outfielder Chris Taylor. This allowed the Rays to at least score a tying run. Then catcher for the Dodgers, Will Smith, missed the ball and allowed Randy Arozarena to score the final run on a walk-off.
The series was competitive as the teams would go back and forth on who would win. Game one was won by the Dodgers, then the Rays won game two. The Dodgers then took a series lead in game three and the Rays tied it again in game four. Come game five, the Rays wouldn’t win another game in the series.
Late Tuesday night in game six, the Los Angeles Dodgers had won the series with a final score of 3-1 and are now World Series champions for the 2020 season. This is their first title since 1988.