Major League Baseball

Kershaw, Dodgers Take Game 1

October 20, 2020

The Dodgers are back in the World Series for the third time in four seasons, and in Game 1, they looked like the more seasoned team.

Here are the key takeaways from Tuesday's series opener:

1. Kershaw wheels and deals

In Game 1, Clayton Kershaw looked every bit of what an ace is supposed to look like, with the future Hall of Famer delivering a gem for the Dodgers.

Clayton Kershaw reverses playoff narrative, strikes out eight in Game 1 of the World Series

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw proved his doubters wrong in Game 1 of the World Series, striking out eight batters and giving up just one run through six innings against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Kershaw pitched six innings, allowing just one run while striking out eight batters, and he was able to pass John Smoltz for sole possession of second place all-time on the MLB playoff strikeout leaderboard.

Tuesday also represented Kershaw’s ninth career postseason start of six-plus innings pitched and no more than one earned run and one walk, which is the most in MLB history.

How Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw changed his playoff narrative | 2020 World Series Watch Party

Ben Verlander, Tino Martinez, Rick Ankiel, and Nick Swisher discuss how Clayton Kershaw changed the narrative saying he is a below-average pitcher come October. His stat line of six innings while allowing just one earned run helped prove otherwise on Tuesday night.

2. Dodgers' stars lead the way

While Kershaw dominated on the mound, he got plenty of run support thanks to the Dodgers' star-studded lineup, led by the hero of Game 7 of the NLCS, Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger got the scoring started early for the Dodgers, blasting a two-run shot in the fourth inning that gave LA a lead that it would not relinquish.

Cody Bellinger cranks two-run homer, celebrates with foot tap, gives Dodgers 2-0 lead over Rays

Cody Bellinger remained hot and hit his second homer in as many games in Game 1 of the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Bellinger's homer gives the Los Angeles Dodgers a 2-0 lead over the Rays.

Mookie Betts was a menace on the bases for the Rays in the fifth inning, and also went deep with a solo shot in the sixth inning.

He finished the night 2-for-4 at the plate.

Mookie Betts drills opposite-field solo homer to give Dodgers a 7-1 lead over Rays

Watch Mookie Betts hit an opposite-field homer that gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a 7-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 of the World Series.

Lastly, while NLCS MVP Corey Seager didn't record a hit in Game 1, he drew three walks.

3. Glasnow's rough outing

The Dodgers dominated at the plate, which conversely means the Rays pitching staff struggled. And the man who shouldered most of the damage was Rays starting pitcher Tyler Glasnow.

Glasnow pitched 4.1 innings while allowing six earned runs and walking six batters.

He was able to strike out eight Dodgers batters on the evening, but LA was consistently able to get runners on base and create scoring opportunities at his expense.

The Rays will now turn to 2018 Cy Young award winner Blake Snell in Game 2 on Wednesday.

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