Dodgers win World Series

Dodgers win World Series
November 04
15:06 2020

The Los Angeles Dodgers finally got the monkey off their backs by winning the 2020 World Series. After being the best team on paper for several years, the Dodgers finally came through with the championship, while also changing the narrative for star pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

The championship was a long time coming for the Dodgers as they have fallen short in the post season several times in the last four or five years. The question now is, can the Dodgers keep their core group of players together to possibly capture two or three more titles out of this team?

There were plenty of doubters out there questioning if the Dodgers could actually win and based off recent history, that was a logical assumption. Dating back to the 2016 season, the Dodgers have lost to the eventual World Series champion every year.

In 2016, the Dodgers lost to the Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series (4-2). The Cubs seemed like a team of destiny that year and Kershaw was knocked around by Cubs’ batters giving up seven hits and four earned runs in five innings pitched. Kershaw, however, did pitch a gem in game two of that series going seven strong innings and giving up no earned runs with only two hits given up.  

2017 was another strong season for the Dodgers as they won 104 games in the regular season and once again won the NL West title for the fifth year in a row. This series, and really the entire season, was overshadowed by the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal. Without the apparent cheating by the Astros, the Dodgers may already have another title on their mantle.

Even with the obvious advantage of knowing which pitches were coming, it took the Astros seven games to win the title against the Dodgers. Kershaw performed well overall, winning game one, and did not factor in the decision for game five. He even pitched four strong innings in game seven of the series, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Houston’s cheating.

2018 was probably the worst recent showing for not only the Dodgers, but also for Kershaw. The Dodgers were beaten by the Red Sox in only five games and Kershaw lost two of those games. The Red Sox were not to be beaten that season, with their dominant combination of timely hitting and great pitching.

Kershaw continued to be great in the regular season, but the clutch situations in the post season continued to be his kryptonite. The narrative began to swell to an all-time high that he was not a big-time pitcher when it counted the most. I really felt he was more of a victim of circumstances and he could perform well in big time moments.

After back-to-back World Series’ appearances, the Dodgers were looking to finally get over the hump to win it all in 2019. Another great showing in the regular season saw L.A. win 106 games and another NL West crown. 

Against the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers had a tough matchup in the NL Division Series. The Dodgers held a 2-1 lead in the series before the Nationals won the next two games to close things out. I thought 2019 was going to be the year for L.A., but Washington proved to be the better team at the right time.

Once again, this year the Dodgers had a phenomenal regular season, posting the best record in all of baseball. They swept their first two opponents, the Milwaukee Brewers and San Diego Padres. The NLCS against the up-and-coming Atlanta Braves was a great series.  

The Braves took the first two games, which I know had to give L.A. fans a sick feeling in their stomachs. When the Braves took a commanding 3-1 lead in the series, I actually thought it was over for the Dodgers. I think the Dodgers surprised most of us by winning the final three games to advance to the World Series.

The Dodgers had to feel confident against the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series. It was the perfect matchup of strength on strength. The biggest question was, could the elite arms from Tampa outduel the big bats from L.A.?  When it was all said and done, the bats won.

Things may have ended differently if Tampa manager, Kevin Cash, allowed Blake Snell to continue pitching in the game. Cash pulled Snell after 5-1/3 innings pitched, with only a 1-0 lead. Snell had struck out nine batters and the former Cy Young award winner had his best stuff going at the time. If Cash had left Snell in the game, the Rays may have been able to force a game 7.

I am not a fan of the Dodgers, but I have to say I was happy for Kershaw most of all. Not only did his team win, but he was a major contributor in that effort by winning two games in the series.  

Kershaw has been the most dominant pitcher of the era and one of the greatest of all time. This postseason run will not eliminate his woes from previous seasons, but it shows he is capable of winning when the lights are brightest.

With players like Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Mookie Betts, Joc Pederson and Cody Bellinger on the roster, the Dodgers are poised for several long post-season runs in the near future.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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