Kershaw dominates, leads Dodgers to win in Game 1 of the World Series
The Los Angeles Dodger defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 in Game 1 of the 2017 World Series. Clayton Kershaw was brilliant over 7IP 3 H 1 ER 11 K’s 0 BB. Kershaw's performance made him the second pitcher in World Series history to record 11+ K's and 0 BB. The Dodger bullpen continued its Postseason domination, extending its scoreless inning streak in the postseason to 25.
Kershaw made quick work of the Astros in the first with a nine pitch 1-2-3 inning. Chris Taylor started the World Series with a bang, jumping on the first pitch from Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, Taylor launched a 447 foot homer deep into the left field pavilion.
The second inning was no different for Kershaw, he quickly retired the side on a 10 pitch 1-2-3 inning. Dodgers Game 5 hero Kiké Hernández led off the second with a base hit to left but was quickly put to waste after Corey Seager grounded into a double play. For Seager it was his first at bat after missing the entire National League Championship Series with a back injury.
Kershaw continued to dominate in the third, a strikeout was followed by a one out single by former Dodger Josh Reddick. Kershaw stranded him at first by striking out the next two batters to end the inning, brining his total to five K's through three.
In the bottom half of the third the Dodgers wasted another opportunity, Austin Barnes led off the inning with a single, Kershaw laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move Barnes to second. Taylor followed the bunt by lining into a inning ending double play.
The Astros got on the board in the fourth, a lead off homer by Alex Bregman tied the game at 1-1.
Kershaw did however settle down following the homer, he struck out the side for the second straight inning, brining his total to 8 K's through four. Keuchel finally settled back into the game, he quickly retired the Dodgers in the fourth, with a quick and clean 1-2-3 inning.
Kershaw picked up where he left off in the fifth, by getting the first two batter to groundout and striking out Reddick on three pitches resulted in a six pitch fifth inning for Kershaw. Keuchel continued to shut down the Dodgers in the bottom half of the fifth, a one out single by Seager was again erased after Logan Forsyth grounded into an inning ending double play.
Kershaw continued his domination in the sixth, he struck out Keuchel and George Springer, Bregman followed by grounding out to end the inning. The two strikeouts brought Kershaw to 11 K's making him the first Dodger pitcher since Sandy Koufax in 1965 to have 10+ K's in a World Series game.
In the bottom of the sixth, Keuchel retired the first two Dodger hitters, but allowed a two out walk to Taylor, brining up NLCS Co-MVP Justin Turner. Turner launched a two run homer just over the left field wall, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
A leadoff single by Jose Altuve started off the seventh inning, Carlos Correa followed by grounding into a force out, Yuli Gurriel grounded into a potential inning ending double play, but a bad toss from Seager only allowed Forsythe to get the out at second. Kershaw made sure the Astros didn't take advantage of the extra opportunity by getting Brian McCann to fly out to center to end the inning.
Keuchel returned for the seventh inning, two quick groundouts was followed by a two out single to center by Seager. The single ended Keuchel's night at 6.2 IP 3 ER 6 H 3 K 1 BB. RHP Brad Peacock entered the game for the Astros, he surrendered a walk to Forsythe but was able to strand him after getting Barnes to fly out to center.
RHP Brandon Morrow got the call for the Dodgers in the eighth, and he continued his postseason domination, two quick fly outs and a ground out resulted in a quick 1-2-3 inning. The Astros sent in RHP Chris Devenski for the bottom half of the eighth inning, Devenski quickly retired the Dodgers with a 1-2-3 inning.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen entered the game in the ninth inning. Coming into this game Jansen had retired 24 of the 28 batters he had faced in the postseason. Jansen started the ninth by striking out Springer looking on a 2-2 cutter. Bregman stepped up and battled with Jansen, Bregman worked a full count but Jansen won the battle by getting Bregman to line out to center field. Altuve stepped up to the plate, and on the first pitch of the at bat Jansen got him to fly out and end Game 1.
The Dodgers lead the series 1-0 in the best of seven. Game 2 of the World Series is Wednesday night, the Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound as they look to take a 2-0 lead in the series, the Astros will counter with ALCS MVP Justin Verlander.