October 24, 2017

WS1: Dodgers 3, Astros 1

Astros  - 000 100 000 - 1  3  0
Dodgers - 100 002 00x - 3  6  0
Clayton Kershaw was dominant and Chris Taylor and Justin Turner both hit home runs as the Dodgers won the opening game of the 2017 World Series

The game-time temperature was 103 degrees, the highest ever for a World Series game. The game was played in only 2:28, the shortest World Series game since Game 4 in 1992 took only 2:21.

Kershaw (7-3-1-0-11, 83) turned in only the second game in World Series history with no walks and 11+ strikeouts. Don Newcombe of the Brooklyn Dodgers had a 8-5-1-0-11 line in Game 1 of the 1949 World Series against the Yankees. Kershaw's performance was also the first World Series game for the Dodgers with 10+ strikeouts since Sandy Koufax in Game 7 in 1965. There was 32 World Series games played by the Dodgers between Koufax's and Kershaw's gems.

After Kershaw retired the Astros in order in the top of the first, Taylor crushed Dallas Keuchel's first pitch of the game (an 88-mph fastball) to deep left for a 447-foot home run. (Fox's Joe Buck told us that it was the 23rd "leadoff" home run in World Series history, but I don't agree with that. Taylor was actually the fourth player to come to the plate in the game and when he swung his bat, the game was already roughly six and a half minutes old. While Taylor was the first Dodgers batter, in no way did he hit a "leadoff" home run.)

The early innings flew by as both starters threw strikes and forced the hitters to swing early in the count. Through three innings, Keuchel - who was helped by double plays to end the second, third, and fifth innings - had thrown 31 pitches and Kershaw - who retired nine of the first ten Astros - was at 35.

With one out in the fourth, Alex Bregman took Kershaw deep, tying the game at 1-1. It was the seventh home run that Kershaw has allowed in this postseason. Kershaw did not let the dong bother him, though, as he struck out the next three hitters. (Buck noted that Kershaw had "struck out the side" in both the third and fourth innings, but he was wrong on both counts. Josh Reddick singled with one out in the third and Bregman homered to start the fourth, so while the Dodgers' lefty recorded three strikeouts in each frame, he clearly did not strike out "the side" in either inning.)

Keuchel got the first two outs in the sixth on only five pitches, both grounders to shortstop. But then he walked Taylor on five pitches and gave up a two-run homer to Turner on a 1-2 count.

Jose Altuve singled to open the top of the seventh, only Houston's third baserunner of the game. Kershaw was at only 77 pitches, but LA's bullpen got busy. Carlos Correa forced Altuve at second and then Yuli Gurriel forced Correa. The Dodgers probably should have turned a double play on Gurriel's grounder, but Corey Seager could not get a grip on the ball and when he tried underhanding it to Logan Forsythe at second, the ball just rolled slowly to the bag. Kershaw got Brian McCann to fly to center, ending his outing.

As he had done in the sixth, Keuchel (6.2-6-3-1-3, 84) got the first two batters in the seventh, but then gave up a single. He was relieved by Brad Peacock, who walked Forsythe before getting the final out.

The Dodgers' bullpen (which began the WS with a postseason ERA of 0.94) did not allow a baserunner. Brandon Morrow faced the bottom three hitters in the Astros lineup and retired them in order and Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth, getting a strikeout and two easy fly balls.

Bregman's home run was the only time in the game that Houston had a runner advance past first base.

Several articles have been written about how postseason games this fall are much longer. What I find amazing is that in neither of those two articles - or several others I looked at - was any mention made of the exact length of commercial breaks. That information is not so easy to find, but here it is: The standard commercial break for a regular season game is 2:05 (2:25 for a nationally televised game). During the postseason, the length of the between-inning breaks increases to 2:55.

There were 16 breaks after each half-inning tonight. There was one mid-inning pitching change and an extended seventh inning stretch (maybe twice as long as usual?) because of some "God Bless America" bullshit. So 18 breaks at an additional 50 seconds per break = 900 seconds. The longer commercial breaks added exactly 15 minutes of nothing to tonight's game.

Dallas Keuchel / Clayton Kershaw

2017 World Series
Game 1: Tuesday, October 24, Astros at Dodgers, 8 PM
Game 2: Wednesday, October 25, Astros at Dodgers, 8 PM
Game 3: Friday, October 27, Dodgers at Astros, 8 PM
Game 4: Saturday, October 28, Dodgers at Astros, 8 PM
Game 5: Sunday, October 29, Dodgers at Astros, 8 PM
Game 6: Tuesday, October 31, Astros at Dodgers, 8 PM
Game 7: Wednesday, November 1, Astros at Dodgers, 8 PM
World Series In Which Both Teams Won 100+ Games In Regular Season
1910 - Philadelphia Athletics (102-48, AL) defeated Chicago Cubs (104-50, NL) 4-1 
1912 - Boston Red Sox (105-47, AL) defeated New York Giants (103-48, NL) 4-3-1
1931 - St. Louis Cardinals (101-53, NL) defeated Philadelphia Athletics (107-45, AL) 4-3
1941 - New York Yankees (101-53, AL) defeated Brooklyn Dodgers (100-54, NL) 4-1
1942 - St. Louis Cardinals (106-48, NL) defeated New York Yankees (103-51, AL) 4-1
1969 - New York Mets (100-62, NL) defeated Baltimore Orioles (109-53, AL) 4-1
1970 - Baltimore Orioles (108-54, AL) defeated Cincinnati Reds (102-60, NL) 4-1
2017 - Houston Astros (101-61, AL) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (104-58, NL)
Other Postseason Series Featuring Two 100+-Win Teams
1971 ALCS - Baltimore Orioles (101-57, AL) defeated Oakland Athletics (101-60, AL) 3-0
1976 NLCS - Cincinnati Reds (102-60, NL) defeated Philadelphia Phillies (101-61, NL) 3-0
1977 ALCS - New York Yankees (100-62, AL) defeated Kansas City Royals (102-60, AL) 3-2
In their 55 years of existence, the Astros have been in the World Series only once, in 2005, when they were swept by the White Sox in 2005. (They are now the only team to appear in the World Series as both an American League and National League team.) ... The Dodgers have not played in the World Series since 1988, when they beat the A's.

While I appreciate the Astros ending the Yankees' season, I'm going with: Dodgers in 7.

1. I like Yasiel Puig.

David Roth, Deadspin:
He is a very good baseball player who ... celebrates baseballing success with variously adolescent acts of sex-related gestural theater. ... He is just like this, when the cameras are on him and when they are not, when he is playing well and when he is not, when people are charmed by it and also when they are not.
In what Roth calls "the baffling long-running debate about whether baseball should or should not be fun", I vote Fun.

You disagree?

2. I love Dave Roberts.

3. Dodger Stadium is my third favourite ball park in the majors.

4. Do you seriously think I'm going to root against Dave Roberts?

I am not.

Also: Please Enjoy(?) 21 Years Of Joe Buck Hyping Forgotten Fox Shows
"Thrill! to his obvious lack of enthusiasm. Marvel! at the cuts to the stars of the shows, miraculously in good seats at the game. Wonder! at why you can't remember half of these shows' existences."

Cringe! at the 2001 promo.


Jere said...

After seeing how the WC/ALDS/ALCS had "presenting sponsors" (oddly including two companies I had never heard of), I figured the World Series would remain as we knew it, with a period of a few years of easing the idea into our subconscious, followed by a controversial sponsor-naming for the WS, leading to a heated "discussion" among fans, with the inevitable eventually coming to fruition and crushing our exhausted spirits. Nope. The sponsor is here now, and I guess...we...can't do shit about it. So lame.

allan said...

MLB.com's writers just type it right in there without quotation marks:
"With Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel opposing each other, the Astros and Dodgers open the World Series presented by YouTube TV tonight (8 p.m. ET/FOX) at Dodger Stadium having already achieved the rare feat of living up to their own individual acclaim and esteem."

Jere said...


Clem said...

That was way down on the list of atrocities. Way up is the abrasive, six-second commercials that aired between batters through much of the second half of the game. There was a New York Times story recently about these quick spots being the future of TV advertising and a potential way to shorten longer breaks. But of course, we just get them in addition to the advertising we were already receiving.

laura k said...

I am with softserve. An atrocity. But I don't let them off the hook for the name, either. Disgusting.

laura k said...

Thanks for the tribute to our man Dave Roberts. I am also cheering for the Dodgers, for the reasons you state, plus: my Brooklyn roots, Jackie Robinson, and their commitment to multiculturalism (everything in English, Spanish, and Japanese).

I love Dodger Stadium. It actually might be my second favourite park -- although we haven't been to Wrigley in a while. I wouldn't mind doing another comparison!

allan said...

ESPN Tweet:
Matt Marrone, ESPN.com: Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor homered off Astros ace Dallas Keuchel on the very first pitch of the World Series.


David Cho said...

Great summary! Thanks for doing this. I think you are due for another visit to Dodger Stadium and let's do it. Took LA Metrolink to a playoff game two weeks ago and it was great. It is great to see LA finally come around with public transit.

Jere said...

"on the very first pitch of the World Series. "