Kershaw shines against Rays to put Dodgers back on track to World Series glory


Clayton Kershaw’s brilliant career lacked two of the most satisfying achievements: a World Series victory and a championship ring.

He picked up the pile on Sunday night with the shaken Los Angeles Dodgers, and Kershaw stabilized his team with a courageous performance, yet another private home delivery that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Now with another victory, the Dodgers would win their first title since 1988.

Kershaw beat the Tampa Bay Rays for the second time in six days, escaping congestion in the fourth inning with a quick reaction shot to take down Manuel Margot trying to steal a rare home, and the Dodgers held on to a 4-2 win and a lead from Series 3-2.

“Well, this has happened to me before, at least one other time that I remember,” said Kershaw. “Carlos Gomez tried this against me in Houston once. You know, I work on it with the first base men.”

Max Muncy, looking from the beginning, was ready.

“I was lucky to see one or two guys breaking hard, so I knew what to expect when it did,” said Muncy. “I ran towards Kersh and said, ‘Home! Home! Home!'”

Mookie Betts and Corey Seager triggered a first inning of two races, and Joc Pederson and Muncy fired at Tyler Glasnow, who was with a long ball, whose 160 km / h heat was burned.

Dodgers’ Joc Pederson celebrates a solo home run in the second round. (Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

With his shaggy dark brown hair swaying in sweat, Kershaw was flying when Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts removed the 32-year-old southpaw in favor of Dustin May after getting two eliminations in two shots in the sixth inning.

Most pro-Dodgers fans in the reduced crowd of 11,437 booed when Roberts walked up the hill, well aware of what happened to the bullpen the night before, when Kenley Jansen closer lost the ninth inning lead in an impressive 8-7 loss .

These boos quickly turned to applause when LA fans saluted Kershaw, three-time NL Cy Young Prize winner, as he walked to the bench. Kershaw improved to 13-12 in the postseason game, including 4-1 this year.

May, Victor Gonzalez and Blake Treinen combined for goalless relief from two hits. May managed five eliminations, Gonzalez arrested two runners in eighth place by retiring Randy Arozarena and Brandon Lowe on flyouts, and Treinen managed three eliminations to become the Dodgers’ fourth pitcher with a post-season defense.

“Kersh, a lot of credit goes to him for what we were able to do in this World Series,” said Treinen. “There is a difficult narrative about him. He is a phenomenal pitcher on the biggest stage.”

Los Angeles titleholder Clayton Kershaw threw five and two-thirds into Sunday, setting a new mark for post-season eliminations with his 206th and then 207th K to become the leader of all time. (Tom Pennington / Getty Images)

Margot chose to lead the ninth, but Austin Meadows hit back, Joey Wendle went flying and Willy Adames hit back.

Thirty of the 46 previous teams that won Game 5 with a 3-2 lead won the title, but only six of the last 14. Teams that lost a 3-2 lead include last year’s Houston Astros.

Los Angeles didn’t have an obvious candidate to start Game 6 on Tuesday, when Game 2 winner Blake Snell starts in Tampa Bay,

Walker Buehler, the 26-year-old right-hander who supplanted Kershaw as the ace of the Dodgers, is waiting backstage for a Game 7 as a Hollywood replacement ready for a lead role.

With a 175-76 record in the regular season, five ERA titles and an MVP, Kershaw is alongside the great Dodgers Sandy Koufax, Fernando Valenzuela and Orel Hershiser. He won the World Series debut in 2017 and again this year, but wavered in Game 5 in 2017 and 2018 and never won a title.

Randy Arozarena, from Tampa, hits a RBI single during the third entry. (Sue Ogrocki / Associated Press)

A Dallas native launching near his home out of season, Kershaw closed the Rays in two runs and five hits with six eliminations and two walks. He is 2-0 with an ERA of 2.31 out of 15 2/3 starts in two starts in this Series with 14 eliminations and three walks. Kershaw also set a post-season record with 207 eliminations, two more than Justin Verlander’s previous record.

With a 3-0 lead, Kershaw allowed Tampa Bay to recover in the third moment, when Kevin Kiermaier scored, Yandy Diaz tripled with a ball on the right line that passed through Betts and Arozarena. The 25-year-old Cuban rookie asked for the ball after his record of 27 hits in the postseason, one more than Pablo Sandoval of San Francisco in 2014.

“I didn’t have my stuff like Game 1,” said Kershaw. “My slider wasn’t there as good as it was, so I was lucky to be there.”

Kershaw escaped a first and third, no-outs jam, in the fourth after Margot took the lead, stole second place and continued on to third when the ball escaped from second baseman Chris Taylor for his second major error in two games. Hunter Renfroe also walked, but Wendle jumped and Adames attacked.

Manuel Margot of the Rays is marked trying to steal home by Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes during the fourth inning. (Tony Gutierrez / Associates Press)

With Kiermaier on the board, Margot darted home while Kershaw raised both hands over his head in his instantly recognizable stretch position. While many pitchers may have panicked and perhaps stalled, Kershaw coolly and quickly removed the rubber and calmly tossed the receiver Austin Barnes.

Barnes grabbed the ball and put the glove on Margot’s outstretched hand, while the runner’s helmet fell off and cut his own lip.

Margot went it alone, said manager Kevin Cash, and became the first runner caught stealing his home in the Series since Shane Mack, Minnesota, in Game 4 in 2001.

The roof of Globe Life Field was closed on a cold, rainy night, just like Game 3, and the visiting Dodgers won 10 shots against Glasnow, a slim six-footed right-footer who seemed to be knocking over.

Glasnow allowed four runs and six hits in five innings, leaving him 0-2 with an ERA of 9.64 in the Series. The two home runs increased their total to a record nine in a single postseason.

Betts doubled up on a 99 mph fastball and scored two shots later, when Seager pulled a curved ball on the right field for a single and his 19th post-season RBI. This Series joined 1932 as the only year with races on four straight ends from the first entries.

Randy Arozarena, left, of the Rays is scored second by Chris Taylor of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the third round. (Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Seager advanced into a wild field, Muncy tied his 20th hike in the postseason and after a wild shot twice, Cody Bellinger hit a grounder who was stopped without a move by Lowe, the second base player on the right field. Seager scored the Dodgers’ 58th series with two eliminations this postseason and became the first player to cross the plate in each of the Series’ first five games since the Yankees’ Derek Jeter in 2000.

Glasnow tied a series record with two wild shots in the 34-shot inning and set the mark with three in the game.

Pederson hit a field opposite 428 feet to the left on a fast ball in the letters for a 3-0 lead in the second.

Glasnow retired eight in a row before Muncy scored in fifth to make it 4-2. He became the ninth record Dodgers player to be homer in the postseason, one more than the fame of the Oakland Athletics of Bash Brothers in 1989.


Source link