ARLINGTON, Texas — Walker Buehler wore a blue sweatshirt within the dugout and the contented smile of somebody who had efficiently accomplished his job. He had simply supplied the Los Angeles Dodgers with a commanding pitching efficiency worthy of the franchise’s legendary aces, and his teammates had achieved equally effectively on offense.
The outcome was a 6-2 win on Friday over the Tampa Bay Rays in Recreation 3 of the World Sequence at Globe Life Discipline that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 benefit within the Sequence. Recreation 4 is ready for Saturday evening on the identical stadium.
The roof at Globe Life Discipline — the place the entire video games are being performed to restrict journey and cut back the chance of transmitting the coronavirus — was closed due to inclement climate. The opposite issues that modified have been the uniforms and the batting order. The Dodgers, who have been the house workforce in Video games 1 and a couple of, switched to their street grays and batted first, whereas the Rays switched to their residence whites and batted second.
It didn’t matter a lot the place they batted on this recreation, as a result of Buehler was nearly impenetrable. With a fiery fastball and glorious location, he didn’t enable a success till Manuel Margot’s double into the left-field nook with one out within the fifth inning, at which level he had confronted the minimal variety of batters.
In six dominating innings, Buehler allowed three hits, one run and one stroll whereas accumulating 10 strikeouts, three of them from Brandon Lowe, the hero of Recreation 2. 4 of the Rays’ first six outs have been by strikeout as Buehler set a tone.
“That may be the most effective I’ve ever seen his stuff,” mentioned Austin Barnes, the Dodgers catcher.
The sport featured a matchup of two very good beginning pitchers — Buehler, who went into the sport with a 1.89 earned run common within the 2020 postseason, and Charlie Morton, with a 3-0 report, a 0.57 E.R.A. and a status as a big-game pitcher.
However Buehler was the one left smiling within the dugout, whereas Morton struggled to place the Dodgers away with two outs.
Justin Turner, the previous Met, sparked the Dodgers offense by hitting a bases-empty residence run with two outs within the first inning, after which hit a two-out double his subsequent time up, within the third inning. That set Max Muncy as much as rap a two-run single to heart area off Morton for a 3-0 Dodgers lead.
Turner additionally made a terrific play at third base, going to his left to backhand a pointy bouncer off the bat of Mike Zunino to provoke a double play and wipe away the one base runner the Rays had within the first 4 and a 3rd innings.
Whereas Buehler remained locked in a groove, the Dodgers additionally demonstrated that a number of the small-ball tendencies of years previous had not been totally deserted. During the last a number of years, baseball has more and more moved towards a heavy reliance on residence runs and massive innings, with methods like stolen bases and sacrifice bunts consigned to the tactical trash heap.
However the Dodgers put each on show Friday, with Mookie Betts stealing a few bases and Barnes executing an ideal security squeeze bunt.
Within the high of the fourth, Cody Bellinger led off the inning with a single to proper area. Morton struck out Chris Taylor, however Joc Pederson ripped a line drive over the outstretched glove of Ji-Man Choi, the Rays’ athletic first baseman, for a single. With runners at first and third, Pederson feigned embarking on a success and run, which briefly froze Lowe, the Rays second baseman.
On the pitch, Barnes gently tapped a bunt up the primary final analysis. Bellinger ran towards residence on contact, and Choi’s solely play was to toss the ball to Lowe, overlaying first base, to pressure out Barnes. Not solely did the sacrifice bunt rating a run, it additionally moved Pederson to second base, and he scored on a single by Betts.
After all, Barnes can be able to taking part in the extra trendy recreation: He whacked a house run within the high of the sixth that was an exclamation level on an emphatic Dodgers win.
Native New Yorker. Travel addict. Hardcore thinker. Analyst. Pop culture fanatic. I live in Queens with my wife Linda and our dog Clemenza.