ARLINGTON, TX Even from my vantage point way up in section 233, the uppermost part of the left field seats, it was clear that last night was Walker Buehler’s night. He had everything working from his upper 90s fastball to his curveball and cutter, it was all sharp. Just ask the Rays hitters, who he struck out ten times in his six innings of overpowering work. Buehler led the Dodgers to a 6-2 win and a 2-1 series lead. Here is the good, the bad, and the ugly from game three:
Randy Arozarena is good and he proved it again last night as he racked up his twenty third hit and eighth homerun of the postseason. The former earned him a rookie record, the latter earned him a tie for the most homeruns in a single postseason. The esteemed group of sluggers with eight bombs in a single postseason includes Barry Bonds, Nelson Cruz, Carlos Beltran, and now Randy Arozarena.
The “B Bullpen” did its job in a game that felt seemingly out of hand from fourth inning on. Ryan Sherriff, Ryan Thompson, and Shane McClanahan combined to throw three shutout innings allowing only one hit, one walk, and striking out two. Now down 2-1 in the series and facing a crucial game four, Kevin Cash’s stable will be well rested.
Finally, Globe Life Field a beautiful venue fit for Texas. It is grand as it should be. As they say, “Everything is bigger in Texas.” This is true with Globe Life Field and it is true for the amenities that surround the stadium. If you get a chance to visit, make the trip. It is well worth it.
Also good? Walker Buehler can't pitch every night!
Charlie Morton was bad with two outs. Yes, the bats were quiet for the Rays, but if you want a storyline for game two, it was the ineffectiveness of Charlie Morton with two outs. After retiring Mookie Betts and Corey Seager to start the game, Morton surrendered a two out, two strike bomb to Justin Turner which was followed by a Max Muncy single. After striking out Austin Barnes and Mookie Betts to start the third, he hit Corey Seager, gave up a double to Justin Turner, and a two RBI single to Max Muncy. After a leadoff single by Cody Bellinger in the fourth and a one out single by Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes laid down a sacrifice bunt, scoring Bellinger. With two outs and one run already in, the table was set for Mookie Betts, who quickly delivered another two out run. The score was 5-0.
Morton lasted four and a third innings, surrendered five runs, struck out six and walked two. Curtiss continued the theme of surrendering two out runs in the sixth inning. After retiring Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson in order to start the sixth, Curtiss promptly gave up a solo shot to Austin Barnes, the nine-hole-hitter. The score 6-1.
Of the six runs that Rays pitching surrendered, five of them came with two outs, a cardinal sin for pitchers. They didn't execute and Walker Buehler did. End of story.
The Rays bats were ugly for a majority of the night. The few exceptions were the back to back doubles from Margot and Adames, an Austin Meadows single, and the bomb from Randy Arozarena. Across nine innings, the Rays scrounged up a total of four hits, one walk, and two runs. They struck out thirteen times, ten of those in the first six innings against Walker Buehler.
Scoring runs in the World Series is difficult enough. It becomes even more difficult when Walker Buehler is working with a lead. From the outset, the bats were pressed to answer. First down 1-0, then 3-0, and then 5-0 within the first four innings. Early deficits are a recipe for failure. Last night was a perfect example.