morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!
The 2020 World Series is underway, and the Los Angeles Dodgers won the first game 8-3 over the Tampa Bay Rays to take an early lead in the best-of-seven. Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and Clayton Kershaw led the way for L.A.
The scoring didn’t begin until the bottom of the 4th, with a solo homer by Bellinger. In the top of the 5th, Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier responded with a two-run dinger to take the lead, creating some interesting history.
Both Center Fielders Hit Home Run in World Series Game— James Smyth (@JamesSmyth621) October 21, 2020
1932 G4 Combs/Demaree
1952 G6 Mantle/Snider
1957 G3 Mantle/Aaron
1958 G2 Mantle/Bruton
1975 G6 Geronimo/Lynn
2010 G3 Torres/Hamilton
2016 G7 Fowler/Davis
2020 G1 Kiermaier/Bellinger
But then the Dodgers took over. Betts began the 5th with a leadoff walk and then stole second base (and later third as well), and the rally was on. Another walk, a failed fielder’s choice, and three singles led to a four-run inning, and L.A. never looked back.
Betts kept the pressure on. He led off again in the 6th, and this time he homered, setting some more World Series history.
Mookie Betts is the first player to ever homer, steal two bases and score two runs in a World Series game.— J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) October 21, 2020
The only other player to homer and steal two bases in a WS game is Chase Utley in Game 1 of the 2008 Series.
He’s also the first player since Babe Ruth in 1921 to walk and steal two bases in the same inning in the World Series.
On the other side of the ball, Kershaw overcame his own negative postseason reputation by spinning a quality start. He threw six innings and allowed just one run, missing a ton of bats along the way.
Clayton Kershaw got 19 misses on 38 swings against him tonight— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 21, 2020
That 50.0% whiff rate is the highest in any start of his career (min 25 pitches thrown, including postseason)
The two teams go back at it tonight in Game 2. Tampa Bay hands the ball to 2018 Cy Young winner Blake Snell, while L.A. turns to Tony Gonsolin — however, Gonsolin pitched on Sunday in the NLCS, so he could see an early hook with another starter like Dustin May helping in long relief.
Here’s the schedule (all times Pacific, all TV broadcasts on Fox):
- Game 1: Dodgers win, 8-3
- Game 2: Wed, Oct. 21, 5 p.m.
- Game 3: Fri, Oct. 23, 5 p.m.
- Game 4: Sat, Oct. 24, 5 p.m.
- Game 5: Sun, Oct. 25, 5 p.m.
- Game 6: Tue, Oct. 27, 5 p.m.
- Game 7: Wed, Oct. 28, 5 p.m.
Still a lot of Series left to play!
- Bleav podcast: Ben Ross and guest Brodie Brazil preview A’s offseason story lines
- Simmons and Lerseth: 49ers get OK from state to sell tickets, but Santa Clara County says no ($)
- AN: 2 former A’s second basemen who got away, now facing off in the World Series
MLB News & Interest
- Kelly: The truth about Kershaw’s playoff history
- Berry: Rays’ reliance on HRs not paying dividends
- Mayo: How Rays got Randy from Cards ... on 2nd try
- Casella: A base has been stolen, get a free taco!
- Acee: Padres’ Luis Campusano arrested in Georgia, accused of felony marijuana possession
- Byrne: Looking For A Match In A Francisco Lindor Trade
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
Nieckula managed in the A’s farm system from 2006-19, including the 2014 Texas League champion Double-A Midland RockHounds (click here to see his history)
I have been informed that my position of Field Coordinator within the Oak Athletics Player Dev system has been eliminated. Although I am disappointed I was not formerly offered a “reassignment”, I am deeply appreciative and respectful of my tenure with the A’s! #forevergrateful— Aaron Nieckula (@anieckula26) October 20, 2020
This joke is out of control
Really a shame Bob Walk didn’t pitch long enough to hand over a start to Grant Balfour.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) October 21, 2020
The world continuing to gradually open back up?
Professional sporting events in California may return to stadiums at 20% capacity once a county moves into the orange tier, or 25% capacity in the yellow tier. Ticket sales will be restricted to customers within a 120-mile radius of the park. Masks will be required.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 20, 2020
... or maybe not
Counties make the call. And Santa Clara County says the #49ers won't have fans in attendance "anytime soon" in a statement that also notes rising COVID rates nationwide and increased risk in winter months. https://t.co/GAfcxr9E1m— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) October 20, 2020
A’s statement on the matter
As you’ll see in the next tweet, this news isn’t official yet, but this is the current rumor (for Single-A, where the A’s are currently affiliated with the Beloit Snappers)
Vancouver Canadians will become "newest" affiliate of the Oakland Athletics starting in 2021. Rico Brogna slated to become manager, Anthony Phillips on staff as well.— Rob Fai (@RobFai) October 20, 2020
Blue Jays relationship ends at nine "on-field" seasons, four titles, 70+ C's to Jays players dating back to 2011. pic.twitter.com/m66ANdxYJn
... but let’s not put the moose ahead of the cart just yet until it’s official
Any A’s affiliate changes remain very much TBD. Lots of moving parts involved. Even minor league contraction, while expected, isn’t fully official. So even if there are considerations of moving, it will be some time before we have real clarity: https://t.co/ELRzbSNDit— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) October 20, 2020
DID YOU VOTE YET? It’s good practice for November.