Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers took two out of three from the New York Yankees this weekend in what was truly an excellent World Series preview. What’s more is that Yankees star Juan Soto didn’t even play, sitting out all three games with a sore forearm.

Soto may or may not have moved the needle in New York’s favor if he played, but it didn’t matter. All three games at Yankee Stadium featured everything fans have come to expect of a great World Series. There was great pitching and hitting with people standing out on both sides.

No, seriously. Think about the three games the Yankees and Dodgers just played. Friday was a scoreless tie until the 11th inning, when LA broke through and held on. Saturday saw the Dodgers win in a blowout. Sunday was the nailbiter we crave in any rivalry series, with the Yankees taking the lead, losing it, then getting it back for good in a 6-4 victory.

Sounds like a playoff series, doesn’t it?

And what about the incredible highs and incredible lows for the players? Dodgers outfielder and notorious Yankee killer Teoscar Hernandez did his job, batting .500 in the series with three homers and nine RBI. New York captain and MVP candidate Aaron Judge did a good job keeping up, batting .636 with three home runs of his own.

Of course, that also means plenty of star players didn’t show up. Mookie Betts only hit .250 with a .733 OPS in the series. Giancarlo Stanton was hitless with seven strikeouts and saw his batting average dip to .224.

But the big surprise? Shohei Ohtani was contained to the tune of going 2 for 13 in the series, batting just .154 with a single extra base hit and RBI each.

Let’s not forget the unlikely, unsung heroes too! New York’s was Trent Grisham, who took Soto’s spot in the lineup and answered with the go-ahead three-run homer on Sunday. The Dodgers’ came in the form of reliever Yohan Ramirez, who finished Friday’s game despite facing the Yankees’ toughest bats.

The rest of the boxes are checked. Great pitching, pure intensity, playoff baseball…in June.

There’s a lot of baseball left to play until October, and there’s no guarantee that the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers will face off, let alone make it that far.

Regardless, three games in June somehow managed to give us everything we expect from an intense seven-game scrapper. Let’s hope it carries over into the fall!

Josh Benjamin has been a staff writer at ESNY since 2018. He has had opinions about everything, especially the Yankees and Knicks. He co-hosts the “Bleacher Creatures” podcast and is always looking for new pieces of sports history to uncover, usually with a Yankee Tavern chicken parm sub in hand.