November 2, 2023

WS 5: Texas 5, Diamondbacks 0

Texas   – 000 000 104 – 5  9  0
Arizona – 000 000 000 - 0 5 1
After six innings of a pitchers' duel that included Arizona's Zac Gallen throwing six no-hit innings, Texas finally broke through with three hits and the game's first run. Texas scored four more times in the ninth. The Diamondbacks, who had five hits and six walks, failed to get a big hit, leaving nine men on base in the first five innings. They had only two runners in the final four innings.

Texas' 5-0 win in Game 5 was its 11th consecutive road victory in this postseason (11-0; they were 2-4 at home) and gave the franchise its first World Series championship. The team began as the expansion Washington Senators (2.0) in 1961 before moving to Texas in 1972. So . . . it's Texas's first title in 52 years and the first title in the franchise's 63 years.

Texas, which tied for first atop the AL West, was the American League's fifth seed (I hate using that term in relation to baseball) and is the lowest playoff seed to win the World Series . . . so far. They tied for the sixth-most wins in MLB. Arizona was tied for 12th.

To absolutely no one's surprise, Corey Seager – who ended Gallen's no-hit dreams – was voted MVP. He went 6-for-21 (.286) with home runs in three of the five games, one double, three walks, six RBIs and six runs scored. He's the fourth player to win the award twice, joining Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson and Reggie Jackson. (The award was introduced in 1955.)

Texas, which lost 102 games in 2021, became the third team to win the World Series within two seasons of losing 100+ games, joining Boston's NL team in 1914 and the 1969 Mets. 

The Diamondbacks squandered numerous chances to score in the first five innings, leaving three men at third base and four at second. Nathan Eovaldi (6-4-0-5-5, 97) continually got his team into and out of trouble and became the first pitcher to win four road starts in a single postseason.

In the early innings, it looked like it would be Arizona's night, if they could get a few runs. Gallen (6.1-3-1-1-6, 83) breezed through the first four innings, throwing only 35 pitches (13-7-7-8). The Diamondbacks' night of batting woes began right away. In the first inning, Corbin Carroll walked and stole second. He was on third with one out, but Gabriel Moreno and Tommy Pham both grounded to shortstop. Events in the second were similar. Lourdes Gurriel opened with a single and took second on a groundout. Eovaldi then got Evan Longoria to line to left and Geraldo Perdomo to fly to right.

Carroll began the third with a single and was trying to steal second again when Ketel Marte took ball four. (Marte walked three times and his postseason hitting streak ended at 20 games.) A bunt put runners on second and third. Christian Walker fanned on a 96 mph fastball just off the middle of the plate and Pham poked a routine grounder to short. You couldn't help but think there was a good chance these LOB-tomies would haunt the Diamondbacks.

With two outs in the fourth, after Longoria's pop fly down the right field line landed fair for a double, Perdomo struck out looking. A walk, single, stolen base, and another walk loaded the bases for Arizona with two outs in the fifth, but Gurriel stranded all three runners by grounding out to short.

Gallen retired the first 14 batters before issuing a walk. Seager got Texas' first hit leading off the seventh: an opposite field single to left through the third baseman's vacated spot (Longoria was playing well over by shortstop).

Evan Carter followed with a double to right and Mitch Garver's groundball single to center gave Texas a 1-0 lead. The three hits came in a span of only five pitches, and after Gallen struck out Josh Jung, his night was over.

The night was pretty much over for the Arizona bats, as well. Aroldis Chapman issued a one-out walk in the seventh and Josh Sborz gave up a single with two down in the eighth. Neither runners advanced and those were the Diamondbacks' last two baserunners.

Texas left the bases loaded in the eigthth. Facing Paul Seward in the ninth, Jung and Nathaniel Lowe singled. Jonah Heim also singled and an error by Alek Thomas in center scored two runs. Seward got two outs, but Marcus Semien hit a two-run shot to left-center for two more runs.

Here are the five current teams without a World Series championships.
Padres 1969 Lost in 1984 and 1998
Brewers 1970 Lost in 1982
Mariners 1977 Never played in a WS
Rockies 1993 Lost in 2007
Rays 1998 Lost in 2008 and 2020

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