26 November 2020

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MV3: Dodgers Three Former MVPs Shine in Game 1 Victory

The 2020 World Series began with thunder from the LA Dodgers as their offense, which has been on top all season, got the best of the Rays’ great pitching staff to win game 1 of the World Series by a final of 8-3. The game began close staying 0-0 through 4½ innings. Rays’ starter Tyler Glasnow and Dodgers’ starter Clayton Kershaw were both on the top of their game and cruising along well. The tie broke in the bottom of the 4th inning as NLCS hero Cody Bellinger launched a 2-run home run into the Dodgers’ bullpen for a 2-0 lead. From that point onward, the Dodgers never trailed for the rest of the game.

Los Angeles rallied for 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th off hits from Will Smith, Chris Taylor, and Enrique Hernández, as well as clutch base running from Mookie Betts. Betts also hit his first home run of the postseason in the next inning, as well as back-to-back doubles from Justin Turner and Max Muncy. The Rays did have a brief rally going when they got on the board in the 5th inning on a solo home run by Kevin Kiermaier to cut the lead to 2-1. After the Dodgers blew the game open and led 8-1, the Rays were able to rally on hits from Manuel Margot, Mike Brosseau, Joey Wendle, and Kiermaier, however a comebacker caught by pitcher Victor González led to an inning ending, and rally ending double play in the 7th. The Rays wouldn’t be able to gain much momentum after that as the Dodgers held on to win 8-3.

While the Dodgers scored on RBIs from many different players, the main stars of the night were the 3 former MVPs the Dodgers boast: Clayton Kershaw, Cody Bellinger, and Mookie Betts. Bellinger, with momentum from his clutch home run in the NLCS, has shown that he is locked in at the plate right now and he made yet another outstanding defensive play by robbing Austin Meadows of what could have possibly been a home run. For Betts, he finally got his first postseason home run as a Dodger (just the second of his career) as well as scoring a run on an excellent base running decision which he’s always been known for. The biggest star of the game for the Dodgers was Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw has always been known as an unreliable playoff pitcher and as such he has not fared that well in his World Series career. In game 1, Kershaw was like his old self, in which he went 6 innings allowing only 2 hits and 1 run (the Kiermaier home run) with 8 strikeouts. With his 8 strikeouts in this game, Kershaw passed hall of famer John Smoltz (who was helping call the game on Fox) for 2nd place on the all-time postseason strikeout list and only the second to reach 200. He now trails only Justin Verlander on the list by four (205 to 201).

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Rays’ starter, Tyler Glasnow, was cruising along well to start the game, but a walk to Corey Seager, followed by a Bellinger home run, exposed Glasnow’s issues with giving up home runs which he has been doing all postseason long. Glasnow was pulled after 4.1 innings, gave up 6 runs, and was charged with the loss. The Rays will turn to former Cy Young award winner Blake Snell for game 2 and the Dodgers will start young talent, Tony Gonsolin.

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