The Los Angeles Dodgers are one win away from winning their first World Series title in 32 years. On Sunday, the Dodgers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 in game five of the championship to take a three games to two lead in the best out of seven series.
It was a strong performance from the Dodgers pitching staff. Starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw of Dallas, TX felt comfortable pitching in his hometown as he threw 5 2/3 innings, and only gave up two earned runs. He had six strikeouts and gave up two walks and five hits.
Kershaw might not have been as dominant as he was in Game One of the World Series on Tuesday, but remained effective. In the first game Kershaw threw six innings and only gave up one earned run. According to John Smoltz of FOX Sports, Kershaw lacked the effectiveness with some of his pitches in game five compared to game one.
The Dodgers bullpen also came through in a big way on Sunday. Once Kershaw left, Dustin May of Justin, TX, Victor Gonzalez of Tuxpan, Mexico, and Blake Treinen of Wichita, KS pitched three and a third innings of shutout baseball. The trio only gave up two hits and one walk, and had four strikeouts along the way.
It is interesting that Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went with Treinen over Kenley Jansen, who blew a save in an 8-7 Dodgers loss to the Rays in game five on Saturday. Earlier in the postseason Roberts publicly stated that he would not necessarily use Jansen in the closer’s role all the time throughout the postseason, and on Sunday was one of those instances.
Offensively, the Dodgers got off to a quick 2-0 start in the first inning. Corey Seager of Charlotte, NC and Cody Bellinger of Scottsdale, AZ, each notched RBI singles. Los Angeles closed out their scoring with a second inning home run from Joc Pederson of Palo Alto, CA, and Max Muncy of Midland, TX.