By: Nicholas Gilanfar
Game one of the World Series was an out of body experience for the Rangers faithful as it provided high drama featuring game saving home runs from Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia to propel the Rangers to a 6-5 game one victory.
The miraculous game one walk off home run fell twelve years after game six of the world series in 2011 where the Texas Rangers were one strike away from winning the fall classic until David Freese stunned the Rangers and forced a game seven. This time around 12 years later, the Rangers got the last laugh as they are now three wins away from their first ever world series victory.
The Texas Rangers started strong out the gates being able to get to Arizona’s ace Zac Gallen early as they were able to tally a 2-0 lead featuring RBIs from Evan Carter and Adolis Garcia. You could also say the same regarding Arizona’s start as they were able to capitalize on the early heroics from the Texas Rangers and score five runs through five innings leading the Rangers 5-3 for most of the game.
The resilience that the Rangers brought to game one was thanks to the dominant bullpen performance pitching 6.1 innings while letting up only two hits and 0 runs. Plate discipline was also key in this victory as well as both Seager and Garcia were careful with their pitches and eventually found what they were looking for.
An Undeniable Bullpen Showing
Nathan Eovaldi was slotted as the game one starter as he was looking to add on to his recent playoff success. Unfortunately, Eovaldi ran into trouble early which resulted in a shorter outing than used to pitching 4.2 innings while letting up six hits and five runs. From there, concerns came into play due to past trends in the postseason with starters not being able to go long and the bullpen giving underwhelming performances.
Luckily the bullpen stayed within their craft and executed through adversity and got the job done as they pitched 6.1 innings letting up no runs with a combined five relivers in Dane Dunning, Cody Bradford, Jon Gray, Will Smith, and Jose Leclerc. If Eovaldi were to give them a lengthier start, the bullpen placement would’ve looked different as you would normally see a trio of Sborz, Chapman and Leclerc to close the game. This situation forced the Rangers to bring some starters out and two guys that deserve credit for their mound performances are Will Smith and Jon Gray.
Jon Gray was a mainstay in the Rangers rotation this season as he put up a record of 9-8 with a 4.12 ERA. Gray had a strong start to the season but then started to dwindle as the season went on. Prior to the playoffs Gray was sent to the 15-day IL due to a forearm strain and had to miss the Wild Card and ALDS. Now since Gray is back, he found himself in a crucial position during game one as he pitched 1.2 innings letting up one hit 0 runs and four strikeouts as he is likely to be slated as the Game four starter after a dynamic mound performance in game one of the world series.
As for Will Smith, he served as the Rangers closer for the majority of the season until late August but then started to find some troubles on the mound as he posted a 7.00 ERA in August. Trailing 5-3 in the eighth inning, Manager Bruce Bochy decides to put Will Smith out there for 0.2 inning. Smith has won two world series rings with both Atlanta and Houston so the familiarity definitely came into play yesterday with an encouraging performance on the mound that may be considered down the line to get back to a high- leverage reliver.
Corey Seager and Adolis Garcia
After the score being 5-3 for the entirety of the game, the Ranger crowd started to get less engaged with the game as the Ranger’s batting order was unable to get to the Arizona bullpen. Fast Forward to the ninth inning, Arizona will put in their closer Paul Sewald who has yet to let up a run for the entire post season. Sewald will walk Marcus Semien, then Corey Seager will come up to bat as he will drill as game saving two run home run to tie the game at five a piece and send the game to extra innings.
As Extra Innings goes on, not much action happens as Jose Leclerc is able to hold his own throwing two perfect innings. Then on the way the bottom of the 11th, OF Adolis Garcia will come up to bat against Miguel Castro and will walk off the game with a solo home run to give the Texas Rangers the game one victory. Garcia recorded his 21st RBI in the playoffs, which breaks the records for most RBI” s in a single playoff run in MLB History.
Photo Via Abby Jones/X