The Texas Rangers are officially World Series champions, after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks in five games. The first two games in Texas ended in a split, but once the series moved to Arizona, it was all Rangers.
They won all three games played in Phoenix to take home their first World Series title in franchise history. It also completed a triumphant playoff run when it came to playing on the road, where the Rangers went a perfect 11-0.
It was a magical run through the playoffs for the Rangers, who first beat the 99-win Tampa Bay Rays, before beating the 101-win Baltimore Orioles to advance to an ALCS matchup against their chief division rival, the Houston Astros.
Beating the defending champion Astros proved to be the toughest task for the Rangers, as they were the only team who pushed Texas on the brink of elimination.
The Rangers were behind 3-2 in that series, but battled back to win both games in Houston to upset the Astros to advance to the World Series.
Once they got to the World Series, the Rangers were finally the favorites for the first time in the playoffs and they did not disappoint.
Dominant World Series Performance
When the World Series initially began, the Arizona Diamondbacks got off to a fast start, putting up five runs across their first five innings against Nathan Eovaldi to take a 5-3 lead in Game 1.
The Rangers showed their resilience, as Corey Seager hit a game-tying two run blast in the bottom of the ninth inning, marking the first time in the playoffs were D-backs closer Paul Sewald had blown a save.
This was the first of many spectacular moments that led to Seager winning the World Series MVP.
Had that game gone in a different direction, maybe the World Series would have ended differently. But the Rangers were able to win the game in extra innings on a walk-off home run by Adolis Garcia.
Game 2 of the series was all Arizona, with the Diamondbacks piling up nine runs to support their starter Merrill Kelly, who put up seven strong innings were he allowed just one run and struck out nine Rangers.
Unfortunately for the D-backs, Kelly didn’t get the change to take the ball again for a Game 6.
The third game of series brought things to Arizona, where there was a pivotal pitching matchup between two pitchers on the opposite ends of their careers, with Brandon Pfaadt going up against Max Scherzer.
Scherzer made it through just three scoreless innings before being pulled with a back injury. Jon Gray picked up slack, pitching three scoreless innings of relief. Meanwhile Pfaadt allowed three runs in his 5 1/3 innings pitched, which was enough for the Rangers who won by a 3-1 score.
Game 4 was always going to be a tough one for the Diamondbacks, who had to rely on their bullpen without any fourth starter available. The Rangers took full advantage, exploding with a pair of five-run rallies in the second and third innings to take a commanding 10-0 lead.
Arizona showed some fight, putting up seven runs with six coming in the final two innings but it was too little too late. Andrew Heaney proved to be huge for the Rangers in that contest, making himself worth every penny of the two-year, $25 million contract he signed in the offseason, despite not throwing the ball well for much of 2023.
Heaney delivered five strong innings for the Rangers, allowing just one run. This gave the Rangers all of the advantages come Game 4, with the more rested bullpen and a 3-1 series lead.
Game 5 was a classic pitchers duel between Zac Gallen and Nathan Eovaldi, who carried a scoreless game through the first six innings. For Eovaldi, it was constant struggle as he gave up four hits and walked five, but kept finding his way out of jams.
Meanwhile Gallen carried a no-hitter through the first six innings, walking just one batter.
In the seventh, the game turned, and it was World Series MVP Corey Seager that started the rally that proved to be the difference. Seager got a base hit against a shifted infield, then advanced to third on a double by Evan Carter.
The hero of Game 5 proved to be Mitch Garver, who broke the tie by knocking in Seager with a base hit that proved to be the winning run.
The Rangers weren’t done adding though. While Kevin Ginkel was able to work the Diamondbacks through the jam, as well as through a tough eighth inning, the ninth inning allowed all Rangers fans to watch their team close out a championship without any anxiety.
Arizona closer Paul Sewald came on to pitch the ninth with the Diamondbacks still within a run, but quickly gave up three consecutive hits. An error by Alek Thomas on that third hit allowed two runs to score, as the Rangers took a 3-0 lead.
Then, after getting two outs, Sewald faced Marcus Semien in hopes of escaping the jam with a semblance of hope for the Diamondbacks. Semien, who struggled for most of the postseason, finally had a moment to remember. He blasted a two-run shot, which all but put the championship on ice.
For the Rangers, it was amazing to see both Semien and Seager come up huge when it mattered most, as signing those two players for a combined $500 million two off-season’s ago was the signal that the Rangers were aiming to contend. Now here they are, champions.
World Series MVP, Corey Seager
What is the first World Series title in franchise history worth? You can’t put a price tag on it, but $325 million sounds about right.
Corey Seager was everything the Rangers hoped he could be in this playoff run, as he put together a regular season campaign that was worthy of an MVP (if Shohei Ohtani didn’t exist).
He then went on to put together an even better playoff run, where he hit .318/.451/.682, with six home runs,12 RBIs and 18 runs scored across his 17 games played. In the World Series, Seager’s Game 1 home run proved to be the biggest hit, but he came up with plenty across the five-game set.
From hitting the game-tying homer to get the Rangers their first win, to breaking up a no-hitter and scoring the game-winning run in Game 5, Seager’s impact was immense.
By being named the World Series MVP, Seager became just the fourth player in MLB history to win the award twice, having first won it for the Los Angeles Dodgers back in 2020.
With Seager and most of this roster in place moving forward, the Rangers are not going anywhere. This is a team that can contend for years to come.
For Rangers fans though, the time is not now to look ahead to the future.
For the first time in franchise history, they are World Series champions and the time is now to simply enjoy the mountaintop.