The 2023 World Series kicked off with an amazing extra innings victory for the Texas Rangers, a comeback victory at that. The Rangers trailed 5-3, and it looked like the Arizona Diamondbacks would steal Game One, but Corey Seager tied the game with a two-run homer in the 9th, and the 11th (and the game overall) ended with Adolis Garcia walking it off. The Rangers struck first in this year's Fall Classic, moving three wins away from their first championship.
Game Two in Arlington pitted Merrill Kelly against Jordan Montgomery, and it was quiet for a good bit of the game's first moments. Three innings passed without a run, but in the fourth, Gabriel Moreno would strike with a solo shot to left center. Lourdes Gurriel, Jr.'s RBI single made it 2-0, but the fifth inning would see Mitch Garver put the Rangers on the board with a solo home run. That would turn out to be the only big mistake made by Kelly, as he ended up shutting down the Rangers the rest of the way.
As for Arizona's bats, Evan Longoria's RBI single made it 3-1, and Longoria himself would be driven in by Corbin Carroll later in the inning. The Diamondbacks would blow it wide open after that, starting with Ketel Marte's two-run single in the eighth, and Carroll's second RBI single later that inning. Arizona added two more runs in the ninth inning, and that resulted in a 9-1 victory for the Diamondbacks.
Merrill Kelly's dominant pitching performance led the Diamondbacks to victory in Game Two. The solo HR he surrendered was one of only three he surrendered in seven innings on the mound, and his performance included completely shutting down Adolis Garcia, who was held hitless in the game. The Diamondbacks scored nine runs on 16 hits, with four of them belonging to Tommy Pham, who is having one hell of a World Series. The central story of Game Two was Ketel Marte, as his two-run single put Marte in the history books. It was his 18th straight postseason game with a hit, which is now the Major League record for the longest postseason hitting streak. So now we know who'd be the MVP of this Series should the Diamondbacks win it.
That wasn't the only piece of history for the Diamondbacks. This is the first time that the team won a road World Series game. In the team's only other appearance in 2001, the home team won every game. I had a feeling that Arizona would win Game Two, because they had to have been motivated over that extra inning loss in Game One. Plus, I expect a long World Series, as both teams truly want it bad.
We have a 1-1 Series now, and as a result of Arizona's win, this will be the 11th straight World Series to not end in a sweep, with the 2012 Fall Classic (Giants over Tigers) serving as the last one to do so. Amazing, isn't it? It's 1-1, but had Paul Sewald closed out the ninth in Game One, we'd be talking about the Diamondbacks being up 2-0! Game Three is Monday in Phoenix, and thanks to the Diamondbacks' win, there will be three games played in Phoenix. That's the beauty of the 2-3-2 format--whoever sweeps that heart after a 1-1 Series tie will win the whole thing. This is the 63rd World Series to be tied at 1. Of the previous 62 times, the winner of Game Three won the Series 40 times. That's 65% of the time! Monday's Game Three will be quite pivotal.
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