Not a bad opening act as Vin would say. The Dodgers opened the 2020 World Series with a convincing 8-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Park on Tuesday evening. Clayton Kershaw tossed six innings of one-run ball and struck out eight seemingly getting the proverbial monkey off his back for now. The Dodger bats came to life in the middle innings, highlighted by a two-run home run from Cody Bellinger, three stolen bases in the fifth (A World Series record) including a great slide into home from Mookie Betts ona fielder’s choice grounder. Speaking of Mookie he also homered in the sixth, his first of the postseason. The Dodgers scored four runs in the seventh, which included three run scoring singles from Will Smith, Enrique Hernandez, and Chris Taylor.
Tampa starter Tyler Glasnow allowed six runs over 4.1 innings and struck out eight. The Dodgers broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Max Muncy walked before Bellinger drilled a two-run home run. The Dodgers knocked Glasnow out of the game in the fifth. In that frame Betts and Seager both walked and pulled a double steal (Betts had stolen second earlier in the inning to ensure everyone got free tacos), then Betts would score on a fielder’s choice grounder to second with a nifty slide into home. Betts pumped his fist repeatedly in celebration.
An RBI single from Smith would send Glasnow to the showers and force Kevin Cash to bring in Ryan Yarbrough in relief. After a Bellinger pop-up, Enrique and Taylor would both single to put the Dodgers ahead 6-1. The Dodgers would score two more in the bottom of the sixth when Betts homered and consecutive doubles from Justin Turner and Muncy extended the lead to 8-1.
World Series Game 1
Rays 3 6 0
Dodgers 8 8 0
Kershaw was fantastic. The southpaw allowed just two hits, one walk and made 78 pitches to earn just his second World Series win. His only blemish on the night was a fifth inning solo home run to Kevin Kiermaier. The Rays added two runs in the top of the seventh against Victor Gonzalez. RBI singles from Joey Wendle and Kiermaier cut the lead to 8-3. The Dodgers got out of the inning on a double play when Mike Zunino lined a comebacker right into Victor Gonzalez’s glove. Victor doubled off Kiermaier to end the inning and get the Dodgers back to the dugout.
Betts, Muncy and Taylor all collected two hits each. The Dodgers drew seven walks and were 5 for 14 with runners in scoring position. The boys in blue left 9 men on base. Joe Kelly pitched the top of the ninth to close out the win. To punctuate the night Bellinger made another spectacular leaping catch to rob Manuel Margot of an extra-base hit on his deep drive to center. I think the stage was a bit too big for the Rays. It was not too big for the Dodgers as they’ve been there before. The Dodgers are now 3 wins away from winning their first World Series championship since 1988. Game 2 tomorrow night.