The Dodgers are a single win away from earning their first World Series title in 32 years after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 in Game 5 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
The Dodgers lead the series 3-2 and will win the World Series title with a victory over the Rays in Game 6 on Tuesday. If they lose, Game 7 will be Wednesday.
Dodgers one win from first World Series title since 1988
ARLINGTON, Texas — This is a neutral-site World Series, the first in modern history, played at Globe Life Field, a gleaming new ballpark 1,400 miles from Los Angeles at quarter capacity during a global pandemic. It didn’t sound that way in the sixth inning of the Dodgers’ 4-2 win in Game 5 on Sunday.
Clayton Kershaw recorded the inning’s first two outs with two pitches. He had seemingly discovered a rhythm after a choppy start. But Dodgers manager Dave Roberts emerged to take the ball from the future Hall of Famer anyway. Kershaw tried to convince Roberts to change his mind. Even third baseman Justin Turner spoke up in support of his teammate. Roberts stayed resolute and took the ball.
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Blake Treinen closes out the ninth for the Dodgers’ Game 5 win
Manuel Margot’s leadoff single did not bother Blake Treinen. The Dodgers reliever closed out the game by retiring the next three batters.
The Dodgers take a 3-2 series lead. They next play Tuesday at 5:08 p.m. PT.
Dodgers’ Blake Treinen enters with two-run lead in ninth
The ninth inning belongs to Blake Treinen. He will face Manuel Margot, Austin Meadows and Joey Wendle on his third straight day of work.
Blake Treinen gets the 9th. This will be his third straight day of work. He threw 14 pitches in Game 3 and 16 pitches in Game 4.— Jorge Castillo (@jorgecastillo) October 26, 2020
Can Victor González handle the ninth for the Dodgers?
Blake Treinen is getting loose in the Dodgers bullpen, so Victor González may not get a chance to pitch in the ninth inning. But could he if called upon?
The Rays have Manuel Margot, Austin Meadows and Joey Wendle due up in the ninth. Only Margot bats right-handed.
The Dodgers’ rookie left-hander isn’t simply a lefty specialist. He has been tough on right-handers as well.
FWIW, Victor Gonzalez held righthanded batters to a .205/.238/.231 slash line this year.— Kyle Glaser (@KyleAGlaser) October 26, 2020
He’s good against both sides. Not just a lefty killer
Randy Arozarena flies out, Victor González escapes jam
The Rays tried to put pressure on Dodgers reliever Victor González. Mike Brosseau battled him for nine pitches before drawing a walk, putting two on for right-handed hitter Randy Arozarena.
But Arozarena jumped on the first pitch and flied out. Moments later, Brandon Lowe sent a flyball of his own into the glove of a racing Cody Bellinger.
The Dodgers take a two-run lead into the ninth.
Photos: Dodgers vs. Rays in World Series Game 5
Here are some of the best images from Game 5 of the World Series between the Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays from Los Angeles Times photographers Robert Gauthier and Wally Skalij:
Victor González replaces Dustin May in eighth
Dustin May won’t get the chance to save a World Series game tonight. Dave Roberts replaced him with Victor González after a leadoff single and subsequent fly ball.
Barring a double-play, González’s second batter would be Rays breakout star Randy Arozarena, who was 8 for 20 against left-handers in the regular season.
Rays bullpen has shut down Dodgers
Since taking over for Tyler Glasnow in the sixth inning, the Rays’ bullpen has retired nine of 10 batters. The only Dodger to reach base against Rays relievers so far is Joc Pederson, who walked with two outs in the sixth.
Dustin May has retired four in a row
If Dustin May is to close out this game, he will need to find a way to retire batters sooner upon getting in a two-strike count. The Dodgers rookie starter-turned-playoff-reliever has done well in his 1 1/3 innings. But he got in back-to-back battles of more than five pitches in the seventh inning. He struck out Austin Meadows on the sixth pitch of his at-bat and then got a fly-ball on his ninth pitch to Joey Wendle. May rebounded with a five-pitch at-bat against Willy Adames.
May had an 0-2 count on each player before he threw his third pitch of the at-bat.
May has retired four in a row since taking over for Kershaw with two outs in the sixth. It has taken him 27 pitches to record four outs.
As Clayton Kershaw departs, Dodger fans boo
Clayton Kershaw just threw two pitches and got two outs in the sixth inning. But that efficiency wasn’t enough to convince the Dodgers to leave in their ace beyond 85 pithes for the night.
When manager Dave Roberts took the ball from Kershaw after he retired Brandon Lowe, Dodger fans at Globe Life Field immediately made their displeasure heard.
It seems as though third baseman Justin Turner was unhappy with the decision.
Justin Turner apparently not a fan of pulling Kershaw either pic.twitter.com/LKKHEgH9Wz— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) October 26, 2020
After a few seconds, their boos turned to cheers for Kershaw, who gave up two runs and five hits and walked two while striking out six over 5 ⅔ innings.
Clayton Kershaw, 2020 postseason:— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 26, 2020
2.93 ERA, 5 BB, 37 K.
Dustin May took over for Kershaw and struck out Manuel Margot on a 101.5 mph fastball to end the inning.
Max Muncy didn’t actually break Statcast
That fifth-inning moonshot by Max Muncy still isn’t showing up on Baseball Savant’s gamefeed — but fear not. He didn’t break MLB’s system. He just triggered a failsafe.
According to Mike Petriello of MLB.com, certain homers are automatically flagged by the system for review.
Anywhere, here are the details of the blast:
Max Muncy smoked that ball 111.5 MPH, which is .. not even his hardest-hit ball of the last 24 hours. (434 feet. He is good.)— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) October 26, 2020
Kershaw’s fifth strikeout of night gives him all-time postseason record
Rather than allow the first hitter of the inning to reach base, Clayton Kershaw struck him out to start the fifth inning. The punchout of Kevin Kiermaier was the fifth of the game and the 206th in his postseason career. He is the only pitcher to record more strikeouts than Justin Verlander’s 205.
Kershaw added to his total with a strikeout of Mike Zunino. He then induced a groundball to complete his first perfect inning of the game.
Through five innings, Kershaw has thrown 55 of 83 pitches for strikes and generated misses on 11 of 39 swings. While the slider has been his best swing-and-miss pitch, he has used his fastball to freeze Rays hitters. The low-90s pitch has received 10 strike calls.
Max Muncy crushes a two-out homer
Max Muncy knew as soon as he made contact with Tyler Glasnow’s 100 mph hanging fastball that the pitch wouldn’t land anywhere catchable. He dropped his bat and began a slow walk to first base as he watched the pitch hurtle through the air to right-center field.
Statcast details weren’t available even four minutes after the moonshot. But you don’t need analytics to tell you this two-out homer in the fifth inning, which padded the Dodgers’ slim lead, was crushed.
Rays fail attempt to steal home in fourth
Clayton Kershaw escaped a fourth-inning jam when a bold move went wrong.
With two outs and a teammate at first, Manuel Margot took off from third base in an attempt to steal home and tie the game 3-3 during Kevin Kiermaier’s at-bat.
Margot was thrown out by Kershaw, who had not yet delivered his 1-1 pitch to Kiermaier.
Pretty amazing play by #Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw, whose glove was at the top of his stretch when Margot broke for home. Did well to step off rubber, avoiding a balk, his throw home a little high and away but C Austin Barnes did well to catch and tag Margot.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) October 26, 2020
Margot signaled to the Rays dugout for a replay challenge but the Rays didn’t ask for one. The Dodgers continue to lead 3-2.
Chris Taylor commits error in second straight game
Chris Taylor nearly had Manuel Margot out at second base when the Rays’ outfielder slide into the bag on a steal attempt in the fourth inning. But Taylor closed his glove a split-second too early and the throw from Austin Barnes deflected off Taylor’s glove. As the ball skittered into the outfield, Margot dashed to third base. A replay confirmed that Margot beat Taylor’s throw.
Chris Taylor made one error in the regular season. He's made one in consecutive games in the World Series.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 26, 2020
Clayton Kershaw did something in the fourth he has never done before
Manuel Margot drew a walk to lead off the fourth inning, marking the fourth time in four innings that Clayton Kershaw allowed the leadoff batter to reach base.
Kershaw had never allowed a team to do that in his previous 383 career starts.
With the leadoff walk to Margot this inning, that is now the 6th time the leadoff hitter in the inning has reached safely (by hit, walk, HBP, or otherwise) in all 4 of the first four innings in his career.— Inside Edge (@IE_MLB) October 26, 2020
Glasnow gets through fourth unscathed
For the first time in the game, Tyler Glasnow worked an inning without allowing a baserunner. After being spotted two runs in the bottom of the third, the Rays fireballer shut down the Dodgers in the fourth. Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes and Mookie Betts were out on fly balls.
Glasnow has retired six in a row and eight of the last 10 Dodger batters. But he has thrown 81 pitches through four innings. If he comes out for the fifth, he’ll likely be on a short leash. Manager Kevin Cash had Aaron Loup warming in the fourth.
Tyler Glasnow’s three wild pitches set a record
No one had ever watched a pitcher throw three wild pitches in a World Series game until Rays starter Tyler Glasnow was charged his third of the night on a third-inning pitch in the dirt that Cody Bellinger swung at. The ball dribbled away from catcher Mike Zunino, enabling Max Muncy to take second base in a scoreless frame.
Mookie Betts misplayed a triple, then two Rays runs scored
With a runner on first base and one out, Yandy Diaz roped an extra-base hit to right field. The ball was misplayed by Mookie Betts, who tried to glove it on the run only to watch it trickle into the corner.
Kevin Kiermaier scored the Rays’ first run of the night on the play. And Diaz reached third base, beating Betts’ off-line throw.
Four pitches later, Randy Arozarena hit Clayton Kershaw’s high curveball for an RBI single to left.
Kershaw got out of the inning with a 3-2 lead intact. Arozarena was caught trying to advance to second base on Brandon Lowe’s strikeout.
Clayton Kershaw is through two scoreless innings
Did Clayton Kershaw receive some help from the plate umpire in the second inning? Take a look at the final pitch he threw to Joey Wendle before retreating to the dugout.
The pitch looks a lot closer to the top of the strike zone on pitch-tracking data provided by Baseball Savant. And a closer examination of the video shows that the ball arrives in Austin Barnes’ glove a little lower the superimposed marking suggests.
The borderline pitch is one of four on which Kershaw has received strike calls through two innings. He has thrown 26 pitches overall and gotten only two whiffs.
The key to Kershaw’s effectiveness is in the the quality of contact he has yielded. The Rays’ average exit velocity through two innings was about 74 mph.
Rays lay down a perfect first-pitch bunt in second
Manuel Margot, the Rays’ cleanup hitter for Game 5, ambushed Clayton Kershaw’s first-pitch fastball in the second inning and dropped a bunt to the third-base side of the mound for a single.
It was the Rays’ second bunt hit of the playoffs. They are the only team to execute a bunt hit this postseason.
Joc Pederson extends Dodgers’ lead
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow had Joc Pederson in a 1-2 count, but that didn’t faze the Dodgers’ outfielder. Pederson smashed Glasnow’s up-and-in 98 mph fastball 428 feet to left-center field for a leadoff shot in the second inning.
Once in the dugout, Pederson received praise for knocking yet another high heater out of the ballpark.
Overheard in Dodgers dugout on TV:— Jack Harris (@Jack_A_Harris) October 26, 2020
“They don’t want that smoke!”
According to Inside Edge, Pederson’s .837 slugging percentage on high pitches of at least 95 mph is the best in MLB since the start of 2019.
Joc Pederson is the 8th different Dodgers player to homer in this World Series, tying the 1989 A’s for the most different players to hit a HR for a team in a single World Series— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 26, 2020
Clayton Kershaw gives up leadoff hit, nothing more in first
Rays infieder Yandy Diaz singled up the middle on a ground-ball that left his bat at 105.5 mph, but he didn’t make it beyond first base. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw induced a double-play ground ball on the ninth pitch of his battle with Randy Arozarena.
Kershaw was out of the inning one pitch later, when Brandon Lowe lofted a catchable ball into foul territory.
Dodgers strike again, add run on Bellinger’s hit
After stealing second base and moving to third on a wild pitch, Corey Seager was perfectly positioned to score the Dodgers’ second run when Cody Bellinger shot a two-out, groundball single into the shift.
Chris Taylor struck out to end the inning, the third Dodgers’ punchout of the first. Although they didn’t tack on a third run, the Dodgers drove up Rays starter Tyler Glasnow’s pitch count. He threw 34 pitches, 22 for strikes. Glasnow got eight swings and misses...but the Dodgers averaged an exit velocity of 103 mph on the three balls they put in play.
Corey Seager has gotten better by the game
It doesn’t seem as though Corey Seager is wasting any of his at-bats these days. His RBI single in the first inning was his 22nd of the playoffs, and his eighth of the World Series, in which he has gone 8 for 15.
He has become progressively more productive throughout the postseason.
Corey Seager, postseason OPS by round:— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) October 26, 2020
First round: .821
Division series: 1.012
World Series: 1.560
Mookie Betts hits leadoff double, promptly scores
After he punched a hanging 99 mph from Tyler Glasnow into the left field corner for a leadoff double, Mookie Betts scored the game’s first run when Corey Seager swung his hot bat for a sharp groundball single to right field two pitches later.
Meet Tyler Glasnow (again), the Rays’ Game 5 starter
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dodgers tonight are hoping to repeat their Game 1 success against Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow, when the 6-foot-8 right-hander took the loss in a six-run, 4 ⅓-inning start.
One problem Glasnow had in the series opener was generating misses on his curveball.
During his 5-1, 4.08 ERA regular season, the breaking ball was his biggest strength, holding opponents to a .120 batting average and .277 slugging percentage while generating a whiff on more than half of swings.
The Dodgers, however, missed the pitch only three times on 13 swings. Nine times, they fouled it off, allowing them to wait for fastballs in the zone. Another key: While Glasnow struck out eight batters, he also walked six and threw 112 pitches despite failing to finish the fifth.
In Glasnow’s past four starts this postseason, he’s allowed at least four runs in three of them, raising his career playoff ERA to 6.46.
What to know about Dodgers-Rays World Series Game 5
First pitch: 5:08 p.m. PT
Dodgers notes: Clayton Kershaw is 2-2 with a 4.68 ERA (17 earned runs in 32 2/3 innings) and 35 strikeouts in six previous World Series starts. ... Kershaw is five strikeouts away from setting the postseason record with 206 punchouts. ... In a pregame interview on FOX, beleaguered reliever Kenley Jansen emphasized needing to have a short memory when it comes to Saturday’s ninth inning. All that matters is bouncing back. “We pick each other up,” said Jansen, who has pitched two days in a row and is likely unavailable Sunday. “That’s what we do in the clubhouse. That’s what we do in the group text.” ... When it comes to rebounding, manager Dave Roberts thinks this group of World Series-grizzled Dodgers is well positioned to do it. He said, “I think that comes with experience. We’ve already experienced some tough losses, some tough games. That’s just part of experience. You learn a lot from the guys when they go through some tough times.” ... Among regulars with at least 15 at-bats, three players are batting below .250 in the World Series: Mookie Betts (4 for 17), Will Smith (3 for 17) and Cody Bellinger (2 for 15).
Rays notes: Corey Seager is batting .500 with three RBIs through four games, but the Rays do not intend to pitch around him because of the Dodgers’ lineup depth. Manager Kevin Cash said, “I think we’re asking for trouble if we try to get cute and pitch around guys somewhere. It’s going to come back and get you, so just attack, attack, attack.” ... Game 5 hero Brett Phillips went to bed around 4 a.m. because he wanted to respond all of the 500 or so text messages he received following his walk-off hit. ... The Rays have homered 33 times in the playoffs, most in a single postseason in major league history.
Dodgers’ Will Smith explains his view of fateful last play in Game 4
Had Will Smith known that Randy Arozarena did a face-plant between third base and home, the chaotic play that ended Tampa Bay’s stunning 8-7 walk-off victory over the Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night would have turned out a whole lot differently.
“In my mind, I thought it was going to be close,” the Dodgers catcher said before Game 5 on Sunday. “I didn’t realize he tripped and fell. I was just trying to make a quick tag and get it on him. I was a little quick, missed the ball, and unfortunately it got away.”
The Dodgers were leading 7-6 when, with two on and two out, Brett Phillips looped a single to shallow right-center field off reliever Kenley Jansen.
Corey Seager’s four hits in Game 4 keeps his stellar postseason on a roll
The shortstop’s 2018 season had come to a premature end months earlier, an injury to his ulnar collateral ligament requiring him to undergo Tommy John surgery.
So, instead of playing a key role in the Dodgers’ second straight pennant, he watched from the side, desperately missed by a Dodgers team that dropped the Fall Classic in five games to the Boston Red Sox.
“That was tough,” Seager said. “You want to be out there with your guys. That whole year was hard, not being out there and grinding through things with your guys.”
Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw is tasked with gaining back World Series’ momentum in Game 5
Sunday offered the promise of a reprieve from the three-plus decades of continuous failure.
Their scheduled starter was Clayton Kershaw.
How perfect was that?
Too perfect to be true, it turned out.
Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen reverts to a question mark with Game 4 loss
If there is a more excruciating way for the Dodgers to find out they were wrong three times over, please spare them the pain.
The Jansen of old would have powered through the ninth inning Saturday, handed a one-run lead with no need to face the heart of the opposing batting order. The Jansen of 2020 got one strikeout, then failed to retire three of the next four batters.
How one ‘unperfect storm’ of a play destroyed Game 4 for the Dodgers
The video was shown on the Globe Life Field video screens again and again, as if only an infinitely looping replay would make the wackiest of finishes feel real.
The base hit into center. The misplay by Chris Taylor. The relay to Max Muncy as the Tampa Bay Rays’ tying run crossed home. The unthinkable stumble by Randy Arozarena as he came barreling around third base.
But the last scene is the one that seemed to last the longest — the sight of a lonely ball, backed up by no one, rolling slowly, helplessly, unbelievably away from the plate.
An ‘unrelenting belief’ helped Brett Phillips become the Rays’ hero in Game 4
Before Saturday night, Brett Phillips hadn’t come to bat for Tampa Bay since Oct. 7. He hadn’t had a hit since Sept. 25.
The Rays, who acquired him from Kansas City in August for his speed and his defensive skills in the outfield, left him off their roster for the American League Championship Series. But facing Dodgers all-time save leader Kenley Jansen — who inexplicably was asked to close a wildly seesawing game despite his recently wildly seesawing outings — Phillips was confident he’d succeed Saturday.
What gave him strength, he said, was simple. “For myself, just having this unrelenting belief that I was going to come in and help the team win or do a job like I’m asked. That’s why I’m here,” he said. “I feel thankful and blessed that the opportunity presented itself for myself.”
Cody Bellinger returns to center field in Game 5
Bellinger woke up Saturday morning with back tightness. He received treatment and was in the Dodgers’ original lineup as the center fielder, but the back was an issue when he threw and moved around. As a result, the Dodgers changed their lineup, moving Bellinger to designated hitter and AJ Pollock from DH to center field.
The switch led to a what-if scenario hours later, when a comedy of errors cost the Dodgers in the ninth inning: What if Bellinger, not Chris Taylor, was in center field for Brett Phillips’ single?
Dodgers go from potential elation to disaster on a single World Series play
October strikes the Dodgers again.
The unfathomable has happened again.
The World Series is tied, and a city screams.
One strike from taking a seemingly insurmountable three-games-to-one lead against the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday night, Kenley Jansen blew it, Chris Taylor botched it, Will Smith muffed it, and the Dodgers completely lost it.