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Texas Rangers power past Diamondbacks for first World Series title

The scene on the field greatly contrasted the mood in the stands at Chase Field in Arizona on Wednesday, as the final out of the 2023 World Series was recorded. The nine Texas Rangers on the field burst into elation as reliever Josh Sborz delivered a beautiful 12-6 curveball to retire Ketel Marte on strikes. With this strikeout, the Rangers had just won the first World Series title in the 62-year history of their franchise.

Wednesday’s win was not unlike the three others that Texas managed over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the series. The Rangers pitching staff made another quality start, this time courtesy of the six-inning scoreless outing from former Boston Red Sox hurler Nathan Eovaldi. 

Eovaldi was effective all day despite allowing four hits and six walks. He managed to pitch his way out of jams with little difficulty, including a bases-loaded conundrum in the fifth inning of a scoreless game. 

The Rangers’ bats struggled through the first eight innings as Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen, a Cy Young Award hopeful in the National League, carried a no-hit bid into the seventh. Texas managed to scratch across one run in the seventh and broke the game open in the top of the ninth. The Rangers exploded for four runs against Diamondbacks reliever Paul Sewald in the final frame to secure the win. 

The Rangers operated like a well-oiled machine throughout the duration of the postseason. When one aspect of the team was struggling, the other players picked up the slack. 

When the bats went cold, the pitchers limited their opponents to one or two runs. When the pitching staff couldn’t assemble it, the lineup broke out for a 10-run game to out-slug their adversaries. The Rangers of the World Series final felt far removed from the same squad we saw get cold during the later part of the regular season.

Save for one series, the Rangers glided through the postseason with little resistance, sweeping the Rays and Orioles in the American League Wild Card and Divisional Series, respectively. 

The prestigious World Series MVP title was awarded to superstar shortstop Corey Seager, his second nod, after he won the award in 2020 with the world-champion Dodgers squad that dominated the postseason. 

Seager hit three home runs, six RBI and managed a 1.137 OPS for the series. He also began the seventh-inning rally in Game 5 that broke up Gallen’s no-hitter and scratched across the first Rangers run. 

This World Series win certainly takes some weight off of the franchise’s fans, as the 62-year wait was certainly excruciating. Legendary players have gone through Texas, but they have come up empty until now. 

Many point to this year’s title as exorcising the demons of the 2011 Fall Classic, where they came a mere strike away from vanquishing the NL underdog St. Louis Cardinals, who eventually came back to steal the title from Texas in dramatic fashion. 

The spirits of the past have been put to rest, and now the Rangers can celebrate before turning their focus on their title defense to come in 2024.

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