If you are coming into this recap having somehow not seen the score, the wave of disappointment on Twitter, or having any other knowledge of what happened in Tuesday’s Game One of the World Series I sincerely recommend you close this article now, turn off your computer, and go to bed happy.
That’s not to say there weren’t some great moments for Rays fans in this game, but overall the final result was not what anyone hoped to see out of the first game of the best-of-seven series (unless you’re a Dodgers fan, I suppose.)
Things started off with a very evenly matched pitchers duel between Clayton Kershaw and Tyler Glasnow. Kershaw looked good enough to put down some of the postseason yips narrative that has haunted him for nearly a decade, while Glasnow looked aggressive and spiked perhaps a few more pitches than he ought to have.
To start off the first inning, Yandy Diaz hit a leadoff single against the Dodgers ace, then Arozarena walked, but the Rays were unable to convert the two runners into actual runs. In the bottom of the inning Glasnow gave up a walk to Corey Seager, but the Dodgers didn’t get any runs either.
It was a 1-2-3 second for Kershaw who looked really confident after the uneasiness of the first inning. Glasnow allowed a single to Taylor. The third inning looked much the same with Kershaw going 1-2-3, and Glasnow walking Seager for the second time in the game, but again, no runs scored for either team.
October 21, 2020
Kershaw had another clean inning in the fourth, but things started to show danger signs for Glasnow in the bottom of the inning. First was a leadoff walk to Max Muncy, then Cody Bellinger hit a no-doubter two-run home run, putting the Dodgers on the board first 2-0. Taylor walked, then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Glasnow. Thankfully the Rays pitcher was able to strikeout the next two batters and limit the damage.
Things looked to potentially be evening out in the fifth inning as Kevin Kiermaier hit a solo home run to bring the score to 2-1 at the top of the inning. But then things got bad. Really, really, really bad.
Enjoy this before we start talking about the bottom of the fifth.
The longest tenured Ray gives us our first run of the #WorldSeries pic.twitter.com/fMORxpu5CJ— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 21, 2020
Betts walked to leadoff the inning against Glasnow, then stole second. (Tacos!) Then Seager walked for the third time in the game. As Justin Turner struck out, Betts and Seager successfully performed a double steal. Muncy grounded into a fielder’s choice, but scored Betts as Zunino failed to apply the tag on time. Then a Will Smith single scored Seager. It marked the end of the night for Tyler Glasnow, but not the end of the damage.
Ryan Yarbrough came on in relief, giving up a single to Taylor to score Muncy. Kiké Hernández came on to hit for Pederson and singled to score Smith. With the final two runs of the inning belonging to Glasnow, his final line for the day was 4.1IP, 3H, 6R, 6ER, 6BB, 8K, 1HR on a season-high 112 pitches. Just a big, big yikes that he wasn’t pulled sooner. Dodgers lead 6-1.
In spite of the bottom of the fifth going at least thirty minutes, Clayton Kershaw came out to collect yet another 1-2-3 inning.
Yarbrough didn’t return for the sixth inning, likely to keep him ready for a potential start down the line, and was replaced by Josh Fleming, and things continued to not go the Rays way. Betts led off with a solo home run. Justin Turner then doubled to center, and immediately after, Muncy doubled to score Turner. The score was now 8-1 Dodgers.
Down but not out, the Rays had a mini rally in the top of the seventh against reliever Dylan Floro. First Manuel Margot singled, then Joey Wendle doubled. In a double-pinch-hit move than neither Dave Roberts nor I really processed, Ji-Man Choi pinch hit for Adames but then Mike Brosseau pinch-hit for Choi, and singled to score Margot. (Floro also gave way to Victor Gonzalez amid the chaos). Kiermaier then singled to score Wendle, bringing the score to 8-3.
Fleming returned for the Rays in the bottom of the seventh for a clean 1-2-3 inning. Unfortunately in the top of the eighth, new Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez did the same thing.
Mookie Betts led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, because of course he did. But a double play quickly knocked him off the base path.
Mookie Betts first player in #WorldSeries history with a home run, two stolen bases and two runs scored in a #WorldSeries game.— Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) October 21, 2020
John Curtiss came on in relief for the bottom of the eighth, to finish things off and end the inning with no additional runs. In the top of the ninth the Dodgers brought in Joe Kelly, who was probably disappointed he couldn’t make faces at the Astros during the World Series. Bellinger absolutely robbed a would-be Austin Meadows home run.
The Dodgers finished the Rays off in the top of the inning and took Game One of the series 8-3.
It’s okay, folks, six more chances.