Monday, October 19, 2020

The World Series

So the Dodgers came back and won the National League pennant last night.  It was a tremendous game.  The Dodgers' victory rested on three key points.

1.  The Braves only got three hits all night.  In their last six innings of the season, they got no hits against three Dodger relief pitchers:  Blake Treinen (2 innings), Brusdar Gaterol (1 inning), and Julio Urias (3 innings).  Last year, the Dodgers were eliminated by the Nats because Clayton Kershaw blew a late two-run lead in Game Five.  This year, their bullpen was awesome.

2.  In the sixth inning, with the Braves leading 3-2, the Dodgers sent up Kiki Hernandez to pinch-hit for Joc Pederson.  That move paid off handsomely, as Hernandez blasted a home run to tie the game.

3.  In the seventh inning, with the score tied 3-3, Cody Bellinger crushed another home run to put the Dodgers up 4-3.  That was the final score, as the Dodger bullpen did all the rest.

And so, after winning no pennants from 1988 to 2016, the Dodgers have now won three pennants in four years.  But they still haven't won the World Series since the days of Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershiser.  Of course, the Devil Rays have never won the World Series.  This will be only their second appearance in the Series -- they were last seen losing to the Phillies in 2008.

These were the two best teams all year -- they both finished with the top record in their league, and they played great playoff baseball when it counted.  The Rays survived winner-take-all games against the Yankees and the Astros.  The Dodgers roared back from a 3-1 deficit to beat a red-hot Atlanta team three times in a row with all the money on the line.  It should be a very good World Series.

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