For the first time since 1988, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the World Series champions. And for the first time since...well, two weeks ago when the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championship, the city of Los Angeles has something to celebrate.
The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 on Tuesday night to clinch the title in six games. The bullpen was brilliant, giving them 7.1 innings of two-hit, no-run ball. World Series MVP Corey Seager posted another RBI, continuing his torrid play (.400 with two homers and five RBI in the Fall Classic). Mookie Betts gave the team an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run.
The Dodgers deserved this title. They were the best team in baseball all season long, finishing with a 43-17 record. Anything less than a title for a team with this much talent—and the corresponding payroll needed to keep that talent—would have been a disappointment.
Let the celebrations begin:
The tributes came pouring in on Twitter, and the Dodgers received their trophy:
But for all of their excellence, the major storyline from Game 6 may always be the bizarre decision from Rays manager Kevin Cash to pull starter Blake Snell in the sixth inning. Snell was absolutely cruising, with nine strikeouts and just two hits allowed through 5.1 innings.
The Rays generally don't let Snell go through a lineup three times. He hasn't pitched a full six innings once this season. The Rays have gotten this far trusting the numbers.
But on Tuesday, the numbers didn't work in their favor. Snell came out of the game, Nick Anderson promptly let two runs cross the plate and the Rays will be left to question the decision all winter (and probably longer than that).
And so the fireworks light up the sky across Los Angeles as the city's baseball fans celebrate the Dodgers title they've been waiting so long to see. The best team in baseball won a championship in 2020. It just so happened to be one hell of a story for a franchise that hasn't been able to get over the hump in recent years.