MLB World Series – Game 5 of the 2020 World Series was all about Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw pitched perhaps the greatest game of his career to date. The Tampa Bay Rays were unable to keep pace with LA’s ace after they scored runs off him in the third inning. They also even frustrated themselves with their baserunning plays which eventually decided Game 5. From not opting to challenge Randy Arozarena’s steal at 2nd base to Manuel Margot’s attempted steal at home plate, this one may have sealed Tampa Bay’s fate on the Fall Classic.
Kershaw Shuts Down the Rays
Clayton Kershaw was big-time in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 4-2 win in Game 5. Kershaw whiffed 6 batters, pitched 5.2 innings of work, and gave up 2 runs to Tampa Bay. The quality start that Kershaw displayed on Sunday, matched those numbers that he had in Game 1. Kershaw could not have done it without his Dodger teammates giving him insurance runs in the victory.
Dodgers’ Run Support
Leading the charge for the Dodgers’ bats were Max Muncy and Joc Pederson. The pair of them each had a homer and combined to go 3-6 on the evening (Muncy – 2-4: Pederson – 1-2). Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger had the only other runs driven in by LA in the contest. Seager went 1-3 with a run scored and a walk, while Bellinger finished 1-4 in all his at-bats.
The Tampa Bay Rays once again fall back down to Earth. After the highs that they had in Game 4, turned all of that into horror. They failed to put much of a fight and ran into a reenergized Dodgers team that left them stuck into neutral. Rays’ starter, Tyler Glasnow, again lost out to Kershaw in the rematch of the Game 1 starters. Glasnow finished with 6 strikeouts, pitched 5 innings, and surrendered 4 runs in this pivotal game. The outing that Glasnow endured on Sunday was same as what he did in Game 1. He was not sharp with his pitches which yielded another underwhelming performance for the righty. Glasnow’s teammates did not fare much better.
Dismal Night for Tampa Bay’s Bats
The offense had a more difficult time at the plate when they were dealing with Kershaw. The only was that did perform well were Yandy Diaz, Randy Arozarena, and Kevin Kiermaier. The trio each managed to hit 2-3 at the dish. Diaz the RBI; Margot the walk, and Kiermaier with a run scored, and Kiermaier with a run scored. These were the contributions that the three were able to make in Game 5. Randy Arozarena was shackled going 1-4 with an RBI-single. Arozarena had a chance to tie the game in the 8th inning, but flied out to right center which squandered any hope of a Rays’ comeback.
Margot’s Attempted Steal at Home Plate
The key game changer took place in the 4th inning. Manuel Margot stood at third base and made a tried-and-tested steal at home plate to pull Tampa Bay to within one. As Clayton Kershaw prepared to deliver a pitch to Kevin Kiermaier, he immediately stepped off the pitcher’s mound. His catcher, Austin Barnes, told Kershaw that a steal at home was about to happen.
Margot without any hesitation took off and charged directly to the bag at an alarming rate. Barnes and Kershaw saw the whole play develop and executed an excellent strike to eliminate Margot. It was a clever move on Margot’s part, but this play effectively ended Tampa Bay’s rally in the bottom half of the frame. From there, it went downhill.
The Rays squandered a few more opportunities to score as the Dodgers’ bullpen put the nail in the coffin. Blake Treinen struck out Willy Adames to pick up the save. The Dodgers are on the verge of capturing their first World Series title since 1988 as they look to finish the Rays to wrap up the Fall Classic.
World Series Milestones
There were a few more records had been set in Game 5 of the 2020 World Series. Clayton Kershaw surpassed Justin Verlander to take sole possession of first place in career playoff strikeouts (Kershaw – 207: Verlander 205). Kershaw could rack up a few more of those should he pitch in the pen for the rest of the series for LA. Then, Randy Arozarena, who picked up the RBI-single in the third, notched up his 27th hit of the postseason. He now stands alone as the all-time hits leader MLB playoff history and would like to add his total as the series heads to Game 6 on Tuesday.
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