GameNotes Special Edition: World Series Game #2

In an 8-3 win last night, Clayton Kershaw set the tone for the Dodgers in the first World Series Game of 2020.

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Game Details

Tampa Bay Rays v. Los Angeles Dodgers 
LHP Blake Snell | RHP Tony Gonsolin
Wednesday, October 21, 2020, | 8:08 p.m. EST
Globe Life Field, Arlington, Texas | T.V.: Fox | MLB.TV 

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Today’s GameNotes:

Last night in the Clayton Kershaw set the tone in the Dodgers’ Game 1 win over the Rays. Nothing could get in the way of the L.A. Dodgers last night. 

Mookie BEST? 

Mookie Betts was on fire in last night’s World Series Game #1. From Bett’s great glovework to becoming the first player since Babe Ruth to walk and steal two bases in the same inning of a World Series game, keying the four-game frame that broke open the game last night.

The first of the two steals marked the second time in Bett’s career that he earned all of America a free taco (Bett’s did this in the 2018 World Series, too). Additionally, to his stealing of bases, Bett’s hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. Betts was on fire last night. According to MLB.com, when Betts homered leading off the sixth, he became the second player in history with a home run and two stolen bases in a World Series game.

Did Kershaw Take a Step to Exercise his Postseason Demons? 

Yesterday, we shared some of Kershaw’s postseason failures; however, last night Kershaw did pretty well for himself. With seven regular seasons of 200-plus strikeouts are already on Kershaw’s resume, now he can add 200-plus strikeouts in his postseason career. 

Last night, Kershaw delivered six strikeouts filled innings, at one point retiring 13 consecutive hitters on only 78 pitches. Seven of the eight strikeouts came on well-executed sliders. Additionally, Kershaw only allowed two hits, one walk, which made him the first pitcher with at least eight strikeouts and three or fewer baserunners in a World Series since 2017, where Kershaw set the record himself. 

Tonight’s Pitching Matchup

At the beginning of the series, many thought that the Rays starting pitching was a significant strength; however, from the results last night, the Rays are going to need Blake Snell to step up in Game 2. 

Back in 2018, Blake Snell had a pretty good year. He was so good that Snell won the Cy Young award. Now, with the Rays down 1-0, they need him to be on top of his game tonight if the Rays want to win Game 2. Snell has had some postseason success this year, posting a 3.20 ERA with 19 strikeouts.

For the Dodgers, manager Dave Roberts will hand the ball to right-handed pitcher Tony Gonsolin who is fresh off a 41-pitch appearance against the Braves on Sunday night; however, Gonsolin hasn’t been great over his last few appearances. He has allowed seven earned runs through 6.1 innings. 

Game Lineups (Subject to Change)

Tampa Bay Rays

  • Austin Meadows, DH
  • Randy Arozarena, LF
  • Brandon Lowe, 2B
  • Ji-Man Choi, 1B
  • Manuel Margot, RF
  • Joey Wendle, 3B
  • Willy Adames, SS
  • Kevin Kiermaier, CF
  • Mike Zunino, C

LA Dodgers 

  • Mookie Betts, RF
  • Corey Seager, SS
  • Justin Turner, 3B
  • Max Muncy, 1B
  • Will Smith, C
  • Cody Bellinger, CF
  • AJ Pollock, DH
  • Enrique Hernández, 2B
  • Chris Taylor, LF