Nothing fancy there, although the decor was surreal.
The best baseball team during the pandemic-cut season showed its many talents in the World Series opener at a neutral venue, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 on Tuesday night.
With the seats mostly empty, Kershaw dominated for six innings, Bellinger and Betts pulled off a homer, and the Dodgers chased a wild Tyler Glasnow in the fifth inning and returned home in the opener.
A crowd limited by the coronavirus to 11,388 at Globe Life Field, the new $ 1.2 billion home of Texas Rangers, marked baseball’s smallest event in 111 years.
Los Angeles are hoping to return home with a title that has eluded the Dodgers since 1988, but have tried to keep their focus.
“It’s hard not to think about winning. It’s hard not to think about what this could be, ”Kershaw said. “Keep putting this in your brain all the time: tomorrow, win tomorrow, win tomorrow, win tomorrow. And then you do that three more times, and you can think about it as much as you want.
A regular-season star with an erratic postseason history, Kershaw looked like the ace who so often plays on summer nights with the San Gabriel Mountains behind him at Dodger Stadium. With these staggered games, the 32-year-old southpaw ended up pitching not far from his off-season home in Dallas.
Three-time award winner Cy Young allowed one run and two hits, struck out eight and walked one. He induced 19 jumps and misses in his 78 shots – more than his previous three series starts combined.
“You can totally appreciate and see why he makes it to the Hall of Fame someday every time he’s done,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said.
Kershaw threw nine balls in the first, when he failed a pair of runners, then threw nine more over the next three innings.
“He had a game plan to try and really calm things down from there and he executed,” said Kevin Kiermaier, who ended Kershaw’s 13-streak and retired in a row with a fifth homer. round on a suspended slider that reduced the Rays deficit. to 2-1.
Five-time ERA champion Kershaw improved to 2-2 in the World Series and 12-12 in postseason play, a shadow of his 175-76 regular-season record. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts did not pitch it after Game 4 of the NL Championship Series last Thursday.
“I think we were going to stay away from him in Game 7 just for that particular reason,” said Roberts.
The second game will take place on Wednesday evening. The Dodgers, who posted the best majors record in the shortened season and showed all their stars in Game 1, plan to throw a collection of pitchers thrown by Tony Gonsolin against Rays ace Blake Snell.
Bellinger, the 2019 NL MVP who started Game 1 with a career 0.114 batting average in 12 World Series games, had the Dodgers leading in fourth with a two-run homerun off Glasnow, having no problem driving a 98mph pitch in the Bullpen Dodgers center right.
Bellinger, whose seventh inning homeroom put the Dodgers in the lead in Game 7 of the NL Championship on Sunday, wiggled his feet, patting gently as he crossed the set and celebrated by patting his teammates toes as he danced towards the canoe, a sign he remembered. his right shoulder during the noisy festivities two nights earlier.
Bellinger capped his night by jumping over the 6-foot center wall in the ninth, robbing Austin Meadows of a possible home run.
“I said it today before the game: if I hit one, I don’t touch anyone’s arm,” Bellinger said. “I’m going straight to the feet, and that was pretty funny.”
Betts, shining throughout October but slumping at home plate, added their first postseason homerun for the Dodgers, a solo shot on the field opposite to sixth-place Josh Fleming.
Betts had two hits, scored two runs and stole two goals in the four-run fifth, when Corey Seager swept one aside as Los Angeles became the first team to steal three goals in a series inning since the Giants’ 1912 New York in Game 5 against Boston. .
“It’s a weak point in my game, holding runners,” Glasnow said. “Must be something I focus more on in the future. ”
Betts became the first player to hit a home run, steal two goals and score twice in a series game.
“Stolen bases are one thing for me. This is how I create tracks and create havoc on basic paths, ”he said.
Los Angeles is part of the series for the third time in four years but is looking for its first title since the team led by Kirk Gibson and Orel Hershiser 32 years ago. After an unusual seven-day game-long LCS, the Dodgers are planning a full outing for the next game.
Tampa Bay was held to six hits. His only previous series was a five-game loss to Philadelphia in 2008.
Glasnow was chased after 4 1/3 innings with an ominous pitch line that included three hits, six runs, six goals and eight strikeouts. He pitched a career-high 112 shots and became the first to walk six or more in a playoff game since Edwin Jackson of St. Louis in Game 4 of 2011. Glasnow went to a three-of-12 count. 23 batters.
Los Angeles widened their lead to 4-1 in the fifth, when Cash left Glasnow to face southpaw Max Muncy with runners in the corners. Muncy hit a goalscorer against first baseman Yandy Diaz with the infield, and Betts beat a strong but slightly disconnected pitch with a head first slip past wide receiver Mike Zunino.
Will Smith finished Glasnow with an RBI single, and Chris Taylor and pinch hitter Kike Hernandez followed with Ryan Yarbrough for a 6-1 lead.
Justin Turner and Max Muncy doubled on consecutive throws in the sixth.
Pinch hitter Mike Brosseau and Kiermaier had a runner-up single in the seventh against Victor Gonzalez, who snagged Zunino’s practice line and doubled Brosseau from second base for a late-inning double play.
After a regular season without fans, MLB resumed ticket sales with a limited amount for the NLCS at Globe Life and maintained that by allowing approximately 28% of the capacity to be filled at the 40,518-seat baseball stadium, where the roof was open. The crowd was widely dispersed and was the smallest in the series since 10,535 attended Game 6 between the Pirates and the Tigers at Bennett Park in Detroit in 1909, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
An overwhelming majority of fans wore Dodger blue.
“They are everywhere. They always come out, ”Kershaw said. “And so as far as a game we would have liked to have been at Dodger Stadium and the 56,000 chants, after everything that has happened this season, to have 10, 11,000 people in the stands and quite a few of them. being Dodger fans is pretty cool.
Kershaw increased his post-season career tally to 201 strikeouts, passing John Smoltz (199) for second behind Justin Verlander’s 205.
Snell lost Game 6 to Houston on Friday, throwing 42 shots over two innings. The Dodgers said they were heading for an empty-the-bullpen game rather than using Walker Buehler on three days off.