NM-born player helps propel Texas Rangers to first-ever World Series title

Nathan Eovaldi displayed remarkable resilience as he pitched six innings, while New Mexico-born and bred Mitch Garver broke a scoreless deadlock with an RBI single in the seventh. Garver was born and raised in Albuquerque, attending La Cueva High School and later the University of New Mexico before being drafted by the MLB in 2013.

These moments led the Texas Rangers to clinch their first-ever World Series championship in their 63-season franchise history. The Rangers triumphed over the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 5-0 victory in Game 5, which unfolded in Phoenix

In the pivotal Game 5, Marcus Semien made his mark by homering in a four-run ninth inning, solidifying the Rangers’ dominance in the Fall Classic. This victory marked the end of an incredible postseason journey for the Rangers, who boasted a perfect 11-0 record on the road during this remarkable run.

Bruce Bochy, in his inaugural season as the manager of the Texas Rangers, secured his fourth World Series title. Bochy’s managerial career began 13 years earlier, in 2010, when he guided the San Francisco Giants to victory against the Rangers. He then repeated this feat in 2012 and 2014.

“I was sitting in a recliner there in Nashville, just enjoying myself,” shared the 68-year-old Bochy, who came out of retirement to lead the Rangers.

Terrance Barksdale, Pexels.

In contrast to the explosive start in Game 4, the Rangers and Diamondbacks engaged in a nail-biting pitchers’ duel in Game 5. Zac Gallen, the Diamondbacks’ ace, maintained a no-hitter through six innings before Corey Seager’s opposite-field single ended the suspense. Evan Carter, a 21-year-old Rangers rookie, followed it up with a crucial double. Mitch Garver then delivered the first run of the game, driving in Seager with a sharply hit grounder, bringing the score to 1-0.

Garver, who had struggled at the plate in the World Series, was one for 17 before his pivotal hit.

With the Rangers clinging to their 1-0 lead, Josh Jung and Nathaniel Lowe ignited a ninth-inning rally with consecutive singles off Paul Sewald. Jonah Heim’s single drove in Jung and Lowe capitalizing on an error in center field, extending the Rangers’ lead. In a thrilling conclusion, Marcus Semien’s two-run homer brought the final score to 5-0, marking the 13th time in the postseason that Texas had scored at least three runs in an inning.

Mitch Garver of the Minnesota Twins swings at a pitch during a 2019 game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Ian D’Andrea on Flickr.

“Everything I’ve ever worked for is for this moment,” Semien exclaimed. “Gallen was unbelievable tonight, but we came through. Once Corey got the first hit, everybody kind of woke up. The pitching was unbelievable.”

Throughout the game, Nathan Eovaldi showcased his exceptional pitching prowess, consistently extricating himself from challenging situations. The game concluded under the reliable arms of Aroldis Chapman and Josh Sborz.

“I kind of joked around: I don’t know how many rabbits I have in my hat,” Eovaldi quipped. He improved his postseason record to 5-0, maintaining an impressive 2.95 ERA. “I didn’t really do a great job tonight in attacking the zone. But our defense, incredible again.”

This victory was a historic one for the Texas Rangers, who had experienced heartbreak and near-misses in their long history. The franchise originated in 1961 as the expansion Washington Senators and relocated to Texas in 1972. The Rangers had come excruciatingly close to a World Series championship in 2011 but ultimately fell short to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Despite the numerous obstacles they faced throughout the season, including injuries to key players, the Rangers managed to pull off a remarkable turnaround under the leadership of general manager Chris Young. Their journey involved a trip to four cities and a hard-fought victory against the Houston Astros in the AL Championship Series, ultimately leading them to their first World Series in over a decade.

“We’ve just got a group of winners,” Nathaniel Lowe reflected. “When the bus driver’s driving slow, we tell him, ‘Hey man, you know you’re driving a group of winners,’ so we believed it through and through. Maybe we struggled at home, but we got it done on the road, and we’ve got a special group.”

In contrast, the Diamondbacks, who had a remarkable postseason run, faltered in their quest for a championship. The resilient Rangers faced one of the best pitchers in the league, Zac Gallen, who delivered a remarkable performance throughout the season but had struggled in the playoffs. However, on this night, he showcased his best form.

Eovaldi, on the other hand, matched Gallen’s impressive performance despite some challenging moments. The Diamondbacks had several opportunities to score in the first five innings but were unable to capitalize, going 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.


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