JT is The New Mr. October

We have all the seen the Kirk Gibson highlight ad nauseam. These Dodgers want to make their own mark and give this town some new memories. After 29 years of waiting here it is. Two old NL West rivals.  Tonight Clayton Kershaw finally made a World Series start today in the sweltering heat against the Houston Astros.

Vin Scully got to announce it’s time for Dodgers baseball.  Now it was time to start the game. The Astros have a team that has the best OPS in the league. Stat geeks will know what that is. Dallas Keuchel was on the mound for the Stros. Dodgers Stadium was a buzz tonight and you could feel the excitement in the air.

Kershaw has to hear about his postseason failures. Tonight was the night to put that to rest. Kershaw started the game by striking out George Springer and we were off. In the bottom of the first, Chris Taylor took the first pitch from Keuchel and deposited it into the seats. With the heat, it would seem the ball would fly out of the stadium.  What a way to make a World Series entrance.

Alex Bregman of the Astros hit a solo shot in the Fourth inning to tie the score 1-1. So a pitcher’s duel was going to be on our hands. The Dodgers hit into three double plays early in the game ending any potential threat. The greatness of Kershaw would have to show tonight. He began this outing with a 6-7 career playoff record and an unsightly 4.40 ERA. Facing a team that had the fewest strikeouts in the majors this year, Kershaw fanned more Houston hitters than any starter this season.

Kershaw pitched 7 innings and struck out 11 hitters with no walks.  Hopefully that will end all the nonsense that Kershaw can’t get it done in the clutch. The Dodgers wanted to get to that Astros bullpen which hasn’t been very good.  Meanwhile the Dodgers bullpen has been stellar.  In the bottom of the sixth, Justin Turner and his moment arrived with two out and two strikes in the at bat. The red dream hit a two run blast off Keuchel adding to his postseason lore.

So Turner won the early battle of the beards.  In the seventh inning, when Kershaw came out to pitch, I have to admit I was nervous.  Kershaw was able to get out of the seventh. In the Eighth inning Brandon Morrow came in and shut down the Astros with 10 pitches.  Kenley Jansen came in the ninth inning and does what he does as the new Mariano Rivera and closed down the Astros. Dodgers win game 1 3-1.  Three more wins for the title. This series is going to be tough.

 

James Moya

James Moya

Hi I’m James Moya. I am an avid Dodgers fan. I graduated Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelors in Communications. I used to freelance at the San Bernardino Sun. I’m excited about this opportunity to write for LA Dodger Report to gain experience. I’m a straight shooter on my opinions and I hope to get some good conversations going. My dream has always been to report on the Dodgers because Baseball is the National Past-time. I hope you enjoy the ride with me.

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16 thoughts on “JT is The New Mr. October

  1. Nice touch to end with the Kershaw interview! You guys are on top on it and keep it up!

    Again, so so so happy for Kershaw!

    Tomorrow will be tough! Verlander vs Hill. Will Grandal finally deliver? Or will it be Joc? Neither hits that high rising fastball well – prove me wrong!

    1. Verlander has indeed helped the Astros. Rich Hill hasn’t exactly been chopped liver. He can deliver. The main strategy for the pitchers, as I’ve said before, is to limit the HR ball. We’re weak in this category. We have to keep runners off the bases because the HR ball will be hit. 1 run as opposed to 3 runs can easily make or break a game as we saw today with Kershaw dominating, yet giving up a solo HR. Kuechel had the opposite luck. He gave up a 2 run HR. That was enough to secure the win. You can’t give Houston an inch in these games. Hill has to maintain his control and not give up HR’s!!

      For those who worried Corey would flop when he returned, I think we can put that one aside now. I’m very glad we’ve got Culberson, but Seager has a lot to prove to himself and the audience and I think he has the desire to do it. What a move by Roberts batting him after Kike! Very bold. Go Kike.

      What a monster bullpen we’ve developed. The only tactic left to test them with is Houston scoring big runs in the first few innings and forcing the starter to be replaced. Then we will see how long Maeda can last in these situations. This scenario needs to be avoided at all costs.

      We can beat them in Game 2. The Dodgers are very fine tuned at the moment. If they maintain this, it’s curtains for Houston. Don’t want to make any predictions about how many games it will take. Let them go out and get one at a time. We’ll all be happy!!

  2. Someone on the Dodger site, obviously a Astros fan, said the other day, now we will see if the Dodgers can hit a curveball. Well, it is obvious the Astro’s can’t. CK delivered big time and the best pen in the majors shut the door. Other than that straight down the middle pitch to Bregman, CK was about as sharp as I have seen him all year. How deflating was it to Kuechel to have his first pitch sent deep into the bleachers. Dodgers did what they had to do. The DP’s were killers, but that’s Kuechel’s forte. Verlander is a different animal, but Hill always pitches better at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers a good fastball hitting team, and Hill will be throwing that curve. It will be a nail biter.

    1. I was a little worried about Kershaw recently. His last game against the Cubs he wasn’t sharp. He looked like he did at the beginning of the year when he was giving up dingers. He didn’t have command of his fastball, his slider didn’t have the bite it used to have, and he wasn’t throwing his curve. I was beginning to think that maybe the years and bad back were slowly eroding his skills to the point where he was just a really good pitcher, but not the Kershaw, the irrepressible force, we’ve grown accustomed to.

      Houston was the best offensive team in baseball this year. Kershaw had total command of them. Everything looked like it was clicking for him. He was at his best.

      1. He has given up HR’s in his last 9 straight starts. That was inconceivable in prior seasons and I think it is for a couple of reasons. Location is the big one. Kersh has missed his spot a lot more this year than before. He usually does not leave many over the middle of the plate, and this year he has. The other is the philosophy change that a lot of hitters have made. These guys no longer just look to make contact. They are trying to elevate the ball every time they hit it.

  3. https://www.sbnation.com/2017/10/25/16541720/dodgers-world-series-astros-clayton-kershaw-chris-taylor-justin-turner

    Times are good when even Grant Bisbee is writing positive articles about the Dodgers.

    “The history was hanging around this start, both the lingering history of the distant past and the festering history of the recent past. When the game was over, it was replaced with a new chapter. Here lies Game 1 of the 2017 World Series, in which Clayton Kershaw peeled the skin back from his opponents and fashioned it into a bowtie, which he presented to Ken Rosenthal, saying, “I think you should wear this to raise awareness of the Astros, who just had their skin flayed from their backs and removed. By me.” It was cold, calculating, and horrifying in its efficiency. It was also one of the best individual performances in Dodgers history since they’ve moved to Los Angeles.”

  4. I hope we get a good umpire behind the plate tonight, because some umps have trouble with Hill’s curves, when it comes to the strike zone.

    I think once are line up is back to normal tonight, we will do better.

    Our guys need to lay off Verlander’s high fastballs, because a lot of his high fastballs, are not in the strike zone!

    And not many hitters, can square up a high fastball that is 95 or over, like Verlander’s fastballs, tend to be.

    I would make Verlander to throw strikes, and not swing at his high fastballs, that are higher then the belt.

    I thought Kershaw would pitch better tonight, because he would have better command of his pitches, after pitching in his first two starts, and starting this game, on regular rest.

    And that is why I think his slider, was biting more, then it did, in his first two previous starts.

    1. Yeah, it could easily be a Verlander vs Dodgers bullpen game tonight.

      Peacock came in and almost walked both batters he saw, and Taylor smoked a Devenski pitch. I thought Puig was too passive but he was letting the bat pitches go and only swinging at strikes. Good to see Seager stay within himself. I thought Bellinger overswung yesterday many times; he needs to get more focused.

  5. Watch out for Ed Dinger tonight, he will square up a few fastballs from Verlander tonight. We all admit, Verlander has been lights out since coming to the Astros, don’t you think he is due to have an off night? If the ump is good behind the dish, Hill will have a very good night. Astros are known as a fastball hitting team (until they ran into Kershaw last night), Hill isn’t a fastball pitcher. If Hill has his control and his curve is biting, it should be a long frustrating game for the Astros.

    BTW for the previous poster, there are a lot of Dodgers’ batters that love a high fastball. Watch out Verlander you may be running for comfort to Kate Upton’s big beautiful (smile?) after the game. Not a bad consolation, come to think of it.

    Just curious, how much damage did Reddick do to the Dodgers last night?

    Also, how much did we miss having Reddickson on our WS roster? (just some lousy strikeouts)

    EDDINGEREdDINGERedDINGEREDdingerEDDingereddingerEdDinger (karma baby, karma)

  6. My favorite nugget of the post season: The Dodger bullpen has given up the fewest runs of any team this post season, including the Rockies and Twins one game.

    Good stuff from FanGraphs

    Longenhagen chat:
    On Mitch White being a top 100 prospect:
    I don’t. Was 90-92 for me during instructs and has had multiple injury issues dating back to college. He’s a good prospect, but probably a half grade beneath top 100 consideration.

    A question on Verdugo next year:
    Is Alex Verdugo competing to be a starting outfielder next spring, or is he still looking at another year of seasoning in the minors?

    Eric A Longenhagen: The former.

    On Will Smith:
    The skillset reads an awful lot like Austin Barnes. Same with Wong.

    FanGraphs also has a great look into Verlander and changes he’s made to encounter success:
    The pitcher that exists today has a familiar-looking slider and the same old overpowering fastball. The changeup is gone and the curve is in the back pocket, but the two primary pitches have been effective, in part probably because of whatever Verlander got mechanically polished. Everything — everything — always has to work together. Verlander has it all working, and because of his rapid turnaround, he’s in position now to pitch a team to the World Series. Everyone, in some way, has gotten their wish.

  7. Tonight’s lineup choice will will be interesting. Does Doc go with our strikeout prone lefties vs. Verlander? Maybe he’s hoping that 1 of 8 at bats between Grandal and Joc results in a deep fly ball?

    1. Please God no Grandull, please Roberts no Grandull. Besides lack of offense, Grandull won’t be very good at stopping that many curveballs from Hill. I mean really, the guy just isn’t a quality backstop, he’s a friggin matador, Olay baseball.

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