MLB: Dodgers’ Kershaw get off to hot start and take a 3-2 Series lead

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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, center, celebrates after their win against the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 of the baseball World Series Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. Dodgers beat the Rays 4-2 to lead the series 3-2 games. Photo by Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo.

Game 5 of the World Series between the LA Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays was on Sunday, Oct. 25 and the Dodgers took home the 4-2 victory. With a 3-2 series lead in hand, the Dodgers are now one win away from their first World Series title since 1988.  

This series has given us plenty of high-powered pitching matchups and Sunday’s contest was no different. Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers faced off against Tampa Bay’s Tyler Glasnow, but Glasnow faltered early and his team was unable to overcome it. Though Kershaw largely cruised through 5.67 innings, allowing only two runs while striking out six, Glasnow allowed four runs in five innings, three of which came in the first two frames. The Rays cut the deficit to 3-2 in the third inning thanks to base hits from Yandy Diaz and Randy Arozarena, but LA added the game’s final run via a solo shot from Max Muncy. The Dodgers won by a final score of 4-2.  

The Dodgers have had their fair share of postseason demons in the Kershaw era. Despite the fact that Kershaw has been the best pitcher of the generation, and that the Dodgers have eight straight division titles and three trips to the World Series in the last four years, they have not won a championship since 1988. Kershaw himself has taken the most heat for these shortcomings, but he has been absolutely excellent in this postseason. In five appearances, Kershaw has gone 4-1 with a 2.93 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. Two of those wins have come in the World Series, where he’s allowed only three earned runs in 11.2 innings of work. If the Dodgers are able to win the series, Kershaw will be well on his way to shedding the “playoff choker” moniker he’s been saddled with his whole career.  

If the Rays fall short of the team’s first ever World Series championship, they’ll likely look back at the postseason and wish they’d gotten more from Brandon Lowe and Tyler Glasnow. Lowe, who was an all-star a year ago and the team’s MVP throughout the regular season, has been dreadful in the playoffs. The franchise second-basemen is hitting .123 through 73 postseason at-bats. That’s not good enough. Meanwhile, Glasnow’s struggles have been largely under the radar because he routinely makes highlight reel pitches look easy. That being said, Glasnow has gone 2-3 with a 6.28 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 28.2 innings over six games. Though the rest of the team’s pitchers have largely masked this issue, Glasnow is the centerpiece of this team’s pitching staff and has not played the part. On the positive side, Randy Arozarena stroked his 27th hit of the playoffs on Sunday, giving him the most hits of all time in a single postseason. He is hitting .370 in the playoffs with nine home runs and 13 RBIs. Wow.  

Game 6 will be played on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Blake Snell of the Rays will pitch against Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers. 

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