by Paragon Communications Sports Broadcaster Aaron Kauk
The was the voice of the Dodgers Charley Steiner with the call of the last out of Game 6, a 3-1 Dodgers win, that handed LA their first World Series title since 1988. The Dodgers came in to last night’s Game 6 with a 3 games to 2 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Things weren’t looking great early … Joe Buck and John Smoltz had that call on Fox sports of Randy Arozarena’s solo blast in the top of the first to get the Rays on the board quickly. It was Arozarena’s 10th postseason dinger. He became only the 2nd rookie in history with 3 HRs in a single World Series, joining Charlie Keller who did it for the Yankees in 1939.
That 1-0 lead held until the bottom of the 6th. After Austin Barnes hit a one out single to center for LA, Tampa manager Kevin Cash pulled starter Blake Snell in favor of reliever Nick Anderson. To that point in Game 6, Snell had pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings giving up 2 hits and striking out 9 on only 73 pitches. Cash went with his computer data instead of his gut, and it immediately backfired.
Mookie Betts doubled down the leftfield line, a wild pitch brought Barnes home, and Corey Seager hit a ground ball to first that scored Betts. The Dodgers led 2-1 after six and went on to win 3-1. Cash will be questioned for eternity about pulling Snell as he was cruising. The 3 batters scheduled to hit as Snell exited the game had gone 0-6 with 6 K’s against Snell in Game 6. Nick Anderson, the pitcher who replaced Snell, had given up a run in each of his previous 6 relief appearances. Make it 7 after last night.
The questioning of Cash is valid, but it will overshadow the real story of Game 6, The Dodger’s bullpen. LA got 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball from 6 different relievers to close it out. Those guys only gave up 2 hits, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out 12 Rays hitters. Corey Seager was named World Series MVP. He hit .400 with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs (including the go ahead last night), and walked 6 times. He joined Orel Hershiser by winning the MVP in the NLCS and World Series as a Dodger. Betts joined Lenny Dykstra and Lou Brock as the only players to steal 4 bases and hit multiple HRs in a World Series. He became the 2nd player in history to hit a HR in the clincher for multiple teams, the other earned a nickname for his WS exploits, Mr. October Reggie Jackson. And Clayton Kershaw exercised some postseason demons by winning both his starts in the Series. BTW, during election years when the Dodgers win the World Series, the Republican candidate always wins.