MemberOctober 23, 2020 at 8:43 pm
Behind Walker Buehler’s stellar outing and a collectively great offensive performance, the Los Angeles Dodgers win Game Three of the World Series over the Tampa Bay Rays smoothly, 6-2.
Charlie Morton, the 36-year-old veteran who has been nearly un-hittable this postseason, took the mound for the Rays with them now playing as the home team. Mookie Betts pulled a chopper that Willy Adames fielded and threw on the run to get Betts at 1st with the help of an incredible pick by Ji-Man Choi. Morton then worked a shallow fly-out of Corey Seager, and he attempted to throw a fastball by Justin Turner with two-strikes. It didn’t work though, as Turner crushed a line-drive solo home run to give the Dodgers the early edge, 1-0. Also with two-strikes, Max Muncy hit a comebacker that ricocheted off of Morton into no man’s land, resulting in a base hit. Morton struck-out Will Smith on three pitches to complete the first frame. Walker Buehler, who has continued to prove himself as one of the game’s best and most clutch pitchers, worked a grounder of Austin Meadows for the first out of the Rays half. Buehler then dropped in a tight curveball to punch-out Brandon Lowe and struck-out Randy Arozarena on three pitches to finish an easy initial frame. Cody Bellinger attacked the first pitch of the second, and lofted a fly-ball into left. Next, Morton got Chris Taylor swinging, and he worked a soft ground-out of Joc Pederson. Buehler dotted 97mph on the corner to get Choi looking for the first out of the home half, and he pounded three straight fastball by a hard-swinging Manuel Margot. Buehler worked a fly-out of Joey Wendle, ending the inning. Morton opened the third with a punch-out of Austin Barnes and a strike-out swinging of Betts. Morton spiked a ball that clipped Seager, giving LA a two-out baserunner, and Turner pulled a double down the line to put them at 2nd and 3rd. With the count full, Muncy drilled a single up the middle, scoring a pair and extending the Dodgers’ advantage to 3-0. Smith lined-out into the deepest part of the ballpark, seemingly getting no carry with Globe Life Field’s roof closed. Buehler worked a ground-out of Adames before walking Kevin Kiermaier in the bottom half. Thanks to a spectacular pick by Turner at the hot corner, Buehler erased the free base with a double-play of Mike Zunino. Bellinger smashed a base hit to leadoff the fourth, but Taylor struck-out. Pederson ripped a line drive down the line, and it resulted in runners at the corners with still only one-away. Barnes put down a perfect bunt, successfully squeezing home Bellinger to make it 4-0. Betts fell behind but worked the count full, and ultimately sent a single into center to add another run, 5-0. Betts soon after stole 2nd, but Seager grounded-out. Although Arozarena flew-out deeply to center, Buehler struck-out Lowe in the midst of a 1-2-3 frame. Turner struck-out to commence the fifth, but Muncy earned a walk with one-down to knock Morton out of the game. John Curtiss worked a fly-out of Smith and struck-out Bellinger to strand Muncy at 1st. Buehler fanned Choi for the first out of Tampa Bay’s turn, but Margot’s double down the line served as the Rays first hit of the night. Buehler responded with a strike-out of Wendle; however, a strike away from escaping, he left a breaking ball hanging, and Adames didn’t miss it. He pulled a double into left, getting Tampa Bay on the board, 5-1. Kiermaier rolled over on the next pitch for the third out. Curtiss struck-out Taylor to begin the fifth, and Pederson hooked a homer just foul prior to popping-out. Curtis, a strike away from a clean frame, made a similar mistake as Buehler did, leaving a breaking ball over the middle of the plate. Barnes pounced on it and smashed a liner over the wall in the gap — a solo homer to grab the run right back, 6-1. Again, Betts singled up the middle and stole 2nd instantly. Seager walked, but Turner’s sharp liner went right to Kiermaier. Buehler struck-out Zunino in the bottom frame, but allowed a single to Meadows with one-away. Buehler answered with strike-outs of Lowe and Arozarena to stand Meadows and conclude his day. The Dodgers needed him to come through, and Buehler did so dominantly. Dotting fastballs and buckling knees with his curve, Buehler’s final line displays his superb performance: 6IP, 1ER, 3H, 1BB, 10K and the W. Ryan Sherrif entered for the seventh, and he struck-out Muncy before walking Smith on four pitches. Bellinger grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Sherrif worked a soft line-out of Taylor. Blake Treinen trotted in from LA’s bullpen, and he struck-out Margot and Wendle in a perfect frame. The Rays gave Ryan Thompson the eighth, and he sat down the pinch-hitting Kiké Hernàndez on three pitches. Thompson fielded Barnes’ comebacker to get him at 1st, and Betts grounded out sharply. Brusdar Graterol entered for the home frame, and he set Tampa Bay down in order with ease. In the ninth, Sean McClanahan lost a ten-pitch battle with Seager that eventually finished with a leadoff bloop single. Turner lined-out to center, Muncy flew-out to left, and Smith flew-out just in front of the warning track to leave Seager. Kenley Jansen, although it was not a save situation, entered to pitch the bottom of the ninth. He struck-out Meadows on three pitches, worked a lazy fly-out of Lowe, and had Arozarena down to his final strike. Jansen made a decent pitch but caught too much of the plate, and Arozarena absolutely hammered a solo shot down the line to pull the Rays within four, 6-2. Jansen got Choi to line-out to left, topping off an uplifting frame to end the ballgame.
The boys in blue, riding Walker Buehler’s brilliance, spectacular at-bats, and a crisp bullpen performance, take Game Three of the 2020 Fall Classic to grab the series lead, 2-1. Tomorrow, they’ll look to do the same. For the Dodgers, Julio Urías will get the start. It’s becoming clear that Urías is a superstar in the making, and his 4-0 record paired with a 0.56 ERA this postseason speaks for itself. The Rays will be relying on a bullpen game; however, Ryan Yarbrough will likely be the bulk man. Yarbrough is 1-0 in October with a 3.38 ERA. It’ll be another intriguing game of matchups and analytics. 5:08pm first pitch. Go Dodgers!
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