Jansen’s Blow Save Tied World Series at 2 Games Apiece

Saturday, October 24, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

Kenley Jansen blew the most important save of his career as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 7-to-6. The 2020 World Series is tied two games apiece.

For the first time in the history of the World Series, Justin Turner homered in back-to-back first innings. Every time the Rays scored, the Dodgers answered. Despite Chris Taylor’s ninth-inning error that allowed the winning run to score, the Dodgers played flawless defense. If Will Smith did not let the game get too fast for him, the Dodgers would be playing extra innings.

Both Turner and Corey Seager had four hits for the first time in World Series history. The Dodgers scored their runs always with two outs. Although Mookie Betts did not have a hit Saturday, the Dodgers looked as if they would win.

Before the game, the Dodgers scratched Cody Bellinger from playing defense in center field. After playing thirteen consecutive games on artificial turf in an enormous center field, it was not surprising that Bellinger had a stiff lower back. While artificial turf has had several advances since the 1970s, artificial turf still is more difficult on a player’s body than natural grass. Playing both the NLDS and NLCS with no off days at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas gave the Dodgers a disadvantage and an advantage.

For the first time this postseason, Julio Urìas did not pitch well. He relied too much on his fastball instead of using his secondary pitches, but he lasted 4.2 innings where he allowed two runs while striking out nine.

Both Blake Treinen and Pedro Báez looked tired and struggled with their effectiveness. Battling soreness, Brusdar Graterol was great. Adam Koralek pitched well.

Twice, Jansen needed one more strike to give the Dodgers a 3-to-1 game lead in World Series, but he could not retire the pesky Rays. While Taylor kicked the game-winning hit, he recovered quickly and threw a perfect strike to Max Muncy. Muncy threw well to Smith, but Smith was too busy making a swipe tag to catch the ball, allowing the winning run to score.

The Dodgers need to win two out of three games to become world champions. They can do it, but they must turn the page on this disappointing loss. In a normal postseason, the Dodgers already have won the required 11 games to be world champions, but in the abnormal 2020 season, it takes 13 wins to be world champions.

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