Image Courtesy of CNBC
By Zachary Lichter
The 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series was unlike any other because it featured the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Texas Rangers: two teams that finished the 2021 season with over 100 losses. For both of these teams, their paths of glory to the World Series were unexpected. The Diamondbacks made their first appearance in the World Series since 2001. The Rangers made their first appearances in the World Series since 2011.
“Seeing those two teams in the postseason makes me happy as a deep baseball fan because it is the culmination of drafting well, developing prospects, trading for the right players, and signing the big-name pieces,” Matthew Cutrona, a junior politics major and sports management and philosophy minor said. “Few teams have been able to accomplish such a goal. The Texas Rangers did that successfully and the Diamondbacks are nearing that.”
Game 1 of the World Series began on October 27 at Globe Field in Arlington, Texas, with Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen going against Rangers starting pitcher, Nathan Eovaldi. Eovaldi pitched six innings and struck out five batters. As Eovaldi tried to keep the Diamondbacks scoreless, the Rangers left fielder Evan Carter opened the scoring in the first inning by hitting a double to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. The Rangers right fielder, Adolis García, extended their lead when he hit a single, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead. The Diamondbacks then tied the Rangers in the third inning when their right fielder, Corbin Caroll, hit a two-run triple, tying the game at two runs apiece. A few minutes later, Caroll reached home plate thanks to a fielder’s choice by the Diamondbacks second baseman, Ketel Marte, giving the Rangers a 3-2 lead. By the ninth inning, the Diamondbacks were winning 5-3, and the Rangers shortstop, Corey Seager, hit a two-run home run, tying the game at five runs a piece. Game 1 then went into extra innings and ended with García hitting a walk-off home run in the 11th inning, giving the Rangers a 6-5 win over the Diamondbacks.
After being down 1-0, Game 2 of the World Series meant revenge for the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks starting pitcher, Merill Kelly, pitched seven innings, only giving up three base hits and a run. The Diamondbacks opened the scoring in the fourth inning when their catcher, Gabriel Moreno, hit a solo run to centerfield. Their left fielder, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., then hit a single, giving the Diamondbacks a 2-1 lead. Later in the seventh inning, their third baseman, Evan Longoria, and Carroll both hit singles to give the Diamondbacks a 4-1 lead. Then, in the eighth inning, Marte and Carroll both hit singles to extend the Diamondbacks lead to 7-1. The Diamondbacks beat the Rangers 9-1, with the series tied at one win apiece.
The series then shifted to Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona. Both teams were looking to retake the lead. Injuries became a problem for the Rangers in Game 3 because their starting pitcher, Max Scherzer, left the game in the third inning with back tightness. García left the game in the eighth inning with tightness on his left side. While injuries were a problem for the Rangers, they left Game 3 on a positive note because their second baseman, Marcus Semien, gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the third inning. Moments later, Seager hit a two-run home run, giving the Rangers a 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks.
The Rangers entered Game 4 knowing they had a 2-1 lead over the Diamondbacks. With the Rangers up 1-0 in the second inning, Semien hit a triple to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead. Seager then extended the Rangers lead by hitting a two-run home run, extending the Rangers lead to 5-0 over the Diamondbacks. Then, in the third inning, Semien again hit a three-run home run to give the Rangers a 10-0 lead. The Rangers won 11-7 against the Diamondbacks and are one win away from winning their first World Series.