The Dodgers are now just one win away from winning their first World Series Championship since 1988. It has not been an easy road for them, but with their game 5 victory over the Rays, they can almost taste it. The Dodgers got on top early scoring 2 runs in the top of the 1st inning on RBI single from Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. They would add on 2 more runs from home runs by Joc Pederson and Max Muncy. In the center of it all, was Clayton Kershaw. Entering 2020, Kershaw was always given the label as a choker in October and had the reputation as a pitcher who would never be able to succeed in the playoffs. After costing the Dodgers their season in 2019, Kershaw has taken his game to a whole new level in 2020. In what will most likely be his final appearance of the season, Kershaw went 5 ⅔ innings allowing two runs on a Yandy Díaz triple and a Randy Arozarena single (both in the 5th inning). He struck out 6 batters and is now the all-time postseason strikeouts leader with 207. The Dodgers’ bullpen kept the Rays quiet as they held on to win 4-2.
Tyler Glasnow’s start for the Rays didn’t go so well, to begin with as he gave up all 4 runs in 5 innings. That being said, between the Pederson home run in the 3rd, and the Muncy home run in the 5th, Glasnow was locked in and kept the Rays in the game. The only issue for the Rays was that they couldn’t score on timely hitting. What could be seen as their biggest missed opportunity was when Manuel Margot attempted a straight steal of home but was thrown out just in time. In hindsight, this would’ve made the score 3-3, and would’ve been an important run if the Rays wanted a chance to come back and win. Even before the steal attempt, the Rays had runners on 1st and 3rd base with 0 outs and failed to score, which has been their biggest weakness all series. Tampa Bay is now in a deep hole. While yes, they still have as much a chance as anyone and have their best pitcher going for game 6, the hitting will need to show up when it matters as they did in game 4. There is a day off in between games 5 & 6, and Game 6 will be on Tuesday, October 27 with the pitching matchup of Tony Gonsolin vs Blake Snell as the Dodgers look to win the world series.