In the 2020 World Series, one questionable game-changing move was made while one pitcher’s Hall of Fame legacy truly solidified. When it was all said and done one of the most innovative, groundbreaking teams in baseball history won their first World Series since 1988. They finally climbed the mountain after several disappointing playoff defeats in recent seasons. The team’s relentlessness beyond just their big names, and their closeness as a unit led them to ultimately lifing this year’s Commissioner’s Trophy. From breakout bullpen pitching, to twelve different players on the team alone hitting home runs, the Los Angeles Dodgers gave the baseball world a gem to watch, despite a horrid 2020.
As baseball resumed for the 60-game season in July, the Dodgers were met with surprise news that could have potentially impacted the team. Newly acquired All Star pitcher David Price had opted out of the 60-game season. The Dodgers already lost their most effective pitcher in Hyun Jin Ryu in the offseason. While they were still seen as World Series favorites, the task to overcome their playoff woes would be anything but a cakewalk.
After a dominant regular season on all cylinders and cruising past the first two rounds of the playoffs, the Dodgers found themselves pinned back against the wall twice in the National League Championship Series, down 2-games-0 and 3-games-1. Game-changing plays in the field, along with power bats carried the Dodgers to the World Series. While they went into the series as favorites, momentum did not seem to be with the Dodgers. They were facing a red hot Tampa Bay Rays team that had slowed down two other star-studded lineups in the playoffs.
The Dodgers however, looked unscathed. They added to their arsenal by showing a new side of them right out of the gate in game one. They displayed an additional ability to effectively score runs through playing small-ball, and executing base running strategies to gain a competitive edge. This happened thanks to Mookie Betts stealing two bases in game one, along with hitting two big home runs this series, including a home run in the ninth inning of the Dodgers 3-1 game six series clinching victory. Betts also scored the go-ahead run in the game. He has truly established himself as a five tool household name, proving he is worth 12 more years for the Dodgers.
“I love these pressure situations, it’s when I do my best, I was just ready for this game,” Betts said.
With World Series MVP Corey Seeger batting .400, and the Dodgers bullpen playing shutdown relief, despite being seen as the inferior bullpen bullpen, the Dodger that baseball fans will forever link to this championship team is pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Already with a clear path to Cooperstown, Kershaw won both his starts in the World Series.
”When you lose, it hurts, you feel like you let down a bunch of guys. Hearing that they’re proud of you, there’s not a better compliment,” said Kershaw.
The 32-year-old future Hall of Famer could not be happier as he has officially silenced doubters about his past playoff woes. Are there any more questions for Kershaw and his legendary career? He may have just answered the last one by being on the winning podium.
With the best record in the game of baseball, the Dodgers sprinted through the most unconventional, shortest season in the game’s history to bring home a second championship for the City of Los Angeles in 2020. Manager Dave Robert was ultimately right, “This is our year!”
The Dodgers World Series victory marked the last chapter to an unfathomable novel of a season in an unprecedented year.
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