It is here the 2023 Fall Classic began dramatically and you could cut the tension with a knife at Globe Life Field in Arlington on Friday night as the 2023 MLB World Series got underway between the American League champions the Texas Rangers and the National League champions the Arizona Diamondbacks.
How did the teams get to the Fall Classic?
In the AL Championship Series (ALCS), the Texas Rangers persevered 4-3 against the Houston Astros, the defending World Series winners, after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays in their American League wildcard series and sweeping the top-ranked Baltimore Orioles 3-0 in the Division Series.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are their opponent; they also played seven games to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 and win the National League pennant. However, they also breezed past the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers without dropping a game.
So who will get the upper hand in the series, does home advantage matter?
The Major League Baseball (MLB) has experimented with various techniques to decide which team gets the so-called "home field advantage" in a seven-game playoff series, where one side must play an additional game at home.
Up to 2002, the AL and NL champions split the award annually. The winner of the midsummer All-Star Game between the AL and NL received the advantage for their league up until 2016, in an attempt to promote competition in the game.
Since then, it has been the team with the higher regular-season record; the Rangers (90 wins, 72 losses) have prevailed over the Diamondbacks (84-78).
However, home-field advantage has less of a tactical component given that both leagues use designated hitters and pitchers are not required to bat in NL ballparks.
This year the MLB has made another change to the regulations in the interim. The use of a "pitch clock" this season to expedite games, following the expansion of the designated hitter rule to both leagues in 2022, has been widely praised as a success.
Story of the game:
Adolis Garcia hit a walk-off home run in the 11th inning to give the Texas Rangers a 1-0 lead in the 2023 MLB World Series. Garcia who has now hit home runs in his last five games, gave Rangers fans a bit of cause for concern earlier on as he was hit on the wrist by a pitch but showed no sign of injury as he won the game and sent fans at Globe Life Field crazy as their team won in dramatic style.
Although the Rangers shot into an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Rangers were unable to maintain it. Even if their best pitchers did not perform well on Friday night, the Diamondbacks' finest position players largely came through for them. Despite having just two hits between them, rookie outfielder Corbin Carroll and infielder Ketel Marte brought in four of the five runs the Diamondbacks scored in Game 1.
In the third inning, Carroll hit a triple to centre field, tying the score and forcing Texas outfielder Leody Taveras to take an awkward route to close out. Then, off of Marte's bat, Carroll beat a throw home on a fielder's choice to first base, giving the Diamondbacks the lead.
Marte, on the other hand, later added another RBI with a nicely hit double. In the process, he has began his playoff career with a 17-game hitting streak in the postseason.
Texas was behind 5-3 going into the final inning. The game went into extra innings after Arizona closer Paul Sewald pitch was hit by shortstop Corey Seager for a game-tying home run. Then, in the eleventh, Adolis García homered to win it.
Can the come back, game two of the 2023 MLB World Series is tomorrow back at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.