I think most would agree that Game 4 was the best game of the World Series so far. In such a back-and-forth game, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in 8-7 walk-off fashion to even the World Series 2-2.
The Rays sent out LHP Ryan Yarbrough to start while the Dodgers had LHP Julio Urías going. Yarbrough had a respectable 3.38 ERA coming in but there was concern about his ability to eat innings. Meanwhile, Urías has been operating as a long relief pitcher out of the bullpen and has been so effective thus far that it warranted a start. He came in with a 4-0 record and a 0.56 ERA this postseason.
Game 4 was a home run contest, specifically a solo homer one. 3B Justin Turner opened up the scoring with a home run to dead center in the first. SS Corey Seager continued to show off his power stroke to make it 2-0 LA by the third.
OF and ALCS MVP Randy Arozarena continued to devistate pitching and hit a solo homer of his own in the fourth to make it a 2-1 game. This was the first time in MLB history that a player hit nine home runs in a single postseason.
Rays RHP Pete Fairbanks took over for Yarbrough in the fifth, but 1B Max Muncy drove in Seager with a two-out hit to regain a two run lead again at 3-1.
However, Tampa Bay answered again thanks to OF Hunter Renfroe. The notrorius Mike Trout look-alike did his best to commit to the role and blasted a prodigious solo homer to make it 3-2 and keep it a tight ball game. This forced Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts to yank Urías in favor of RHP Blake Treinen.
Los Angeles kept the two-out hit parade going in the sixth. 2B Kiké Hernandez came through against Rays RHP Diego Castillo to drive home C Will Smith and get the two-run lead back for LA yet again at 4-2.
Treinen remained in the game for the bottom half of the inning but ran into trouble by letting Arozarena and 1B Ji-Man Choi reach base. Dodgers RHP Pedro Baez gave up the tide-turning runs, as 2B Brandon Lowe hit an opposite field three-run blast to give the Rays their first lead of the ball game, 5-4.
The clutch two-out hitting kept coming for the dodgers in the seventh. This time, it was LF Joc Pederson pinch hitting for CF A.J. Pollock, who hit a frozen rope with the bases juiced to beat the shift and give Los Angeles a 6-5 lead.
Baez stayed in for the seventh, but Rays OF Kevin Kiermier, who is usually known for the glove, made the Dodgers pay for that decision. He joined the solo homer club to tie it up at 6-6. In a postgame interview, Robers admited he had decided to remove Baez prior to the seventh. However, when the Dodgers reclaimed the lead, he reverse his decision and kept Baez in to start the seventh.
RHP Nick Anderson almost had a clean outing, but you’d be foolish to think that the Dodgers wouldn’t take advantage of another runner in scoring position with two outs. This time it was Seager, who shot a blooper into shallow left-center to give LA a 7-6 lead in the eighth.
At last, the ninth inning. The final chapter of the craziest game of the year. Dodgers RHP Kenley Jansen was called on to finish the game in back-to-back nights, this time in a save situation. After PH Yoshi Tsutsgo struk out to record the first out of the inning, Kiermier found his way on with a base hit. 3B Joey Wendle lined out to Pederson for the second out, but the Dodgers were not out of the woods yet as the the hot-hitting Arozarena came up to bat.
Jansen After an epic battle, Jansen walked Arozarena to advance the tying run into scoring position and the winning run on first. In comes the hero of the night, OF Brett Phillips, who hadn’t had an at bat in over a week and simply entered as a pinch-runner for Choi in the eighth. In a game where a team needed an unlikely hero the most, Phillips delivered while down in the count with his first ever postseason hit. An error from CF Chris Taylor and a missed relay by C Will Smith led to a wild 8-7 walk-off win for the Rays.
Calling this a “roller coaster of a game” wouldn’t quite be doing it total justice. These teams set a postseason record with a run in eight consecutive half-innings. If that doesn’t tell you how nuts this game was, then you better think again. The fight was a brutal back and forth with a cavalcade of clutch-hitting, but the Rays came out on top with one of the most improbable victories in franchise history, which rivals their fabled win in Game 162 from 2011.
Turner: 4-5, HR, RBI, 2 R
Seager: 4-5, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R
Arozarena: 3-4, HR, 3 R, RBI, BB
Phillips: 1-1, RBI
Looking ahead to Game 5:
Well, we’re all tied up. So far, this has been a classic and vintage World Series for baseball fans to remember. Game 4’s craziness shows us that each team won’t quit until they can’t claw anymore. We won’t be getting a conclusion in Game 5, but we will be getting a pivotal victory for one team or another.
RHP Tyler Glasnow and LHP Clayton Kershaw look like the probable starters, the same matchup as Game 1.
I am a 22 year old writer and ultra-fan of baseball currently residing in Long Beach, California. I became a published author earlier in 2020 on Amazon and ran my own personal blog at dreamden.org. I’m majoring in communication studies and English and plan to graduate later this year. I’m a lover of art in all forms but especially the art of a strike zone.