The World Series is, and always will be, the most exciting time of the year for baseball fans. Over the past five years, the World Series has made history and broken hearts. We have seen droughts ended and heartbreak.
#5. 2018 World Series
2018 saw the Boston Red Sox defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in just five-game, making this the shortest World Series in the past five seasons. With little drama outside of an extremely dramatic 18-inning Game 3, this series comes in at fifth.
The Red Sox would take games one and two putting the Dodgers against the ropes for game three. When game three began, no one expected records to be broken. At the record setting 7-hour 20-minute mark, Dodgers slugger Max Muncy would break the tie and end the exhausting 18-inning marathon with a walk-off home run. After Game 3, Boston would take the next two games, winning the World Series.
Boston would take the series four games to one and Steve Pearce would win World Series Most Valuable Player. Although after the fact, news broke that the Red Sox were indeed stealing signs throughout the 2018 season. Therefore, raising the question as to whether the Red Sox only beat the Dodgers due to the fact they were stealing signs.
#4. 2017 World Series
The 2017 World Series was not as boring as the 2018 World Series. The Houston Astros defeated the Dodgers to win their first-ever World Series. The Astros would win the series in seven games, but like the Red Sox in 2018 the Astros were also stealing signs. Making back to back World Series matchups where the Dodgers got beat unethically.
The two teams would trade wins games-for-game. With Game 2 and Game 4 needing extra innings. This series had less drama than the 2018 World Series but gets the upper hand due to it being the Astros first-ever World Series. Astros Centerfielder George Springer would be awarded the World Series Most Valuable Player.
#3. 2019 World Series
2019 saw another first time World Series Champion when the Washington Nationals knocked off the Astros in seven games. This came as a surprise to most, as prior to the season Washington lost their widely regarded franchise player Bryce Harper in free agency.
The Nationals would steal the first two games out from under the Astros including a Game 2 blow out. The Astros never backed down from the young Nationals team, taking back the next three games and leading the series three games to two.
Game 6 came with controversy. Nationals shortstop Trea Turner would hit a swinging bunt between third base and the pitcher’s mound. While Turner was running to first, he contacted the first baseman Yuli Gurriel’s glove, knocking it off his hand. Resulting in interference and forcing the Nationals base runner back to first base. This play would result in the first World Series ejection since 1996, as Nationals manager Dave Martinez would be tossed for arguing the call.
The Nationals would go on to win Game 6 and then seal the deal with a Game 7 victory. Nationals pitcher Stephen Strausburg would be awarded the World Series Most Valuable Player.
#2. 2020 World Series
After much doubt due to COVID-19, the 2020 World Series did happen after a shortened 2020 regular season. The Dodgers would meet the Tampa Bay Rays, ultimately ending Los Angeles’ 32-year World Series victory drought in just six games. This win also vindicated the Dodgers for their two World Series losses in the past five seasons.
Although the Dodgers were widely regarded as the favorite, Tampa Bay put up a fight to be remembered. From games one to five, the teams would trade punches (and victories) game for game. Entering Game 6, the Dodgers held a 3-2 Series lead over the Rays.
With the Rays leading the game by one run in the sixth and their ace Blake Snell dicing the Dodgers, Rays’ manager Kevin Cash decided it was time to take Snell out, thus, resulting in the Dodgers taking the lead.
The eighth inning rolled around, and Dodgers’ third baseman Justin Turner would be nowhere to be found. The Dodgers would win Game 6 and the World Series. After the game, the news would break that Turner had in fact tested positive for Covid-19.
With the Dodgers holding off the Rays from winning their first World Series, Dodgers’ shortstop, Corey Seager, would be awarded World Series Most Valuable Player. The Dodgers would end their World Series drought and not be involved in a scandal.
#1. 2016 World Series
This should come as no surprise. 2016 had no shortage of drama and was bound to make history from the start. The two longest World Series droughts in MLB history met for an all-time classic. The Chicago Cubs would meet the Cleveland Indians. The Cubs would end their 108-year World Series drought in seven games, which included one of the most dramatic Game 7s in the history of sports.
The Cubs and Indians would split the first two games of the series before the Indians took a commanding 3-1 series lead. The Cubs would show a never quit attitude forcing a Game 7.
Now, Game 7 is where things get interesting.
It all started with a leadoff home run from Cubs centerfielder Dexter Fowler. Carlos Santana would tie the game at 1-1 in the third with an RBI single. As the game went on the score kept running up. The Cubs led six to three in the eighth inning when closer Aroldis Chapman was summoned to shut the door on the Indians. This did not go as planned.
Brandon Guyer would hit an RBI double off Chapman. The next batter was 11-year veteran centerfielder, Raja Davis. Davis would crush the hopes and dreams of all Cubs fans when he took the All-Star closer deep, tying the game at 6-6.
Chapman would return to the mound for the bottom of the ninth and make quick work of the Indians retiring them in order. With the game going the distance, a sudden change of weather would cause the tarps to be rolled out. The teams would return to their respective clubhouses with plenty of uncertainty. After a 17-minute rain delay, both teams would once again take the field.
Cubs Kyle Schwarber would hit a leadoff single and then be replaced by pinch-runner, Albert Almora . Almora would later score on a Ben Zobrist double, Zobrist would subsequently score on a Miguel Montero single.
As the bottom of the ninth came around the Cubs called on Carl Edwards Jr., who would make quick work of the first two Indians’ batters. Edwards then walked Guyer, who proceeded to take second base on defensive indifference. In the eighth inning, Raja Davis would single scoring Guyer and bringing the Indians within one run.
With two outs and a runner on base, the Cubs called on Mike Montgomery to face Michael Martinez. Martinez would hit a slow roller to third baseman Kris Bryant, who would make the throw to Anthony Rizzo at first base for the final out, ending the Cubs 108-year drought.
With the Cubs coming back from a 3-1 series deficit to end their 108-year World Series Championship drought, it is likely no one will ever see a World Series of this magnitude. Cubs’ second baseman Ben Zobrist would be awarded World Series Most Valuable Player.
After five years MLB has some great storyline World Series matchups, with 2016 being the most exciting and 2018 being nothing to write home about. While 2017 was filled with controversy, 2019 saw the first title for a young team. Capping off the last five seasons was a redemption win for the Dodgers in 2020. Hopefully, the next five years are equally as exciting.
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