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#pounditThursday, July 18, 2024

Bad defense burns Dodgers in first inning of Game 1

Yasiel Puig

The Boston Red Sox capitalized on some bad defense by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning of Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night.

Leadoff batter Mookie Betts reached on a line drive single off Clayton Kershaw. Before he did that, he popped a ball up along the right field line in foul territory. David Freese got turned around and played the tough ball poorly. He was unable to make the catch, which gave Betts another chance. Betts took advantage of it by singling, stealing second, and scoring on a hit by Andrew Benintendi.

And that brings us to the Dodgers’ second big mistake of the inning — an even bigger mistake.

Benintendi singled to right field with Betts on second. The speedy Betts scored easily, but the issue is that right fielder Yasiel Puig made a bad throw home. Not only was he playing so deep that he had little shot of throwing out Betts at home, but he also overthrew his cutoff man. That prevented the Dodgers from having a chance to cut off the throw and make sure Bentinendi remained at first. Due to the overthrow, Benintendi alertly advanced to second.

Benintendi was then in scoring position and able to make it home for the second run of the game on JD Martinez’s single up the middle two batters later.

Matt Kemp’s solo home run in the top of the second cut the lead in half, but it really should have tied the game if the Dodgers were sharper on defense.

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