Should the Dodgers win today, there will probably be celebrating going on in Los Angeles. Normally, that’s a positive thing or at the very least neutral. However, considering the reports that the festivities following the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA Finals victory almost certainly contributed to the spike of Covid-19 cases. So, LA’s department of health has sounded an alarm:
“As fans continue to watch and celebrate the mighty LA sport teams, we are mindful that if individuals are not adhering to the health officer order requirements of distancing, infection control and masking, cases will continue to rise which, unfortunately, not only leads to increased illness and deaths, but also slows down our recovery journey,”
Today’s Starting Pitchers
The Rays will start Blake Snell, while the Dodgers will go with Tony Gonsolin. However, those will most likely just be the opening attractions, look for both teams to empty out their pitching staffs and play this game like there is no tomorrow because, well, there might not be.
Well, I’ll give credit where credit is due. It was a weird, pandemic-shortened MLB season but at least it’s ending with some drama. Despite coming in as underdogs to a much-more heralded Los Angeles Dodgers team, the Tampa Bay Rays have managed to make the World Series, well, a series. At the very least, no one will ever forget the dramatic-yet-silly way they stole Game 4. The Dodgers struck back in Game 5, buoyed by yet another strong start from longtime ace Clayton Kershaw, who has now put his past October struggles in the rearview mirror. The Dodgers are up 3-2 in the series and just need a win today to secure a championship.
It’s a little difficult to wrap one’s head around the fact that the Dodgers, who have consistently been one of the best teams In the National League, have not actually won a championship. That’s October baseball for you, eight straight postseason appearances have ended with failure. Should they blow this 3-2 World Series lead to the Rays, it will certainly continue the narrative of them being underachievers, and the inexplicable way they completely melted down in Game 4 will go from just being a strange but entertaining game to the 21st century’s closest equivalent to Game 6 between the Boston Red Sox and New York Mets way back in 1986.
That, of course, would be selling the Rays short. They don’t have as much talent as this Dodgers lineup, and a comparatively tiny fanbase, but even when they’ve come up short, they have continued to the put the pressure on their more heralded opponents. If they can pull off a win today, they will force LA to play a Game 7. As exciting as those are for casual fans, no team wants their entire season to come down to a single game where, as they say, anything can happen.
So those are the stakes for Game 6: either it ends today or the Rays extend the MLB season for one more game. That means we’re in “speak now or forever hold your peace” territory. If you want to contribute to today’s liveblog, you can send us your thoughts via email (to Hunter.Felt.Freelance@theguardian.com) or via Twitter (to @HunterFelt). Game 6 is scheduled to start at 8:00 pm EST, but obviously, we’ll be back before then.