Prof: The battle between the Finest Amish Pitcher of All Time and Chris “Have a Sandwich” Sale was supposed to be the main event in game one of the 2018 World Series, but these two venerable aces were more like jokers. Beautiful, storied Fenway Park was the venue.
Boston came out swinging, literally; two runs against Kershaw and MLB social media lost their minds. The very next inning, Matt Kemp sprinkled some fairy dust on the ol’ bat and hit a home run to bring Los Angeles within one. After that, Kershaw decided to be Kershaw again, with a pretty good third inning. Sale countered by coughing up a single to Manny Machado and the tying run made it’s way home. 2 all.
Kershaw gave up another unfortunate run after some questionable strike calls, while Sale left the game in the fourth inning after about 86-ish pitches. On came the Red Sox bullpen, and fortunes changed. Sandy Leon had messed up a ball and allowed Brian Dozier and Justin “JT The Red Panda” Turner to move over a base, then Manny Machado tied it up with an RBI groundout. 3 all.
Finally in the fifth inning, Kershaw wound down, not unlike one of those pull string dolls. Just tuckered out, as my Grammy would say. Two on, and Dave Roberts brought forth Ryan Madson to clean up the mess.
Messes were not cleaned, messes were further made. Madson gave up bloop singles and RBI groundouts to bring Boston up 5-3.
It was quiet until the seventh inning, when a Boston relief pitcher (not Wild Joe Kelly, who had pitched the inning before, brilliantly I might add) loaded the bases and Manny Machado, once again, had an RBI hit to score Max Muncy. LA was within one, and it felt like the pressure was on.
But Boston thrives in nasty situations, they do love that dirty water, after all.
Dave Roberts decided to play chicken with the train. He lost. Three relief pitchers in, and Alex Wood gave up a home run that brought Boston to the biggest lead of the night, 8-4, and that’s where we ended up.
Kershaw gets the loss and with good reason. Like Michael Myers, the ghost of “Kersh sucks in the postseason” rose again. He pitched terribly, but so did Chris Sale. It was the Boston bullpen that did the heavy lifting and kept the Dodgers from catching up – especially guys like Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel, who were pure filth. (It’s a good thing.)
The main takeaway from Game One is that the fielding in this series is a major problem. The Dodgers, especially, had some awful, awful plays. Strangely enough, Manny Machado playing shortstop was not a liability; in fact, he made a few really great heads up plays that helped LA tremendously. Brian Dozier had a weak arm that cost a few runs, in my opinion. Enrique Hernandez had a few less than stellar moments, as well. Boston was not immune to bad plays in the outfield, either, but it was the Dodger defense that suffered most from the dropsies.
Game Two is today (Wednesday) back in Beantown. It will be Ryu vs Price on the bump. Much like Kershaw, Ryu’s postseason career is… not the greatest. In October, his ERA is hovering around 4.40. Yuck. For Boston, David Price is coming off his first win ever in his postseason history, but it’s still not looking good. The Vanderbilt alum’s ERA is over 5. So, obviously, we’re looking at either a shutout from one of these guys, or Fenway is going to be a launching pad.
What did I miss? (A lot, I’m sure.) What did you think of Game One? Comment down below and give us your thoughts.