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.