Alex Bregman, here in a game against the Blue Jays earlier this season, was the Astros offensive star of Game One.
Alex Bregman, here in a game against the Blue Jays earlier this season, was the Astros offensive star of Game One.
Photo by Jack Gorman

Clayton Kershaw Shuts Down Astros as Dodgers Take World Series Lead

The Houston Astros lost Game One of the World Series 3-1. It was a fast-paced, well-pitched game with two starting lefthanders pretty much at the top of their games. The game was the quickest World Series game (only 2:28 in length) since Game Four of the 1992 World Series. Unfortunately for the Astros, Clayton Kershaw was dominant for the Dodgers while Dallas Keuchel was just good. Keuchel’s first pitch of the game was hit for a home run. The Astros tied the game in the fourth inning on a homer of their own, but the Dodgers regained the lead for good on a two-run dinger in the sixth inning.

THE MVPs

CLAYTON KERSHAW: The Dodger ace pitched seven innings and gave up just three hits while striking out 11 Astros batters. Kershaw threw just 83 pitches, and 57 of those were strikes. He made just one bad pitch, and Alex Bregman hit it into the left field bleachers. Kershaw has a reputation for not being a good playoff pitcher. He put that to rest.

CHRIS TAYLOR: The Dodger outfielder had only one hit in three at bats on the night. But that one hit was a home run that was hit on Dallas Keuchel’s very first pitch of the game. And it wasn’t just some homer that barely cleared the fence. This shot flew deep into the left field stands and put the Dodgers up 1-0. Taylor also scored the game’s second run when he scored on Justin Turner’s home run.

ALEX BREGMAN: Bregman was the Astros offense for the night. He had only one of the team’s three hits, but Bregman’s hit was a home run on a Kershaw mistake that was deposited deep into the left field stands. The fourth inning home run briefly tied the game at 1-1.

JUSTIN TURNER: Kershaw’s effort would have been wasted were it not for Turner. Keuchel quickly got two outs in the sixth inning before walking Chris Taylor. Turner then essentially put the game out of reach with a two-run homer to left field.

THE DFAs (Designated for Assignment)

DALLAS KEUCHEL: Keuchel was good. Unfortunately, he needed to be great. Keuchel pitched 6 2/3 innings and gave up just six hits while walking just one and striking out three. And through innings two and five, he was rolling, matching Kershaw out for out. But Keuchel did give up three runs, and those three runs came off of no-doubt home runs.

GEORGE SPRINGER: The Astros offense had a bad night. But no Astros hitter had a worse night than Springer, the team’s leadoff hitter. Springer came up to bat four times and struck out four times. Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball, but Springer just looked like he was absolutely lost at the plate.

ASTROS OFFENSE: It’s easy to single out Springer, but apart from Bregman, the entire offense looked clueless for the night. Maybe it’s just the Astros playing games on the road. The Dodgers pitchers gave up just three hits and issued zero walks. Maybe it’s just that the Astros have been facing really good pitching on the road, but at some point the Astros have to find a way to hit the ball and win a game on the road because four of these games are scheduled to be played in Los Angeles.

ASTROS WORLD SERIES RECORD: The Astros are now 0-5 all-time in the World Series. One hopes it’s not asking too much for the team to find some way to win at least one game in the World Series. Winning four would be really nice, but let’s at least not go winless once again.

Game Two is Wednesday night. It is once again on Fox, and it will once again start shortly after 7 p.m. Justin Verlander takes the mound for the Astros while Rich Hill gets the start for the Dodgers. Hill nearly signed with the Astros as a free agent this past offseason, but opted to join the Dodgers. Perhaps he'll find some way to repeat his two ALCS performances, because with the way the Astros bats have been on the road, Verlander is going to have be nearly perfect to get the win.

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