Kershaw leads Dodgers past Astros in World Series opener
Clayton Kershaw starred to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros in game one of the World Series on Tuesday.
Kershaw threw just eight pitches during a perfect first inning and that set the tone as the ace led his team to a win at Dodger Stadium.
Kershaw had 11 strikeouts, without a walk, and only three hits over seven innings. When Dodgers manager Dave Roberts turned things over to the bullpen in the eighth, Kershaw had thrown just 83 pitches.
Dodgers reliever Brandon Morrow tossed a perfect eighth before Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth to close it out in a game that took just two hours, 28 minutes.
Dodgers center fielder Chris Taylor wasted no time to get things started, launching Dallas Keuchel's first pitch well beyond the left-field wall to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The Astros tied it up in the top of the fourth when third baseman Alex Bregman hit a solo shot to nearly the same spot as Taylor's blast.
It was the seventh home run allowed by Kershaw in four postseason starts this year, tied for the most in a single postseason. But that pitch to Bregman was about the only mistake he made the entire night.
KERSHAW'S POSTSEASON WOES OVER
Kershaw is now 3-0 in this year's postseason. He was just 4-7 in 14 career postseason starts prior to this season. Kershaw was efficient and dominant Tuesday and, if the Astros see him again, it would likely be in game five back in his native Texas.
Kershaw joined former Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe as the only pitchers in World Series history to strike out 11 batters without a walk. He was also the first pitcher ever with at least 10 strikeouts and zero walks while allowing three or fewer hits in the World Series.
YEAR OF THE HOME RUN NOT ENDING
All four runs scored in Wednesday's contest came via home run. The ball does fly out of Dodger Stadium in warm air, but there were a record number of home runs hit this season and that does not appear to be ending in the World Series, despite two of baseball's best pitching staffs.
The decisive home run was Justin Turner's two-out, two-run homer in the sixth – making Keuchel pay for a two-out walk to Taylor. Keuchel allowed three runs off six hits in 6.2 innings with just three strikeouts and the costly base on balls.
ASTROS' POSTSEASON HITTING WOES CONTINUE
Sure, the Astros were facing a three-time Cy Young Award winner and the 2014 National League MVP, but baseball's top-scoring team this season have not been able to generate much offense at all. One of the biggest disappointments is leadoff hitter George Springer, who struck out four times on Wednesday and is just 10 of 47 (.213) with 15 strikeouts this postseason.
ASTROS AT DODGERS
Justin Verlander will look to run his record to 10-0 since joining the Astros. He has been incredible during the 2017 postseason, with a 4-0 record, 1.36 ERA and 24 strikeouts to six walks in 24.2 innings. The Dodgers will counter on Wednesday with Rich Hill, who was 12-8 with a 3.32 ERA during the regular season but has a pair of no-decisions in two postseasons starts.