After 32 years, the Dodgers’ long wait is over.
With a 3-1 win over the Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday night, Los Angeles won its first World Series title since Kirk Gibson, Orel Hershiser and Tommy Lasorda led LA to an unexpected world championship over the Oakland Athletics in 1988.
This time the powerhouse Dodgers were driven by Corey Seager, Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw, who won his elusive first title and had his spotty postseason résumé vindicated by two strong starts in Games 1 and 5 as the three-time Cy Young Award winner went 2-0 with a 2.31 ERA, striking out 14 in 11 ²/₃ innings in this World Series.
The Rays jumped in front in the first inning of a do-or-die Game 6 against opener Tony Gonsolin, who gave up a run on three hits in 1 ²/₃ innings, as ALCS MVP Randy Arozarena slugged an opposite-field home run to extend his postseason record to 10 this postseason. But the Dodgers got to reliever Nick Anderson after starter Blake Snell was removed with one out in the sixth inning.
Snell had been cruising to that point, striking out nine through 5 ¹/₃ innings and scattering just two base runners. But after No. 9-hitter Austin Barnes reached on a single up the middle, Cash came out to pull a visibly upset Snell in favor of Nick Anderson, who went 2-1 with a 0.55 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 16 ¹/₃ innings in the regular season but had allowed eight runs in 13 ¹/₃ innings in the postseason.
Anderson immediately gave up a double to Betts down the third-base line, then threw a wild pitch that scored Barnes, and Betts beat a throw home on a grounder to first base that gave a struggling Dodgers lineup a 2-1 lead.
From there the Dodgers never looked back, shutting down the Rays lineup and adding a solo homer from Betts for good measure to finally lift Los Angeles’ first championship trophy in over three decades.