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Morning Mound Visit: Dodgers take Game 1 behind Kershaw, Betts

We were this close to “Kershaw was taken out too soon” takes.

2020 World Series Game 1: Los Angeles Dodgers v. Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Kelly Gavin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Game 1 served as an important reminder of two very important facts. First, though he has definitely been worse in the postseason, it’s silly to believe that Clayton Kershaw is incapable of pitching in the playoffs. Second, boy, the Red Sox really blew it by trading Mookie Betts.

In Kershaw’s last start, the future Hall of Famer never quite looked like himself, but he managed to make it through five innings unscathed. It wasn’t until the sixth when Dave Roberts tried to squeeze a bit too much out of his ace when things went awry. In Game 1 of the World Series, however, Kershaw never looked like he wasn’t firmly in control. The lone blemish was a solo home run allowed to Kevin Kiermaier, but that was the only time after the first inning that the Rays put up much of a fight against Kershaw.

Kershaw finished with a line of six innings, eight strikeouts, one run, one walk, and two hits. At 78 pitches, there was an argument to be made that he could have gone out for one more inning, but with a seven-run lead, there was no need to air him out.

Mookie Betts provided most of the excitement on offense. He began a four-run rally in the fifth by drawing a walk, stealing second, second third, and scoring on a chopper to first baseman Yandy Díaz.

Betts became the first player in World Series history to draw a walk and steal multiple bases in an inning since Babe Ruth.

If you’re a Red Sox fan, yet another Mookie Betts-Babe Ruth comparison is the last thing you want.


Ben Clemens | FanGraphs: Here’s a reminder that Proven Postseason Performers don’t actually exist and that “clutch” is a descriptive term, not a predictive one.

Demetrius Bell | Talking Chop: The ending to Atlanta’s season was excruciating, but their performance this year proves that this team will be back in the playoffs soon.

Kevin Acee | San Diego Tribune: Padres prospect Luis Campusano was arrested in Georgia for possession of 79 grams of marijuana and faces felony charges and faces up to 10 years in prison. Cool drug laws this country has.