The Dodgers are the World Champions. Ray Flowers takes a look at some final notes on the Dodgers, and Rays, as we put a bow on the 2020 season. There’s also a couple of notes in here about free agency – with Hand and Wong being examples of the changing economic times for baseball in the era of Covid.
The two teams struck out 27 times in Game 6, the most ever for a 9-inning Series game.
The 21 homers hit in the Series tied for the third most ever. The Dodgers hit 12 to tie for third best for one team.
The two teams scored 51.3 percent of their runs on the homer run, the third highest mark ever, and the highest since the 1957 Series.
The Dodgers used seven pitchers to win in Game 6, the most ever in a clinching Series game.
The Dodgers have a .629 winning percentage from 2017-20 if you included the regular season and postseason. No team in the Wild Card era has a better winning percentage over a four-year span.
The Dodgers staff had a 34.5 percent K-rate in the post season. That’s just the second time a team ever had a mark of 30 percent, and it was an all-time record.
Clayton Kershaw got his championship. He had set a record by being involved in 19 postseason series without winning the Series. All 10 pitchers who have won the Cy Young award three times are now also World Series winners.
Corey Seager was a star in the layoffs. He ended the run with the second most homers (8), RBI (20), runs (20) and total bases (50). He posted a stellar .328/.425/.746 line as well. Adding in his regular season work in 70 games Seager went .312-23-61-58-3. That’s a hell of run, is it not? Oh yeah, he also became the 8th player to win the LCS and World Series MVP awards.
Julio Urias won four games and also had a save. He joined Madison Bumgarner (2014) as the only pitchers ever to do that in one postseason. The save, to win the World Series, made him the youngest player to pick up a save in a clinching game since Steve Howe in 1981. By the way Urias, who didn’t even strike out 7.5 batters per nine this season, struck out 13 of the 25 men he faced in the Series. Those Rays can really hit, eh?
The Rays scored 61 percent of their runs by the homer in the postseason. That’s the highest rate – ever (minimum 10 games played).
Nick Anderson had a rough postseason, after a dominating regular season. Since the start of last season he’s allowed six earned runs with 67 strikeouts over 37.2 innings in some seriously dominating outings. In 10 games in the postseason, covering 14.2 innings, he allowed nine runs with a 1.36 WHIP (the mark is 0.96 during the regular season). He mentioned being fatigued in the postseason. Terrible ending to two great years of pitching. Heck of a story his life has been as well.
Randy Arozarena hit 10 homers with a 1.273 OPS over 20 games. The previous homer record for a postseason was eight. He also ended with 29 hits, the most ever in a post season, and 64 total bases, another record. #Fantabulistic
Brandon Lowe had a big game in the Series, but he also hit .118 with a .459 OPS in the postseason. That effort was only slightly better than Willy Adames who hit .136 with a .505 OPS. Both those efforts were about the same as Joey Wendle who hit .190 with a .462 OPS. I’m not pulling out the calculator here, but that’s 60 games of work with the guys hitting .150 with a .480-ish OPS. That’s wild. Add in Mike Zunino (.170 and .593) and Austin Meadows (.137 and .425) and you’ve got 95 games of utter craptastic, soul reaping offensive work. In the end, the team hit .211 with a .693 OPS this postseason and that simply is not going to get it done.
The pitching was better than the offense, but that’s really relative. The club posted a 4.00 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP with that 11-9 record. They had nine saves and 18 holds with 187 punchouts in 175.1 innings.
Blake Snell became the only lefty to have two games with two hits or fewer allowed and nine strikeouts in two World Series games. In fact, he’s the first pitcher to ever do it once. Of course, what everyone will remember is that he wasn’t allowed to stay in the game as he was pulled after 73 pitches and 5.1 innings. For more on that decision, check out this article. “I guess I regret it because it didn’t work out,” manager Cash said. “But I feel like the thought process was right. Every decision that’s made, the end result has a pretty weighing factor in how you feel about it. If we had to do it over again, I would have the utmost confidence in Nick Anderson to get through that inning.”
It’s going to be rough this year folks.
Teams lost revenue in 2020.
Teams are likely to lose revenue in 2021 from the looks of it.
Owners are going to be very cautious about spending their money this offseason, and we are already starting to see the effects of that.
The Brad Hand news popped this morning (while I was writing this article). Hand had a $10 million option with the Indians, and after a season with a 2.05 ERA, 0.77 WHIP and a league leading 16 saves the Indians… said no thanks, casting him into the free agent pile. This is really, really bad news for free agents. The surface numbers were great with Hand, and though the stuff when you dig deep wasn’t impressive at all (57.9 LOB%, 0.46 GB/FB, 0.00 HR/FB ratio), how do you end you end up being sent to waivers after leading the league in saves? Seems nonsensical right? Teams will be looking to cut payroll in 2021. They will certainly be extremely cautious about spending big on relievers (much like most NFL teams no longer spend big on running backs). They aren’t going to be handing out long-term, lucrative deals to players who aren’t just the right age, and they must own just the right skills too.
The Cardinals let go Kolten Wong rather than keep him around on the option they held at $12.5 million. Wong just won the 2020 Fielding Bible Award for the third straight year, so it is rather obvious he is one of the better defensive second basemen in the game. His offense did regress, he average dropped .020 points and his OPS fell .108 points, but he did only lose .011 points on his OBP (a still solid .350 in 2020). However, as a 30 year old with no power and zero offensive upside, the price was simply too high for the Cardinals. He could struggle to get a two-year deal at that cost. Hell, he may not get a three year deal to match that $12.5 million. Tommy Edman, presumably, will take over at second base next season.