(East Los Angeles, CA) October 29, 2020 [From The Editor’s Desk]:And, Believe we do! The Dodgers rewarded their adoring, faithful, excitable fans and our highly supportive City of the Angels citizenry with the 2020 World Series Championship Trophy. Let’s now end hearing that sad and disappointing 32 year-long phrase for the last time, “they haven’t won a World Series Championship since 1988.” And, as the tried and true saying goes…“out with the Old, and in with the New.” As a result we’ll now hear a much better sound when listening, and a brighter, more respectful commentary as we start this decade off appropriately and precisely. Get used to now hearing and saying,“to All and the Dodgers Nation…presenting the MLB 2020 World Series Champions— our Los Angeles Dodgers!”
ARLINGTON, TX – OCT. 27: Dodgers catcher,#15 Austin Barnes captured scoring their first run on a “wild pitch” by pitcher Nick Anderson, seen covering the plate. This play occurred during the 6th inning of Game 6 against the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)
But we still have to bring you the Game 6 Recap, and here it is. Starting for the Dodgers was RH/Tony Gonsolin just as Dodgers Manager, Dave Roberts, (DR), announced 24 hours in advance. His basic plan, based simply on a full tank of gas, was to go batter-by-batter and/or inning-by-inning. For the Rays, they sent their seasoned and tenacious veteran, Blake Snell back out to the mound. The Dodgers had seen his work before and knew that he would be a tough competitor, with a desire to win that was as great, if not greater, than theirs. Game On…..
ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: Corey Seager #5 follows through on pitch for an RBI that scored Mookie Betts from third. The play gave the Dodgers a (2-1) lead during Game 6 October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. For his outstanding play he was named the Series Most Valuable Player (MVP after batting .400, hitting 2 HRs, and adding 5 RBIs. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)
(Game 6 Summary): It was a pitching duel for the first five innings between the Dodgers proven, and tested young bullpen staff vs. the Tampa Bay Rays top front-line staff. The game started off well for the Rays when their MVP, Randy Arozarena, strode-in to face Tony Gonsolin, as their #2 batter in the lineup. He wasted no time in clouting a HR to right-field with a late swing at that, (1-0), Rays. Gonsolin did not appear rattled, just concerned a bit. Roberts kept his faith in him and allowed his starter to remain in the game. He then settled down and worked his way through the order until he retired the side. Remember, Dave Roberts was cautiously witnessing his Game 6 Plan in “pitch-by-pitch” parameters. As they’ve come to call these types of games in this new baseball era, it was a “Bullpen” game, where most relievers would get their chance at starting and/or finishing any given game situation that needed Roberts’ attention and re-action. Make no mistake about it, Roberts was predicting and expecting that the Dodgers would win the Series with their “lights out” bullpen.
ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: Brusdar Graterol #48 signals to the heavens as he completes his stint as reliever against the Tampa Bay Rays. Graterol pitched 2/3 of inning and was the 5th of 6 relievers used by Manager Dave Roberts. At Globe Life Field on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)
Roberts, consumed by his pitching Game Plan, made good on the rotation of his trusted “bull-penners” and gave six of them much-appreciated love and total confidence. They responded in kind, and in this order.
Let’s take a close look at how he mixed and matched his staff. After Gonsolin completed his job and was pulled after 1-2/3 innings, DR brought in RH/Dylan Floro, who retired the only batter he faced, to end the frame. After Floro came southpaw, Alex Wood, who pitched the 3rd and the 4th, allowing no runs, no hits, while striking out 3. His mission accomplished! We move to the 5th when Pedro Báez got the call from Roberts and came on to work 2/3 of an inning, followed by Victor González for 1-2/3 innings of excellent relief work. He was credited for striking out 3, matching Wood’s efforts. Brusdar Graterol was the last reliever to come in for a spot appearance and did what he was asked to do–preserve the lead. Roberts then made the decision to send out Julio Urías, with 2-out in 7th and he retired a batter for the 3rd out to end the stanza. The Closer was now warmed up and ready to finish the game, going into the 8th and 9th.
ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: The Dodgers battery of (C) Austin Barnes and (P) Julio Urías embrace in an emotional hug as #48 Brusdar Graterol (left), joins in the fun. Tues., Oct. 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)
On the other hand, we must see how the Rays Manager, Kevin Cash managed his precarious situation with Blake Snell. He was in an astonishing rhythm and pitching a marvelous game, while showing much control, and poise under extreme pressure through 5 innings. He basically mastered the Dodgers with his wide assortment of pitches and then, came the fateful 6th inning when he was pulled from the game by his Manager, Kevin Cash. Snell, who pitched 5 1/3 innings and struck out 9, was clearly picked up on the FOX TV Broadcast cameras with his displeasure and anger at being yanked, with no serious scoring threats on base. The last batter he faced was Austin Barnes who hit a single to center. This decision will more than likely be talked about by the experts, baseball writers, critics, and Tampa Bay Rays fans from now through the start of Spring Practice in 2021.
Snell was replaced by Nick Anderson, who quickly gave up a sharp double to left field by Mookie Betts. That moved Barnes to 3rd. Then an unexpected “wild pitch” to Corey Seager allowed Barnes to score, and the Dodgers tied the game at (1-1). But the inning was not yet over. Seager then hit a grounder to the right side of the Rays drawn-in infield, but Mr. Betts, left 3rd at the crack-of-the-bat and managed to slide-in just ahead of 1b/Ji-Man Choi’s throw to the plate. The Dodgers took the lead on that RBI, (2-1). Reliever, Aaron Loup came on for Anderson and retired the side. There would be no more scoring till the Dodgers half of the 8th.
ARLINGTON, TX – OCT. 27: During the post-game Awards Ceremony, the formal presentation of the World Series Championship Trophy to the Dodgers Management Team and Mgr. Dave Roberts, is captured for the MLB record books and the 2021 Dodgers Media Guide at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020 (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)
Rays’ reliever Pete Fairbanks came in to start the 7th and pitched decently while not allowing any threats in the stanza. However, the Dodgers stirred the pot just one last time in their bottom of the 8th stanza. Doing those honors was none other than #50 Mookie Betts, when he blasted a HR to left-center, about 15 rows up, giving Urías, that extra insurance run they badly wanted and needed. This moved the score to (3-1) Dodgers. Fairbanks was then lifted one out later after going 1-1/3 innings He was replaced by Ryan Yarbrough who threw just 2 pitches and faced only 2 batters in retiring the side.
ARLINGTON, TX – OCTOBER 27: #7 Julio Urías, who earned the Save, is shown as he delivers a pitch during the clinching of Game 6 of the 116th World Series. Urías struck out 4 of the 7 Tampa Bay Rays batters he faced at Globe Life Field on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)
If watching Urías work his 2-1/3 frames was a bit tension-filled, he knew very well that “millions of eyes were on him” and didn’t want to let his fans and Dodgers Nation down. As a new-look closer, many took great comfort in appreciating his southpaw style which is highly reminiscent of #34 Fernando Valenzuela. He reminded me, as well as many other ’80s fans and 90s of his predecessor some 40 years ago, when “El Toro” brought Fernando-mania to MLB, the Dodgers, and his thousands of L.A. and Southern California Mexicano and Chicano fans. Here was a great physical resemblance of El Toro in the form of his 26 year-old, fellow countryman, Julio Urías, pitching at the apex of his young career. On this most memorable night, Oct. 27, 2020, everything was at stake and DR had pegged him to do the honors of finishing, and according to his plan, saving the final game. It seemed that Urías’s nervousness was not too visible, but as most athletes in highly dramatical game situations will attest, there was the strong sense of his having “the butterflies,”… but not for too long. He pitched to one batter in the 7th to retire the side, three batters in the 8th, and the minimum in the 9th, striking out four of the six. What better way to end a “Big Time” game than with a “Big Time” dominant and memorable performance.
When he struck out the final Rays batter, Willy Adames, on 3 straight pitches, he immediately bent down to his knees and went into a brief state of reflection. He then jumped up and trotted to meet his catcher, Austin Barnes, halfway between the plate and mound. They then hugged in pure joy and overwhelming accomplishment, while their teammates swarmed them in a brief celebratory piling-on gesture. The win was credited to Victor González (1-0) and the Save to Urías, (1-1).
(FINAL SCORE): Dodgers 3 Rays 1 *(Dodgers Win Series 4-2)
(Closing Thoughts On Julio Urías): With looks already ahead to the 2021 season, my staff and I here at East L.A. Sports Scene have thoughtfully created an AKA for Señor Urías. If he hasn’t been nicknamed, and with all due respect, we’d love to call him “El Torito” in honor, admiration, and remembrance of his legendary paisano, Sr. Valenzuela. We are grateful and very proud to have witnessed “El Torito’s” first great achievement in pursuit of his many Dodgers baseball dreams…this one, his pitching in all of the preliminary playoffs series, culminating in the saving of a World Series Game 6 Close-Out Final. En Español, queremos decir….Felicidades y Muy Bien Hecho A Nuestro Equipo Por Vida, Los Dodgers y !!Que Vivan Los Dodgers!!
Just two final and important thoughts….the first comes in the form of a very significant but happy, then sad moment for Justin Turner, all of his teammates, plus the medical and support staff, as the MLB came down with its decision to have him removed from the game in the 8th inning due to his positive test of the dreaded COVID-19 virus. Thankfully, he was allowed to join his teammates on the infield for the celebration of a life-time, in becoming MLB’s 116th World Series Champions.
The second, is that the connection and the respect the Dodgers organization has for the memory of Kobe Bryant, was always somewhere to be found in and/or out of their clubhouse, from season’s start to season’s end. Dodger players have always embraced the fact that he supported them and vice versa. That mutual concern and caring befits them as the prominent professionals, family members, and sports ambassadors of, and from, our great City of Los Angeles. Now, at this time, let the Boys in Dodgers Blue and White & the Lakers in Purple and Gold loudly ring in another Championship Year together!!
Again, and as of this writing, we include and present our Latino perspectives in covering this dynamic sporting event. We admit during this pandemic, a global scaled-event such as the World Series, coupled with our fans’ subsequent celebration here in the City and Beyond, that there was evidence of a brief lapse from the current public health and safety protocols that we are under due to COVID-19. Thus, while no celebratory violations resulted in any significant adverse fan activity or behaviors, there were more than likely, tens of thousands of our Latino families’ who peacefully and lovingly participated in traditional fan-like celebrations. As so many times in our City of Champions’ past, they gladly hosted viewing parties, perhaps just simple ones, or even small-numbered friendly get-togethers, at homes and/or at local community fun spots. Today, as Dodgers Fans, our lives happily and thankfully go on, and, as many would say, it’s good to remind ourselves of what it feels like to have some good, old fashioned fun, even though we are ALL enduring a most difficult and stressful time as residents and citizens of our country.
(FYI….Reported Fan Celebration Sites): Dodgers Stadium parking lot with two 60′ screens for 1,000 vehicles that honked their horns both during, and immediately after the game, at $75.00 per vehicle; our East L.A. historic, iconic and very vibrant Whittier Blvd; East L.A. at the intersection of Atlantic & Olympic; Downtown Civic Center intersections at Grand/Hill and Olympic; Santa Monica’s Ferris wheel; Pacoima-San Fernando Valley for plenty of Van Nuys Boulevard car traffic with street donut-making; and Pasadena, where Dick’s Sporting Goods was extremely busy selling World Series memorabilia and plenty of Dodgers apparel and merchandise. While there were most likely many more, these were covered by all local Radio, TV, and Cable News Departments. And not to forget, the thousands upon thousands of smart phone users that kept the celebration fresh and on the minds of so many, many more. All in all, we’re glad to report that at the end of the night, Oct. 27th, the joy and celebration on Championship night were sights to see.