1 December 2020

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Walker Buehler’s Day On: Dodgers Take Game 3 of the World Series Behind Buehler’s Dominant Start

With the World Series tied at 1 game each, both teams knew that winning game 3 was pivotal in gaining an advantage in the series. After the Dodgers used their bullpen for the entirety of game 2, they turned to Walker Buehler for game 3. Buehler’s postseason career has been nothing short of dominant. From 2018-2019, he held a postseason streak of 21.2 innings without giving up a run, and his clutch performance in game 6 of the NLCS helped the Dodgers comeback against the Braves in that series. Buehler went 6 innings striking out 10 Rays and not giving up a hit until the 5th inning. The only run he gave up was an RBI double by Willy Adames in the 5th. The Dodgers’ offense also showed up as they scored 6 runs on a 2-run single by Max Muncy, an RBI single by Mookie Betts, a squeeze bunt by Austin Barnes, and solo home runs by Barnes and Justin Turner. 

Another bright star for the Dodgers was catcher Austin Barnes. Barnes has always been known for being a defense first catcher but in this game, he had 2 moments where he shined. The first was in the 4th inning when he put down a rare squeeze bunt to score a run and advance a runner at the same time. Bunting has been rare to come by this season, mainly due to the universal DH for this season causing pitchers to not hit and Barnes’ bunt was played perfectly. He also hit his first home run of the postseason to cap off his great night on the offensive side. 

For the Rays, what cost them in this game is the same thing that did in game 1 which was that they were swinging at too many pitches that they shouldn’t have. This has been their weakness for the entire season and they were trying too much to get a home run every at-bat when they should’ve been going for singles and doubles. The only home run they were able to get was by Randy Arozarena, whose home run not only tied him for the record for most home runs in a single postseason all time but also set a new postseason record for hits by a rookie overtaking Derek Jeter’s 1996 postseason. In addition, starter Charlie Morton, who has a good record in the postseason, wasn’t fully on his game during his start where he gave up 5 runs.

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Game 4 of the World Series is Saturday, October 24 at 8 pm with the Dodgers starting Julio Urías, and the Rays going with a bullpen game. 

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