World Series game 1: Dodgers crush the Rays for an early lead
In the midst of the pandemic, sports fans doubted whether Major League Baseball (MLB) would even happen this season. Fortunately, the MLB got a shortened sixty game season of exciting baseball, with only a few mishaps due to COVID-19. The playoffs also changed with sixteen teams going to the postseason instead of the usual ten.
Now, the World Series has started with the Tampa Bay Rays & Los Angeles Dodgers set to have an exciting best of seven series. The World Series began on Tuesday with the Dodgers taking a commanding first win, defeating the Rays 8-3. Take a look at some key stories which emerged from the Dodgers’ first win.
Clayton Kershaw dominates
Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw has had a tremendous career as one of the best pitchers of the modern era. He has an amazing 2.43 career ERA although his postseason ERA is 4.22. One of the biggest stories of Kershaw’s career has been an inability to play as well in the playoffs as he does during the regular season.
Tuesday night, Kershaw silenced the haters with a dominant six-inning performance, consisting of only one earned run, two hits, and eight strikeouts. He only threw seventy-eight pitches, a solid pace for six-innings.
Dodgers bats go wild
Kershaw was helped by an electric performance from the Dodgers’ hitting, allowing Kershaw to be more relaxed on the mound. The Dodgers’ strong offensive performance began with center-fielder Cody Bellinger delivering a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The reigning NL MVP has been efficient this postseason with a .250 batting average, including three homers and two other extra-base hits. Bellinger also delivered an incredible play in the outfield, robbing Rays Austin Meadows of a home run in the ninth inning.
Another Dodgers superstar, Mookie Betts, also had a night to remember in game one. Betts is one of the biggest acquisitions for the Dodgers from the most recent offseason and Betts is delivering.
In game one, Betts went two for four, with a home run and a walk. He also stole two bases, with his first winning America free Tacos from Taco Bell. Overall, the Dodgers scored eight runs off ten hits with two home runs.
Tyler Glasnow struggles
The Rays’ starting pitcher struggled in game one. Going into game one, Glasnow had an ERA of 4.66 with twenty-five strikeouts. In his first start against the Dodgers, Glasnow only lasted for 4.1 innings, garnering six earned runs on three hits and six walks. He had eight strikeouts, but six runs in four innings isn’t good – especially in the World Series!
Glasnow also threw 112 pitches in those four innings. It became the fewest innings for an outing of over 11o pitches in the postseason since pitching began being tracked in 1988.
History favors the Dodgers
While 1-0 is not an insurmountable hill to climb for the Rays, winning the first game of the World Series statistically leads to a World Series championship win. According to whowins.com, teams who win the first game have a sixty-four patient chance of winning, while teams who win the first game and have home-field advantage, as the Dodgers do, win sixty-seven percent of the time.
A tweet from MLB Stats stated that teams who win the first game have won the world series nineteen of the last twenty-three years. The Dodgers could use some optimal stats on their side as in the last four years, the Dodgers have struggled to win the World Series, despite being a strong contender.
The Dodgers went to the World Series in back-to-back years in 2017 and 2018. However, they lost to the Houston Astros in 2017 and the Boston Red Sox in 2018. Last year, the Dodgers were shocked in the NLDS by the Washington Nationals, who went on to win the 2019 World Series.
The Dodgers have continued to be one of the best teams in the MLB within the past five years, but they have yet to win the biggest game of them all.
Game two of the World Series took place Wednesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, TX. The Dodgers looked to extend their lead in the series, but the Rays tied things up with a six to four victory.