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In Case You Missed It: The 2023 World Series in a Nutshell

Commissioner’s Trophy Visits Arlington

As the 2023 season unfolded, fans eagerly awaited October with anticipation and speculation about which two baseball powerhouses would battle for the trophy. Surprisingly, the matchup was both unexpected and uneventful. Instead of the red-hot Phillies or the seemingly unbeatable Braves, the Diamondbacks and Rangers squared off in the Fall Classic after each team overcame the odds as underdogs in their respective Championship Series. The less-than-exciting matchup received the lowest viewership of any televised World Series: it averaged only 9.11 million viewers. Though the matchup was dull compared to past championships, most analysts predicted the World Series to be evenly matched. 

In game one, the first highlight occurred before the game began. George W. Bush, the former President of the United States and one-time owner fo the Rangers, threw out the first pitch to legendary catcher Iván Rodriguez, who played 13 seasons for the Texas Rangers.  Gmae One starter, Nathan Evolidi owned the mound for Texas, while Zac Gallen did the pitching for Arizona. In the bottom of the first, Evan Carter’s double scored Corey Seager to open the scoring. Carter then scored when the next batter, scorching hot Adolis García, rocketed a single into left field.

The D-Backs responded when Corbin Carroll tripled to the center fielder, plating two runs. The two-batter for the D-Backs, Ketel Marte, drove Carroll in with a hard grounder to first. Despite their 3-2 lead, the D-Backs pitching faltered again in the bottom of the third when Zac Gallen allowed a run on a bases-loaded-walk to Mitch Garver.

Arizona fans did not have to wait long, however, because Tommy Pham delivered in the top of the next inning with a solo homer. The Snakes cushioned their lead with an RBI double from Ketel Marte. With his knock, he made it 5-3 and tied the number-one spot for longest postseason hit streak with 17. 

After a few quiet innings, Corey Seager tied up the game 5-5 in the last of the ninth with a two-run blast deep into the seats of right field. Adolis García further ruined the D-Backs’ night with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 11th. The final score of Game 1: Rangers 6, D-Backs 5. 

After an exciting Game 1, the Rangers did not have much success. Merrill Kelly got the start for the D-Backs and threw three perfect innings that were supplemented by a Gabriel Moreno homer in the top of the fourth.  Lourdes Gurriel Jr. added to the lead with a single later in the inning. The 2-0 score remained until Kelly surrendered his first run on a Mitch Garver blast in the 5th.

Evan Longoria added to the D-Backs’ one-score lead in the 7th with an insurance run that made it 3-1 Arizona. Corbin Carroll followed suit with a base hit to left to bring the lead to three.  Ketel Marte then extended his postseason hitting streak to 18, the longest of all time, with a knock up the middle that scored two more runs.  The Snakes continued the momentum with another RBI single from Carroll in the 8th. Emmanuel Rivera’s two-run single closed the scoring and helped his team to a 9-1 D-Backs victory and evened the Series at a game a piece.

Game Three of the World Series was fairly quiet until the third inning, with the exception of Ranger’s star pitcher, Max Scherzer, sustaining an injury to his back, which forced him to exit early.  The Rangers struck first in the third when Marcus Seimen singled to score a run. Corey Seager followed up the RBI single with a two-run blast and his fifth home run of the postseason. Despite many close attempts, the D-Backs did not plate a run until the 8th when Perdomo singled to left to score Rivera. After bending, The Rangers held strong and did not break, holding on to a 3-1 Game three Victory.

The Rangers continued their dominance in game four, scoring their first runs in the second inning on a wild pitch and a two-run triple by Marcus Seimen. Corey Seager extended his team’s lead with yet another homerun that made it a 5-0 ballgame in the second. Travis Jankowski further enhanced the scoring differential in the third with a double that plated two more Rangers.  The next batter, Marcus Seimen, blew the door open with a three-run wall-scraping blast into left field. 

    The D-Backs responded with a mere sac-fly and continued to falter defensively. The Snakes let up yet another homerun, this time to the Rangers catcher, who made the game 11-1.  Arizona followed up with yet another sacrifice fly, this time from Tommy Pham, before they inched closer with a three-run bomb from Gurriel Jr. Though they scored twice in the 9th, the Diamondbacks were outhit again by the Ranger’s dangerous offense. The final score was 11-7.

Entering game five, the Rangers were one win away from their first World Series Title, and the Diamondbacks were one loss away from a painful defeat.  However, the D-Backs made it evident quite quickly that they would not go down without a fight. Gallen and Evoldi were on their A-games one last time, and a lead was not established until the 7th when Mitch Garver punched a base knock into center field to score a run. 

Shortly after, the Rangers knocked Gallen out of the game and forced Arizona to rely on their unpredictable bullpen. The Rangers capitalized once again, but this time on an error by the D-Backs centerfielder Alek Thomas. The Rangers scored two on the single and error, bringing a dangerous Seimen to the plate. Seimen solidified the Ranger’s World Series Title with a towering shot into the left field seats that made it 5-0 Texas.

In the bottom of the ninth, on a 2-2 pitch from Josh Sborz, Ketel Marte struck out looking, which crowned the Texas Rangers with their franchise’s first World Series Title. 

Though the series had mixed predictions and speculation, the Rangers proved their dominant regular season was not coincidental. The Diamondbacks finished their ‘23 season with an incredible run for a team that struggled during the regular season. Both teams deserve much respect for their obvious efforts and success. Though the games were not particularly close, both teams overcame obstacles that led to their well-deserved World Series appearance and eventual season-ending result. 

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About the Contributor
Michael Barravecchio, Sports Editor