World Series Game 1: Takeaways from Rangers' win over D-backs

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Play ball! The 2023 World Series is here ... and wow, did it get off to an exciting start.

Game 1 ended in dazzling fashion with a walk-off home run in the 11th inning by none other than Adolis Garcia, who has been absolutely dominant this postseason, to secure the 6-5 win for the Texas Rangers.

It looked as if the game was over, with the Arizona Diamondbacks up 5-3 as the Rangers came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth. Then Corey Seager hit a mammoth, game-tying home run that gave his team life and sent the game to extras, with Garcia finishing it off with his eighth homer of the postseason.

We shouldn't be surprised by anything either team does at this point. Arizona dropped the 100-win Los Angeles Dodgers and defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies to get to this moment. But, as we learned in the American League Championship Series -- and again in Game 1 -- you can't count Texas out, either, as it KO'd the defending World Series champion Houston Astros after losing three straight at Globe Life Field.

We have you covered with all the action from Game 1, from postgame takeaways to the stats to know from an incredible World Series opener.

Key links: Full playoffs schedule and results


Rangers 6, Diamondbacks 5

Texas: Adolis Garcia carried the Rangers through Games 6 and 7 of the ALCS, and, fittingly, he sent them to a glorious Game 1 victory in this World Series, lining an opposite-field home run with one out in the 11th inning to cap a thrilling comeback victory. The Rangers trailed by two heading into the ninth, having gone five innings without producing much of anything offensively. Then Corey Seager got a chest-high fastball from D-backs closer Paul Sewald and didn't miss it, sending it 418 feet to right field and tying the score. It triggered the first extra-inning game of this postseason, and then Garcia once again became the hero. It came on a 3-1 sinker slightly low from D-backs right-hander Miguel Castro, a 106-mph line drive that traveled 373 feet. And it proved an important point about this series: With their offense, the Rangers are never out of it. No matter how badly it looks for a stretch. -- Alden Gonzalez

Arizona: The Diamondbacks almost had it. After putting up zeroes for four straight innings, their bullpen finally faltered after Sewald couldn't get a rising fastball past Seager in the ninth. Two innings later, Castro served up a 3-1 pitch to Garcia for a walk-off homer. Perhaps it's a crack in the Diamondbacks' game plan for the series or just a one-game blip, as Sewald and that pen have been lights out all postseason. In fact, it was the first run the closer has allowed in the playoffs and first home run he's given up since Sept. 15. Arizona just couldn't finish the job. -- Jesse Rogers

One big question: Can the Diamondbacks recover from the gutshot that was Game 1? Seager's game-tying home run in the ninth was a knockdown. Garcia's laser into the right-field stands in the 11th was a knockout. The Diamondbacks played their brand of baseball exquisitely for eight innings, carrying a 5-3 lead into the ninth. Then came the dueling homers -- and a 1-0 series lead for Texas. While Game 2 isn't a must-win for Arizona -- remember, the Diamondbacks trailed the Phillies 2-0 in the NLCS -- the damage of a loss like this can linger. -- Jeff Passan

The most astounding stats from Texas' thrilling Game 1 victory

  • Adolis Garcia became the second player in World Series history with three hits including a walk-off home run in the same game. He joined Kirby Puckett, who did it in Game 6 of the 1991 World Series.

  • Garcia's Game 1 winner was the first walk-off home run in the World Series since Max Muncy of the Dodgers hit one in Game 3 of the 2018 Fall Classic off Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi, who started Friday's game for the Rangers.

  • Garcia has homered in five straight playoff games, just one behind Daniel Murphy's all-time mark (set in 2015) and tied for second with Giancarlo Stanton, George Springer and Carlos Beltran.

  • Game 1 marked the first time a World Series opener has ended with a walk-off home run since Dodgers slugger Kirk Gibson's home run off Athletics closer Dennis Eckersley in 1988.

  • Entering Game 1, teams leading by multiple runs in the ninth inning were 466-8-1 all-time in the World Series (with the tie coming in a 1907 Tigers-Cubs game called for darkness).

  • Prior to Friday, no team had ever won the opening game of a World Series when trailing by multiple runs in the ninth inning or later.

Social media reacts to Garcia's walk-off blast

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