Kershaw Dominated in Game 1 in World Series

Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

Behind an excellent 6-inning performance by Clayton Kershaw, the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 8-to-3.

While both the Dodgers and the Rays are modern-day analytical teams, Game 1 of the 2020 World Series was won by speed and defense. For the first time since 1921, the Dodgers had three stolen bases. Mookie Betts, who later blasted a solo home run, had two steals.

During his 14-year Major League career, Clayton Kershaw had many postseason opportunities and done poorly. However, in Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, twenty miles from where Kershaw grew up, the left-hander was brilliant. He used the entire strike zone. Kershaw played off the Rays’ young hitters’ aggressiveness. Nineteen times the Rays swung and missed.

Cody Bellinger’s two-run homer in the fourth inning lessened the pressure on the Dodgers. The Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow, who threw 101-miles-per-hour fastballs, did not know how to deal with the Dodgers’ patient at-bats. Glasnow walked six while throwing a season-high 108 pitches. The Rays’ relievers did not know what to do when the Dodgers did not swing at their pitches at the edges of the strike zone. Max Muncy drove in two runs. Will Smith had an important hit.

Although Dylan Floro did not have it but struck out one, Victor González ended the seventh inning with a magnificent double play. Pedro Báez was marvelous in the eighth inning. Thanks to Bellinger’s fantastic catch that stole a home run, Joe Kelly had a perfect ninth inning.

The Dodgers did not need to use Brusdar Graterol and Kenley Jansen in Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, and this is huge for the Dodgers. Wednesday is a bullpen game for the Dodgers since they do not use either Walker Buehler or Julio Urìas on short rest. Throughout the postseason, the Rays’ hitters have had offensive woes, averaging ten strikeouts a game.

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