WORLD SERIES GAME 2: The Tampa Bay Rays even up the series, winning 6-4

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BP Graphic by Sarah Feuer

By Jack Metzger, Staff Writer

The Tampa Bay Rays got out to an early lead and just like in the regular season, when they scored first they won 81.5% of the time, they held onto their lead and tied up the 2020 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers 1 game to 1.

Their former Cy Young winner, Blake Snell, started on the mound and was dominant for the majority of his start. He no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers through four-and-two-thirds innings. 

After that, he started to struggle. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, he gave up a walk to Enrique Hernandez. The Dodgers capitalized on this two-out walk when Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer. 

But it was already too late.

Earlier in the game, the Rays had scored a total of five runs before the Dodgers scored one. At the top of the first inning Brandon Lowe, the MVP of this game, hit a solo home run off of Tony Gonsolin, the Dodgers starter, to put the Rays up 1-0. 

Gonsolin, who has struggled this postseason, was replaced in the second inning by Dylan Floro. Floro pitched well this game, allowing no base runners over one-and-one-third innings. He was then replaced by Victor Gonzalez. 

A series of Dodger pitchers gave up multiple runs over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. These pitchers were Gonzalez, Dustin May and Joe Kelly. Together these pitchers gave up five earned runs in their three-and-one-third innings pitched.

STARE: Dodgers utility player Chris Taylor watches a home run that started an insufficient comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning during Game 2 of the World Series Oct. 21. This play drove in Enrique Hernandez after a two-out walk, and were the only two runs given up by Rays star pitcher Blake Snell. (Photo from MLB.com)

During that stretch, Lowe hit his second home run of the game for the Rays, this time off Dustin May. This made the score 5-0.

In the regular season, the Rays were 31-7 when they scored first, which was the best in the MLB. 

The Dodgers, however, were also the best when the opposing team scored first, so the game retained its excitement and the Dodgers did not disappoint.  

After Taylor’s home run, Snell was relieved by the Rays’ Nick Anderson. 

Anderson allowed one run over his one-and-one-third innings. That run given up was to Will Smith, who hit a home run to left-center field to cut the lead to 3. The score was now 6-3. 

Relieving Anderson was Peter Fairbanks, another good reliever for the Rays, at the bottom of the seventh. Fairbanks was dominant in the seventh.  The eighth inning was a different story. 

When Corey Seager was up, Fairbanks left a hanging slider in the middle of the zone and Seager hit his seventh home run of this postseason and made the score 6-4.

His home run made Corey Seager the all-time home run leader for a shortstop in a single postseason.”

This home run made Seager the all-time home run leader for a shortstop in a single postseason. Justin Turner followed Seager’s home run with a long double. The Dodgers did not take advantage of this opportunity though and came out of the inning without any runs scored other than the Seager’s homer. 

The Rays used two of their better pitchers to end the ninth inning and the game. The final score was 6-4 and made the series even at 1. 

 

The Rays outplayed the Dodgers in this game because they were able to get more baserunners and bring those baserunners around to score.

After a one-day break on Thursday, the teams will be back on Friday at 5:08 p.m. Pacific Time. The Dodgers will have Walker Buehler starting Game 3. Firehawk Dodgetober fans can watch the first hour or so, before Shabbat comes in at 5:51 p.m. 

Buehler has a 1.89 ERA this postseason and has recorded 29 strikeouts. He will be facing the Rays’ Charlie Morton, who has been the most dominant pitcher in this postseason so far.  Morton has a 0.57 ERA and has won all three of his appearances.

Morton is usually a pitcher who can take his team through five or six innings. After that, the Rays will rely on their stellar bullpen. 

Let us just say it may all come down to who scores first.