I’d love to be covering the World Series for everyone this year, but that was never in the cards for this club. That doesn’t mean we can’t take away some really important things from what we’ve watched.
10. The Rays have had Austin Meadows, Ji-Man Choi and Joey Wendle riding the pine much of the series. Good teams can survive the bumps and bruises of a season by having depth like that. The Rays and Dodgers have benches that could start in a ton of towns.
9. As much as the game has changed, there is still no substitute for a dominant starting pitching performance. That hasn’t prevented late inning heroics but Clayton Kershaw made one game almost uncontested.
8. Tyler Glasnow isn’t the finished product many fans would have you believe. That’s not to say we Pirates fans should be happy he was moved but he’s also not an example of someone who has completely realized his potential either.
7. Who says defense doesn’t make a difference? Mookie Betts is probably the best player in the game right now but his defense doesn’t get nearly enough coverage. He’s fluid, athletic and when it’s catchable, automatic.
6. The Rays Bullpen is unmatched and it makes up for any shortcomings they have in the rotation. Building a strong bullpen was one of the only things Neal Huntington consistently did well and its easy to forget what a difference maker it can be.
5. Joc Pederson played in 43 games for the Dodgers this season with only 138 plate appearances. He hit .190 and only hit 7 homeruns. This has earned him a seat on the bench for much of the playoff run but he’s easily be the third best hitter on the Pirates right now. That is perspective that scares the hell out of you and really shows the divide.
4. A small market can win but literally everything needs to go exactly right. They aren’t the first or last team with a low payroll to make it to the Series, but after watching what they put together this season, it really illustrates just how difficult it is to finish the race. Eventually masking deficiencies gets exposed.
3. The Dodgers are going to be good for a while. Aside from Kershaw their staff is young and if they choose they could hold on to Seager and Bellinger. They spend but they also build better than any team in the league, yes even better than Tampa.
2. The solo shot parade that allowed the Rays to reach the series might prevent them from winning it. The Dodgers hit homeruns too but they don’t sacrifice traditional baseball to do it. Wisely moving runners over and taking the opposite field base knock that scores two.
- For the Dodgers, its been 32 years and approximately 3.6 Billion dollars since the last time they won the World Series. The Rays haven’t even existed that long.