In six World Series games against the Rays at Globe Life Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Dodgers did something that will likely never be matched: They hit more homers in another team’s home park than that team hit there during the regular season.
The Dodgers, who played their 16th postseason game at Globe Life Field on Tuesday night, hit 34 homers there compared to the Rangers hitting 27 in 30 regular-season home games at the first-year facility.
Mookie Betts’ solo homer in the eighth was the final one.
“It is definitely not small, I can tell you that,’’ said Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who hit two of his three postseason homers in the World Series before he was removed from the clincher after being notified he tested positive for COVID-19. “We have hit some home runs, but you definitely have to hit it for it to get out of here. We have played a lot of games here and we are pretty familiar with it. It is no Dodger Stadium and it’s not our home park, but so far we have done a pretty good job here.’’
On Monday, Rays manager Kevin Cash hinted him would play Yandy Diaz against the Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin because he saw some good swings from the right-handed hitting first baseman in the previous two games while playing first base and leading off.
Nevertheless, Cash inserted the left-handed hitting Ji-Man Choi at first and batted him in the leadoff spot.
Cash said he was comfortable with Diaz being available to be used when the Dodgers summoned a lefty from the bullpen.
“Yandy is a really big weapon off the bench and when they do go to their bullpen, to have Yandy sitting against one of their lefties would be really nice,’’ Cash said.
Hitting Choi leadoff for the first time in the World Series, Cash used the word “spark.”
Asked if that meant he was looking for the former Yankee to start the game with a home run, Cash said he would take that.
“If he wants to hit a home run we aren’t going to get in the way of it,’’ Cash explained. “It was more a change of scenery for a couple of guys and it is nothing drastic. Just changing the spots and keeping the faces.’’
Choi went 0-for-2 with a walk before Diaz pinch-hit for him in the seventh and struck out.
There will be voices that stick to the argument a World Series won after a 60-game regular season isn’t on equal footing with one that followed a 162-game schedule.
Nevertheless, the man whose team copped its first World Series title since 1988 didn’t agree with that line of thinking.
“A championship to be had and want it,’’ Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “It kind of encompassed us and all the things we had to deal with. You could argue and say it is even more difficult and I am not even talking about playoff format. All the things we had to do as opposed to the long, rigorous six-week spring training, 162 [games], the regular format. You could argue. So, my point being is that there should not be an asterisk and I stand by that.’’