Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts lead a dominant Dodgers win to open the World Series
The reasons for the Dodgers’ cool, unfiltered confidence this October, the reasons they believe this is finally the year they’ll hoist that piece of metal, were put on display in their 8-3 win in Game 1 of the World Series at Globe Life Field on Tuesday.
Want dominant pitching? Clayton Kershaw held the Tampa Bay Rays to one run and two hits over six tidy innings. What about a power display? Cody Bellinger, sore shoulder and all, cracked a home run for the series’ first two runs. Think dynamic baserunning is important? Mookie Betts, the Dodgers’ new table-setting weapon, wreaked havoc on the basepaths to ignite a four-run fifth inning.
The Dodgers blended those elements together to take 1-0 series lead, three wins away from their first title since 1988, on the 32nd anniversary of the night that last championship was clinched. Game 2 is scheduled for 5:08 p.m. PDT on Wednesday.
Cody Bellinger robs another homer; Dodgers win
Austin Meadows nearly hit a leadoff homer off Joe Kelly to begin the ninth inning. But the Rays outfielder was victim of another Dodgers robbery.
Cody Bellinger tracked Meadows’ line drive to the deepest part of the ballpark in center field and perfectly timed a hop to steal Meadows’ potential homer.
Kelly retired the next two batters without drama, striking out Manuel Margot and inducing a chopper up the middle to seal the Dodgers’ 8-3 victory.
Mookie Betts’ torrid night continues
Highlights from Mookie Betts’ big game in the World Series opener against the Tampa Bay Rays.
A double-play grounder prematurely ended Mookie Betts’ chances of scoring a run for the third time in this game, but the Dodgers’ star added to an already sterling night with a blistering single that traveled 246 feet in the air before touching down in left field.
The eighth-inning hit came off the bat at 107.5 mph — nearly 10 mph harder than the solo home run he lifted 349 feet down the right field line to lead off the sixth inning.
Báez works perfect eighth for Dodgers
With the final changeup of his 11-pitch inning, Pedro Báez continued the Dodgers’ quelling of Rays breakout star Randy Arozarena.
Arozarena hit a hard flyball to left-center field, just the second time he put a ball in play all night. He has gone 0 for 3 with a walk.
The 25-year-old outfielder had a hit in 11 of the Rays’ first 14 playoff games. He entered the World Series batting .382 with a gaudy 1.288 OPS this postseason.
Dodgers retired in order for first time all night
Josh Fleming did what his Rays teammates couldn’t and pitched a perfect inning. He retired Chris Taylor, Kiké Hernández and Austin Barnes on 13 pitches in the eighth.
Pedro Báez is on the mound for the Dodgers to start the eighth.
Dodgers fans briefly left in the dark at Dodger Stadium
For a mere $75 dollars, the Dodgers are allowing the fans to watch Game 1 of the World Series from big screens in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.
Unfortunately, those big screens experienced some technical difficulties at one point during the game, much to the displeasure of the Blue Crew faithful in attendance. The Times’ Samantha Melbourneweaver was among those who experienced the great Dodger Stadium big screen blackout of 2020.
The screens were back on a few minutes later.
González puts out the fire. 8-3 Dodgers at seventh-inning stretch.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Victor González escaped the jam all by himself, snagging a line drive back to the mound from Mike Zunino and turning around to throw out Brosseau, who was off the bag at second, to turn an inning-ending double play.
It’s 8-3 Dodgers at the seventh inning stretch
Bellinger can’t make catch in center; Rays starting to chip away
ARLINGTON, Texas — Dylan Floro’s relief of Clayton Kershaw did not last long.
After Austin Meadows struck out to lead off the seventh, Manuel Margot singled and Joey Wendle doubled on a deep fly ball to center that Cody Bellinger couldn’t haul in, the ball hitting off the heel of his glove right before he crashed into the wall.
Dave Roberts went back to the bullpen after that, giving the ball to left-hander Victor González with runners on second and third. But he allowed back-to-back RBI singles to Mike Brosseau (who was pinch-hitting for left-handed hitting Ji-Man Choi) and Kevin Kiermaier.
The Dodgers lead is trimmed to 8-3 with still only one out in the seventh. Pedro Báez warming for the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw done after six innings of one run ball
ARLINGTON, Texas — As the Dodgers were tacking on runs, Clayton Kershaw was getting congratulated in the Dodgers’ dugout. The left-hander’s night is done after six innings with Dylan Floro entering to begin the seventh.
It was one of Kershaw’s best postseason starts, allowing only one run, two hits and one walk while striking out eight — his second most Ks in his five World Series starts.
The only surprise? He didn’t throw longer. His 78 pitches were the third-fewest of his career in a postseason start.
He exits with the Dodgers leading 8-1.
Photos: Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1
Two days after their series comeback against the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series, the Dodgers opened their third World Series in four years against the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Clayton Kershaw was impressive early for the Dodgers on the 32nd anniversary of the team’s 1988 World Series win over the Oakland Athletics. A big fifth inning gave the Dodgers a five-run lead heading into the sixth.
Here are some of the best photos of Game 1 from longtime Los Angeles Times photographers Robert Gauthier and Wally Skalij. In addition, Los Angeles Times veteran photographer Gina Ferazzi captured the scene at Dodger Stadium, where fans watched the game from the parking lot.
Dodgers tack on in sixth with Betts home run, Turner and Muncy doubles
ARLINGTON, Texas — Newly-inserted Rays reliever Josh Fleming was ambushed by the Dodgers in the sixth inning.
Mookie Betts lined his first pitch of the inning over the right field wall for a solo home run, Betts’ first of the playoffs and first against a left-handed pitcher all year.
After a Corey Seager pop out, Justin Turner and Max Muncy doubled on back-to-back pitches, banging their extra-base hits against the wall with exit velocities of 106.2 and 109.3 mph, respectively.
Those runs make it 8-1 Dodgers through six.
Justin Turner has another webgem
Another game, another astounding play by Justin Turner. The Dodgers third baseman dived to his knees on a scorched grounder to his left, extended his glove and snagged the ball in the air before throwing out the Rays’ Yandy Díaz at first base to start the sixth inning.
After a roughly 35-minute layoff between his fifth- and sixth-inning pitches, Clayton Kershaw retired the Rays in order on nine pitches. He is at 78 pitches and has given up just one hit since the first inning.
Dodgers breaking it open, make it 6-1 on RBI singles from Taylor and Hernández
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays summoned left-hander Ryan Yarbrough to face Cody Bellinger. That part worked, with Yarbrough getting the left-handed Bellinger to pop out for the second out of the fifth.
But, unable to remove Yarbrough because of the three-batter minimum rule, the lefty had to face right-hander Chris Taylor. Taylor singled home a run.
Then, Dave Roberts put fellow right-handed hitter Kiké Hernández into the game as a pinch-hitter for Joc Pederson. He too singled home a run, making it 6-1.
All six runs are charged to starter Tyler Glasnow, the most runs he’s allowed in an outing since Sept. 2018.
Dodgers make baserunning count, knock Glasnow out of game after extending lead to 4-1
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dodgers had a run before a hit in this fifth inning.
After getting to third on the double-steal, Betts slid home three pitches later, beating out a play at the plate on Max Muncy’s ground ball to third.
In the next at-bat, Will Smith singled to center. It scored Seager and moved Muncy, who was running on the pitch, from first to third.
Tyler Glasnow’s night ends with the Dodgers leading 4-1.
It’s Mookie Betts who won tacos for America
Mookie Betts stole a base in the Dodgers’ fifth inning, granting everyone in the United States the opportunity to nab themselves a free Doritos Locos taco from Taco Bell ... and extended a nice baserunning streak for the Dodgers.
Betts later swiped another bag when he and Corey Seager executed a double steal as Justin Turner struck out for the first out of the inning. The Dodgers have stolen eight bases this postseason. At no point have they been caught trying to do so.
The Dodgers were 29 of 37 on regular-season stolen base attempts.
Chris Taylor originally delivered tacos on a fourth-inning play before it was ruled a wild pitch.
Kevin Kiermaier halves Dodgers’ lead in fifth
Kevin Kiermaier, the Rays’ longest-tenured player, homered on an errant Clayton Kershaw slider to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1 in the fifth.
Kiermaier, 30, is better known for stellar defense than for a thunderous bat. But his solo shot, which traveled 382 feet to right field, was his second home run of the playoffs.
According to the FOX broadcast, the Rays entered the World Series scoring 72% of their playoff runs via the home run — most ever.
Kershaw rebounded from the homer to strike out Mike Zunino on five straight sliders.
Kershaw now has 201 postseason strikeouts.
Clayton Kershaw’s trek toward history continues
The breaking ball is doing wonders for Clayton Kershaw. He is through four innings on 55 pitches, 24 of which have been sliders. The pitch has generated eight of the Rays’ 16 swings and misses.
Of his six strikeouts, five have come on the slider.
By the way, Kershaw’s seventh strikeout will be the 200th of his postseason career. The only other pitcher in MLB history with 200 or more postseason strikeouts is Justin Verlander (205).
Bellinger homers in the fourth. 2-0 Dodgers
ARLINGTON, Texas — Cody Bellinger’s shoulder must feel alright after all.
With one on in the fourth, Bellinger launched a first-pitch fastball into the Dodgers’ bullpen in right-center, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.
On his way back to the dugout, there were no forearm bumping celebrations – the kind that popped Bellinger’s shoulder out of place while celebrating his Game 7 go-ahead blast. Instead, he and his teammates did a series of foot-taps.
Tyler Glasnow’s third-inning strikeout of Mookie Betts was special
Rays starter Tyler Glasnow is pumping the Dodgers with 100 mph heat, offsetting them with a 92 mph changeup and sneaking up on them with his 82 mph curveball.
That combo flustered three Dodgers in the third. Austin Barnes was caught staring at his third strike, Mookie Betts whiffed at a 98 mph fastball on the inner third of the plate and Justin Turner came up empty when he fished at a 99 mph fastball just above the zone.
The strikeout of Betts was especially astonishing:
The game remains scoreless through three — for the second time in MLB history.
With his slider dialed in, Kershaw starting to cruise
ARLINGTON, Texas — After struggling through the first inning, Clayton Kershaw has retired six in a row in the second and third.
One big reason: His slider...
On the whole, Kershaw has now thrown his signature breaking ball 17 times tonight. The Rays have whiffed on six of their nine swings, and taken six more for called strikes in the zone.
Still no score.
Clayton Kershaw is approaching a postseason record
As he has settled into a groove, Clayton Kershaw has come close to approaching history.
Only two pitchers in MLB have more postseason strikeouts than the Dodgers’ longtime ace: John Smoltz (199) and Justin Verlander (205).
Kershaw has four strikeouts since giving up a walk to the Rays’ No. 3 hitter Randy Arozarena. He is now at 197 postseason punchouts for his career.
At this rate — Kershaw has thrown 26 of 41 pitches for strikes in his three innings — he should surpass at least Smoltz.
Glasnow throws another scoreless inning — and more changeups than usual
ARLINGTON, Texas — Tyler Glasnow worked around a two-out single by Chris Taylor in the second, striking out Joc Pederson to keep this one scoreless through two.
Back in the first inning though, the right-hander turned to his little-used changeup twice, breaking it out against left-handed hitters Corey Seager and Max Muncy.
It was a break from Glasnow’s norm, especially this year:
Quick second inning for Kershaw
That swinging strike trend of Clayton Kershaw’s in the first? He has corrected course.
Kershaw threw 11 pitches to the Rays in the second inning, and the results went like this:
- Swinging strike
- Fly out
- Called strike
- Swinging strike
- Swinging strike
- Swinging strike
- Called strike
- Fly out
Tyler Glasnow overcomes three-ball counts in scoreless first
ARLINGTON, Texas — The first three Dodgers batters all drew three-ball counts against Tyler Glasnow. Only Corey Seager reached base, however, getting a full-count walk. The inning ended on Max Muncy’s flyout to center.
Glasnow had his fastball dialed up that inning, averaging 98.9 mph and topping out at 100.8. His pitch count is at 19 through the first. No score.
Meet Tyler Glasnow, the Rays’ Game 1 starter
ARLINGTON, Texas — There are few pitchers in the sport like Tyler Glasnow, a six-foot-eight right-hander with a long release, a high velocity and a lot of pitch spin.
In the regular season, Glasnow went 5-1 with a 4.08 ERA while striking out 91 batters in 57 ⅓ innings. He’s been less effective in the playoffs, with a 4.66 ERA in four starts and only 25 punchouts in 19 ⅓ innings.
His stuff, however — like most of this Rays pitching staff — is unique. His two most utilized pitches, a four-seamer and curveball, have more movement than almost any other pitchers’ in baseball. And his 96.9 mph average fastball velocity was among the top 10 in MLB pitchers with at least 500 pitches this season.
The curve was at times unhittable, holding opponents to a .120 batting average and .277 slugging percentage and generating a whiff on more than half of swings. His numbers with the fastball, though, weren’t nearly as impressive. Opponents hit that for a .246 batting average and slugged it .460, collecting seven home runs.
Glasnow hasn’t pitched more than six innings in any of his starts this postseason, and went more than six innings twice in his 11 regular-season starts.
Clayton Kershaw escapes first-inning jam
Clayton Kershaw threw 20 pitches and gave up a single and a walk, but he worked around trouble to secure a scoreless first inning.
A troubling trend emerged, though.
Yandy Díaz leads off game with single
The Rays wasted no time trying to drive up Clayton Kershaw’s pitch count. Yandy Díaz singled to right in a 1-2 count on Kershaw’s down-and-in slider. After an out, breakout star Randy Arozarena drew a walk on five pitches.
What to know about Dodgers-Rays World Series Game 1
First pitch: 5:11 p.m. PT
Dodgers notes: Clayton Kershaw is starting Game 1 of the World Series for the third time in his career. The Dodgers are 1-1 when he starts the World Series opener. His previous Game 1 outings: 7 IP, 11 K, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 ER vs. Houston Astros (2017); and 4 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 5 ER vs. Boston Red Sox (2018). … The Dodgers were the first team in the National League to come back from a three-games-to-one deficit to win the league championship series since the 2012 San Francisco Giants. … Mookie Betts has a hit in 10 of 12 games this postseason. He is batting .311 (14 for 45) with six doubles and five RBIs. … Cody Bellinger is in the lineup but still experiencing soreness in his shoulder as a result of his exuberant home run celebration in Sunday’s NLCS clincher.
Rays notes: The Rays are playing for bragging rights. If they win the World Series, Tampa Bay will become the fourth city/metropolitan area in history to celebrate both a World Series and Stanley Cup, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … The Rays are batting .209 this playoffs, the third-lowest average entering the World since 1994, per team notes. … The Rays gave up two runs or fewer their four ALCS. In their losses, they gave up four in two games and seven in another.
Dodgers co-owner: Team revenues, fan experience will be ‘back to normal by 2022’
As the Dodgers and other teams work to determine how best to welcome fans back to the ballpark for the 2021 season, one of the Dodgers’ co-owners said Tuesday that the industry likely would not return to normal until at least the following year.
“I think we’re looking for 2022 to start to feel normal again, while we work through this in 2021,” Dodgers co-owner Todd Boehly said.
The “this,” of course, is the COVID-19 pandemic that forced baseball to play an abbreviated regular season, without fans in attendance. The Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays will start a neutral-site World Series on Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Andrew Friedman’s fingerprints all over Dodgers’ and Rays’ odd paths to World Series
When Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Rays to become the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations in October 2014, he left more than a job.
The front office had spent years together building the low-budget operation into a legitimate perennial World Series contender opposite big-money behemoths. Executives went to each other’s weddings. They were around for their children’s births. They built a bond beyond baseball. Friedman was leaving some of his best friends.
One day, they joked, they would meet in the World Series.
“And for it to actually happen,” Friedman said, “is surreal.”
Dodgers World Series history: 20 times they played for title
Highlights from the 1955 World Series.
The Dodgers are back in the World Series.
With their 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday, the Dodgers reached the World Series for the third time in four seasons. They’ll play the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 1 on Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
With the Dodgers back in the fall classic for the 21st time, here’s a look at each of their previous World Series appearances, from Brooklyn to Los Angeles.
Most unpredictable of seasons produces a World Series matching MLB’s two best teams
It came out right, after all.
After a pandemic-shortened season that often appeared headed toward the chaos of a shutdown, after an expanded postseason tournament that gave invitations to undeserving teams and cracked the door open for upsets, the National League team with the best regular-season record and the American League team with the best regular-season record advanced to the World Series.
Major League Baseball, which sacrificed tradition for awkward expediency, almost doesn’t deserve the appropriate finale of the NL champion Dodgers (43-17 during the regular season) and AL champion Tampa Bay Rays (40-20) competing for supremacy starting Tuesday at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.
Remembering 1988, when the Dodgers and Lakers both won titles
Kirk Gibson’s game-winning home run from Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
Remember 1988? Remember when people walked around without masks, sports arenas were stuffed with spectators whose social distancing was about three inches, and the Lakers and Dodgers both won world titles?
That was the first time a city had an NBA and World Series champion in the same year. And after Sunday night’s Dodgers thriller that put them back into the World Series — and since LeBron James and the Lakers already have taken care of their part — here we go again. Maybe.
Ah, 1988. Thirty-two years. Time flies, but memories hang around.
Here’s why the Dodgers will win the World Series for first time in 32 years
The video of Kirk Gibson’s home run will never be retired, but the frequently played highlight is close to losing its place as the most recent reminder of the franchise’s winning tradition.
The chokers are about to become champions.
Sometime over the next nine days, the Dodgers will defeat the Tampa Bay Rays and win the World Series.
Starting with Game 1 on Tuesday night, a new group of October legends will emerge.
How much would a last-minute trip cost to see Dodgers in World Series?
In 2017, the last time the Dodgers were the home team for Game 1 of the World Series, the average price for a World Series ticket on the resale market was $2,938, according to Ticket IQ. That was for all seats, not just the most affordable ones, and demand was driven by the fact that the Dodgers had not played in the World Series since 1988.
The average resale price for Game 1 of this year’s World Series is $1,329, according to Ticket IQ. The cheapest price on StubHub as of Tuesday morning: $288.
World Series rosters: Dodgers load up with 15 pitchers and 13 position players
The Dodgers’ World Series roster will be the same as the roster they used to beat the Atlanta Braves for the National League pennant, the club announced Tuesday.
The Dodgers will carry 15 pitchers and 13 position players against the Tampa Bay Rays. While the National League Championship Series didn’t have an off day, which put a premium on pitching depth, the World Series has two scheduled days off. The Dodgers could have replaced at least one pitcher with a position player. But they opted to not interrupt the formula that worked in the previous round.
The Rays, on the other hand, chose to carry 15 position players and 13 pitchers.
How the Dodgers and Rays match up position by position in the World Series
The Dodgers had the best regular-season record in baseball at 43-17 and are 9-3 in the postseason after sweeping the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild card round and San Diego Padres in the National League Division Series before needing seven games to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the NL Championship Series.
The Tampa Bay Rays had the best regular-season record in the American League at 40-20 and are 9-5 in the postseason after sweeping the Toronto Blue Jays, dispatching the New York Yankees in a five-game ALDS and the Houston Astros in a seven-game ALCS.
Dodgers and Rays lineups: Clayton Kershaw vs. Tyler Glasnow in Game 1
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dodgers will roll out a lineup with no surprises for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday.
With Clayton Kershaw on the mound, Austin Barnes will start at catcher, as he did in Kershaw’s first three playoff starts. Will Smith will move to designated hitter, a role he assumed in Kershaw’s first two outings but not his third in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.