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Dodgers Dugout: The moment we’ve all been waiting for

The Dodgers and the Rays in game six of the World Series at Globe Life Field. (Robert Gauthier/ Los Angeles Times)
The Dodgers pose with the World Series trophy.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and this doesn’t seem real.

I became a Dodger fan in 1974. At least that is my first memory of being a Dodger fan. I was 7. (Yes, that makes me 35 today).

I still remember all my favorite players as a kid. Jim Wynn, Steve Garvey, Mike Marshall, Lance Rautzhan, Steve Yeager, Tom Paciorek, Reggie Smith, Dusty Baker, Lee Lacy. The list goes on.

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I remember growing up and thinking that it was normal for the Dodgers to be in the World Series every few years or so. 1974, 1977, 1978, 1981, coming close in 1980, 1982, 1983, 1985. And then of course there was the magical 1988 season, a team that probably didn’t have the level of talent those other teams I listed had, but seemed to know how to win.

I remember leaving Game 2 of the 1988 World Series and telling my dad we would have to go to a World Series game the next year, or the year after that.

But the next year came, and no World Series. Then the next year. And the next. And the next. And the next. And the next.

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My dad died. Little did I know that the 1988 World Series game would be the last one we would attend together. I got married and had three kids. They grew up not knowing what it was like for the Dodgers to win a World Series. My oldest daughter is married now and has a house of her own. She was texting all of us during every World Series game (try imagining that in 1988). I never would have guessed that my mom, a huge Dodgers fan who died in 2012, would never see them win another title.

So when Julio Urías got that last out, I thought of all of that as I watched the players celebrate for a minute. Then I had to get back to work. There was a series of thank you notes to write. And what better time to start than now?

Thank you to Dave Roberts. Yes, we all get frustrated by your bullpen decisions. But all your calls worked out perfectly the last two games, and you are only the third Dodgers manager to lead the team to a World Series title. And for remaining a class act through all of it.

Thank you to Clayton Kershaw. For being one of the greatest pitchers in Dodger history, and having arguable your best postseason despite many fans (and newsletter writers) pointing out your postseason failures.

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Thank you to Justin Turner. For being the heart of the Dodger offense for a few seasons now. For finding the Fountain of Youth on defense this postseason. For not shaving that beard. You won, so you can shave it now.

Thank you to Walker Buehler. For being awesome this postseason.

Thank you to Julio Urías. 4-0 this postseason, with the Game 6 save. The Dodgers may have found their closer of the future.

Thank you to Corey Seager for a postseason for the ages and a World Series MVP award. And your hair barely got out of place during any game. Dodger fans are glad you are the shortstop and not Francisco Lindor.

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Thank you to Austin Barnes for all those balls you blocked in the dirt, saving an unknown number of runs.

Thank you to Pedro Báez for all the innings you have pitched the last seven years during the season (356) and the postseason (29.2).

Thank you to Cody Bellinger, for never letting your offense hurt your defense.

Thank you to Mookie Betts for being the spark this team needed. You were the missing piece to the puzzle.

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Thank you to Dylan Floro for eating up innings when the Dodgers were behind, and being a bridge when the Dodgers were ahead. The Brian Holton of this year’s team.

Thank you to Tony Gonsolin for being great during the regular season. Someone has to be the worst pitcher in the postseason, and this year it was you. Also, dogs are better than cats.

Thank you to Victor González for getting so many important outs in the fifth and sixth innings, when no one is really paying attention.

Thank you to Brusdar Graterol, for showing all your emotions and making a 102-mph fastball look effortless.

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Thank you to Kiké Hernández, for being a great postseason hitter and playing solid defense everywhere.

Thank you Kenley Jansen, for being the greatest closer in Dodger history, which is how you should always be remembered.

Thank you Joe Kelly, for bringing a fighting spirit to the team, and for that pouty face.

Thank you Adam Kolarek, for getting lefties out.

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Thank you Dustin May, for rebounding from a poor postseason to be a beast in Game 5.

Thank you Jake McGee, for providing some bullpen depth and for not giving up a run in the World Series.

Thank you Max Muncy, for drawing all those walks and leading the team with six World Series RBIs.

Thank you Joc Pederson, for hitting like Mario Medonza during the season, but like Duke Snider in the postseason.

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Thank you AJ Pollock for not letting last season get you down.

Thank you Edwin Ríos, for, after not playing in the field since the NLCS, making a nice play in the eighth inning of Game 6.

Thank you Will Smith for making all your hits count.

Thank you Chris Taylor for swinging and missing so hard you create a nice breeze for the fans. And for being a key member of this year’s team.

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Thank you Blake Treinen for that Game 5 save.

Thank you Alex Wood, for accepting whatever role the Dodgers put you in and for settling things down in Game 7.

Thank you Matt Beaty, for being just like the rest of us: Watching and not playing in the World Series.

Thank you Andrew Friedman, for putting together a World Series title team, joining Buzzie Bavasi, Al Campanis and Fred Claire.

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Thank you Kevin Cash, manager of the Rays, for removing Blake Snell from Game 6.

Thank you Tampa Bay Rays, for being a worthy opponent with a bright future.

Thank you to the readers of this newsletter, for sticking with me through six seasons. For all of your emails, even when you disagree with me. It was worth the journey, I’d say.

Dodgers react

What some of the Dodgers had to say after winning:

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Dave Roberts: “This is our year! We said it! This is our year! Everyone all over the world wearing Dodger blue never wavered. This is our year!”

Corey Seager: “It’s phenomenal … this was incredible … we never stopped. To be able to finally … get the last out, win the last game, it’s surreal and it’s unbelievable.”

Kenley Jansen: “To the city of L.A., this is deserved by you guys, you guys needed it the most, 32 years and here we are, world champions.”

Clayton Kershaw: “This year has been crazy, obviously, but no matter what, we’ll look back on this and we’re World Series champs, and to get to say that … it’s so special. I’ve been saying ‘World Series champs’ in my head over and over again. I can’t put it into words yet. I’m just so, so thankful to be a part of this group of guys, and so very thankful that we get to be on the team that is bringing back a World Series to Dodger fans after 32 years. They’ve waited for a long time.”

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Andrew Friedman: “We’re bringing the trophy home; it’s been too long. To our incredible fans, thank you for all the support, we’re sorry it took us this long, thank you for your patience, but it’s coming home where it belongs, we are the champions.”

I want to hear from you

Enough from me. I want to hear from you. There will be a newsletter on Friday, devoted entirely to your responses to this World Series title. So, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com with no more than two paragraphs as to what this title means to you. I’m limiting you to two paragraphs so I can get in as many as possible.

Turner test positive

Justin Turner was mysteriously pulled during the eighth inning Tuesday. Turns out, he tested positive for the coronavirus and was immediately pulled from the game. Preliminary reports indicate an inconclusive test came back in the second inning and a second, positive, test came through in the eighth, at which point he was removed from the game. This, of course, leads to many, many questions, but with so few details available at the time I write this (early Wednesday morning in L.A.), there aren’t many, if any, answers. But, why did a game start without all the test results in? Why not pull him in the second when an inconclusive test came in? Were the Rays informed in the eighth inning that Turner had tested positive? Will the Dodgers be allowed to fly home? Why did Turner come on the field after the game and remove his mask? Why were other Dodgers not wearing masks and interacting with their maskless families, knowing a teammate tested positive? And you have to wonder what would have happened if the Dodgers had lost and there was to be a Game 7 today. Would they have postponed it for a couple of days until both teams had a series of negative tests? In the meantime, here’s to the health of Turner and his family.

Joe Buck

I picked on Joe Buck all through the World Series. But he did two things that made me stop. In Game 5, he is the first national TV broadcaster who I have heard strongly call out the Astros for cheating in the 2017 World Series.

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But what really clinched it was the ninth inning of Game 6. He talked about how he always thinks about his dad during times like this, and he segued into talking about Vin Scully, and what he must be thinking now. He also said that Vin was the best to ever do this job, referring to calling baseball games. It was a classy gesture, one that Buck didn’t have to make, and it was much appreciated.

Dodgers World Series batting averages

Some of you hate when I start listing stats. You’ll want to skip the next two sections. Many have requested to see how the Dodgers are batting in the World Series, so here you are:

Corey Seager, .400, 8 for 20, 2 HR, 5 RBIs, 7 runs scored
Joc Pederson, .400, 4 for 10, 1 HR, 3 RBIs
Justin Turner, .320, 8 for 25, 4 doubles, 2 HRs, 2 RBIs, 5 runs scored
Max Muncy, .318, 7 for 22, 1 double, 1 HR, 6 RBIs
Mookie Betts, .269, 7 for 26, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs, 4 stolen bases
Chris Taylor, .217, 5 for 23, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 11 strikeouts
Kiké Hernández, .200, 2 for 10, 1 double, 2 RBIs
AJ Pollock, .167, 1 for 6, 1 double
Will Smith, .167, 4 for 24, 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 10 strikeouts
Austin Barnes, .154, 2 for 13, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Cody Bellinger, .136, 3 for 22, 1 HR, 3 RBIs
Edwin Ríos, .000, 0 for 2

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Dodgers World Series ERAs

Alex Wood, 0.00 ERA, 4 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 K’s
Jake McGee, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 K
Adam Kolarek, 0.00 ERA, 0.2 IP, 1 walk, 1 K
Brusdar Graterol, 0.00 ERA, 2 IP, 2 hits
Walker Buehler, 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 10 K’s
Clayton Kershaw, 2-0, 2.31 ERA, 11.2 IP, 7 hits, 3 walks, 14 K’s
Victor González, 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 3.2 IP, 2 hits, 2 walks, 3 K’s
Julio Urías, 2.57 ERA, 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 13 K’s, 1 save
Joe Kelly, 4.50 ERA, 2 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 3 K’s
Pedro Baez, 5.40 ERA, 3.1 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 3 K’s
Tony Gonsolin, 0-1, 6.00 ERA, 3 IP, 4 hits, 3 walks, 5 K’s
Blake Treinen, 6.75 ERA, 2.2 IP, 2 hits, 1 walk, 5 K’s, 1 save
Dustin May, 9.00 ERA, 3 IP, 5 hits, 0 walks, 3 K’s
Dylan Floro, 9.00 ERA, 2 IP, 2 hits, 0 walks, 2 K’s
Kenley Jansen, 0-1, 10.80 ERA, 1.2 IP, 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 K’s

World Series records

By popular demand, some Dodgers World Series leaders, which will be updated throughout the World Series:

Batters

Games
Pee Wee Reese, 44
Carl Furillo, 40
Gil Hodges, 39
Jim Gilliam, 39
Jackie Robinson, 38
Tied for 16th: x-Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, 18

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Runs
Jackie Robinson, 22
Duke Snider, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 20
Davey Lopes, 18
Gil Hodges, 15
Jim Gilliam, 15
Tied for 9th: x-Justin Turner, Corey Seager, 11

Hits
Pee Wee Reese, 46
Duke Snider, 38
Gil Hodges, 35
Carl Furillo, 34
Jackie Robinson, 32
Steve Garvey, 32
Tied for 10th place: x-Justin Turner, 20

Doubles
Carl Furillo, 9
Duke Snider, 8
x-Justin Turner, 8
Jackie Robinson, 7
Jim Gilliam, 5
Roy Campanella, 5
Billy Cox, 5

Home runs
Duke Snider, 11
Gil Hodges, 5
x-Joc Pederson, 5
Davey Lopes, 4
Roy Campanella, 4
Steve Yeager, 4
Reggie Smith, 4

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RBIs
Duke Snider, 26
Gil Hodges, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 16
Ron Cey, 13
Carl Furillo, 13
12th: x-Joc Pederson, x-Corey Seager, 9

Walks
Jim Gilliam, 23
Jackie Robinson, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 18
Gil Hodges, 17
Duke Snider, 13
Carl Furillo, 13
Davey Lopes, 13
10th place: x-Chris Taylor, x-Corey Seager, 9

Strikeouts
Duke Snider, 33
x-Cody Bellinger, 29
Gil Hodges, 22
x-Chris Taylor, 22
Roy Campanella, 20
Steve Garvey, 19

Stolen Bases
Davey Lopes, 10
Jackie Robinson, 6
Maury Wills, 6
Pee Wee Reese, 5
Jim Gilliam, 4
x-Mookie Betts, 4

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Batting average (minimum 20 plate appearances)
Mickey Hatcher, .368
Tommy Davis, .348
Steve Garvey, .344
Pedro Guerrero, .333
Charlie Neal, .323
Billy Cox, .302
Ron Fairly, .300
x-Corey Seager, .298
Steve Yeager, .298
Duke Snider, .286
Lou Johnson, .286
Steve Sax, .286

Pitchers

Wins
Sandy Koufax, 4
Johnny Podres, 4
Burt Hooton, 3
Don Drysdale, 3
x-Clayton Kershaw, 3
Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, Hugh Casey, Don Sutton, Tony Watson, Preacher Roe, Larry Sherry, Orel Hershiser, 2

Innings
Sandy Koufax, 57
Carl Erskine, 41.2
Don Sutton, 41
Don Drysdale, 39.2
x-Clayton Kershaw, 38.1
Johnny Podres, 38.1

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Strikeouts
Sandy Koufax, 61
x-Clayton Kershaw, 41
Don Drysdale, 36
Carl Erskine, 31
Don Sutton, 26

Saves
Clem Labine, 2
Larry Sherry, 2
x-Kenley Jansen, 2
Mike Marshall, Jeff Pfeffer, Bob Welch, Hugh Casey, Ron Perranoski, Steve Howe, Jay Howell, Blake Treinen, Julio Urías, 1

ERA (minimum 18 innings)
Claude Osteen, 0.86
Sherry Smith, 0.89
Sandy Koufax, 0.95
Orel Hershiser, 1.00
Clem Labine, 1.65
Johnny Podres, 2.11
Whit Wyatt, 2.50
Preacher Roe, 2.54
Joe Black, 2.82
Don Drysdale, 2.95
14th: x-Clayton Kershaw, 4.46

x- highest active player

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Dodgers-Rays schedule

All times Pacific

Dodgers are home team for Game 1, 2, 6 and 7

All games at Arlington, Texas

Game 1: Dodgers 8, Tampa Bay 3

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Game 2: Tampa Bay 6, Dodgers 4

Game 3: Dodgers 6, Tampa Bay 2

Game 4: Tampa Bay 8, Dodgers 7

Game 5: Dodgers 4, Tampa Bay 2

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Game 6: Dodgers 3, Tampa Bay 1

In case you missed it

Bill Plaschke: Dodgers’ sixth World Series title since moving to L.A. might be the sweetest

Dylan Hernández: Dodgers pounce after Rays make poor decision to remove Blake Snell

Dodgers’ bullpen shuts down Rays to preserve World Series win in decisive Game 6

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Justin Turner left the World Series clincher after testing positive for coronavirus

Give this Dodgers’ title an asterisk, one that signifies a season of unique difficulty

Mayor Garcetti to L.A. fans: Oh, yes, we’ll celebrate Dodgers and Lakers titles

Photos: Dodgers defeat Rays to capture World Series title

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And finally

Dodgers win the 2020 World Series. Watch it here.

Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.


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