Dodgers 6, Rays 2 (Dodgers lead series 2-1)
With the World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays tied at 1-1, both teams had their aces on the mound to start Game 3. Walker Buehler of the Dodgers faced off against Charlie Morton of the Rays in a pivotal game, and Buehler’s brilliance willed the Dodgers to a 6-2 win.
Game 3 began with a first-inning home run off the bat of Dodgers’ third-baseman Justin Turner. The Dodgers added two more runs in the third and fourth innings off Morton, who allowed five runs in four and a third innings. On the other side, Buehler was cruising; he allowed one earned run to go along with 10 strikeouts in six innings of work. Though Randy Arozarena homered in the bottom of the ninth, the Dodger bullpen held down the lead and got the 6-2 victory.
The Dodgers are proving why they were the World Series favorite entering the playoffs. Clearly the most complete team in the MLB, LA can win any type of ballgame, whether it be a low-scoring or high-scoring affair. The offense collected five runs and seven hits off of Morton, who entered the contest with a 3-0 record and a sub-0.5 ERA. Mookie Betts in particular continued his outstanding play with an additional two hits and an RBI. Meanwhile, Buehler improved to a 1.80 ERA and 39 strikeouts in five games thus far in the playoffs. He has been brilliant.
The Rays offense looked overmatched in Game 2. The team collected only four hits while striking out 13 times, three of which belonged to Brandon Lowe. However, Arozarena hit his eighth home run of the postseason, giving him the league-lead in playoff homers. The ninth inning bomb was also his 23rd hit of the playoffs, moving him ahead of Derek Jeter’s record for most hits by a rookie in a single postseason.
Dodgers 7, Rays 8 (Series tied 2-2)
Game 4 began with a slow start to the game, but finished with one of the most wild endings in recent World Series history, capped by a two-error play by the Dodgers to give the Rays a walk-off, 8-7 victory.
LA started hot right off the bat, as a two out, first inning home run by Justin Turner put the Dodgers on the board. Just two innings later, his teammate Corey Seager blasted another, extending the lead to two. This homer by Seager put him tied for the postseason record with eight home runs, tied with MLB legends, as well as opponent and ALCS MVP Randy Arozarena. Arozarena fired back with a dinger of his own just one inning later, giving him sole possession of that record with an astonishing nine home runs.
With the score at 2-1, a shallow single to right from the bat of Max Muncy was enough to bring home Seager from second to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead, but the Rays’ Hunter Renfroe gave a quick answer back with a homer of his own the next inning.
A Kike Hernandez RBI double highlighted the 6th inning for the Dodgers, but a three run, go-ahead blast from Brandon Lowe gave the Rays the lead for the first time all game.
By the eighth inning, the score was tied at six apiece, thanks to a great pinch hitting appearance from Joc Pederson, as well as a solo shot from Kevin Kiermaier. Disaster struck the Rays, as a bloop single off the bat of Seager was enough to score Chris Taylor from second, putting LA up by one.
Not wanting to fall to a 3-1 deficit, the Rays were able to put men on first and second for Brett Phillips with two outs in the ninth. It’s worth noting that Phillips didn’t even make the ALCS roster for the Rays. What happened next came straight from the baseball gods. Phillips singled to center, but then a bobbled ball from Taylor in center field followed by a throw to home dropped by catcher Will Smith was enough to score both men on, including Arozarena, who actually fell down while running between third and home. Ballgame over.
With the series now tied at 2-2, this now becomes a best-of-three series that some have said the Rays shouldn’t even be in. But this is baseball, a game in which anything can happen so get ready for the next two or three games to be just as exciting as the first four.