MLB: Mookie’s brilliance gives the Dodgers a 1-0 World Series lead

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Los Angeles Dodgers’ Mookie Betts celebrates a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the sixth inning in Game 1 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Eric Gay/AP Photo.

On Tuesday, Oct. 21, the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the World Series with an 8-3 statement win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Mookie Betts dominated while Clayton Kershaw did his best to shed the “playoff choker” label he’s been strapped with for years. The Dodgers are scary.  

With Tyler Glasnow and Kershaw on the mound, Game 1 began as expected: in a pitching duel. The first three and a half innings were scoreless for both teams but ultimately Glasnow faltered while Kershaw prospered. Glasnow was charged with six earned runs in four and a third innings, two of which came off a Cody Bellinger two-run homer, while Kershaw cruised through six one-run innings. From there, both bullpens allowed two more runs and the game finished 8-3.  

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One pitch was all Mookie needed.

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There is nothing Mookie Betts can’t do. The superstar began the World Series by tallying two hits including a home run, two stolen bases, two runs and a walk, all while playing a Gold Glove-caliber right field. Meanwhile, Bellinger (two RBI’s) and Kershaw (one earned run) both performed well. That’s a great sign for those two, who have suffered through their fair share of criticism about how they play in big games. All is well in La La Land right now.  

Usually when the Rays score three runs, it’s enough to win the game. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday as Glasnow blew a tire in the fourth inning, allowing six runs. Suddenly, Glasnow’s performance in the playoffs begins to come into question, and since he’ll likely pitch in a potential Game 5 or 6, they’ll need him to bounce back. More concerning for the Rays is that the Dodgers may have solved the MLB’s Randy Arozarena problem. It turns out, Arozarena can’t hit fastballs if you don’t throw him any. The Dodgers decided to pitch around the ALCS MVP, and it largely worked. Arozarena went 0-3 at the plate with one walk and one strikeout. You’ll take that if you’re LA. The Rays will need to adjust their lineup so that LA thinks twice about walking Big Randy.  

Game 2 will be played on Wednesday, Oct. 21 at 8:08 p.m. Eastern. Blake Snell will pitch for the Rays against Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers.  

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