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#pounditFriday, September 24, 2021

Articles tagged: MLB Playoffs 2020

Austin Barnes does it all in Dodgers’ Game 3 win

Austin Barnes home run

Austin Barnes was a versatile star for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the team’s 6-2 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 3 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Friday night.

Barnes called and caught Walker Buehler’s gem, which included 10 strikeouts over six innings. On top of that, he produced from the nine-hole in the Dodgers’ order.

In the top of the fourth, Barnes laid down a textbook safety squeeze bunt to make it 4-0 Dodgers. Two innings later, Barnes went deep to the bullpen in left-center for a solo home run to make it 5-0.

Barnes went 1-for-3 in the game with the two RBIs. That was his first home run of the postseason. More importantly, the hit broke a 0-for-22 streak in the World Series Barnes had dating back to 2017.

Barnes is batting .350 this postseason with three runs and three RBIs. He was filling in for Will Smith with the start and gave the Dodgers exactly what they were looking for.

Walker Buehler makes some history with strikeout total in Game 3

Walker Buehler

The Los Angeles Dodgers won Game 3 of the World Series 6-2 over the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Friday night, and Walker Buehler’s pitching helped them get the win.

Buehler allowed just one run on three hits and a walk in six innings and left with a 6-1 lead. He struck out 10 batters in the outing.

According to MLB Communications, Buehler is the first pitcher in World Series history to record double-digit strikeouts in no more than six innings pitched.

Buehler has been dominant this postseason for the Dodgers. He’s 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA and a whopping 39 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Catcher Austin Barnes was highly complimentary of Buehler.

Buehler says a fearless approach has helped him pitch well in the pressure situations.

“I feel like I’ve failed in these moments. I’ve taken the failures that I’ve had and tried to learn from them,” Buehler said in his postgame interview on FOX.

The Dodgers now have a 2-1 series lead.

Video: Ji-Man Choi does full splits at first base

Ji-Man Choi

Ji-Man Choi went full gymnast in order to get an out in the field during Game 3 of the World Series between his Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

The first batter of the game was Mookie Betts, who grounded a ball to short off Charlie Morton. Willy Adames fielded the ball with his backhand and then bounced a throw to Choi, who stretched for the out. Choi went full splits to get Betts:

It’s the World Series, and players are willing to do anything to win. For Choi, that means going full splits to get an out. What an athletic play.

Blake Snell said he felt ‘terrible’ during Game 2 warmup

Blake Snell

Blake Snell had great stuff in Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday night, but he might not have predicted it coming out of his warmups.

The Tampa Bay Rays pitcher revealed to Jon Morosi of MLB.com that he felt “terrible” during his pregame bullpen. In response, he quickly ducked into the weight room before first pitch.

It seems to have worked. While Snell lasted only 4.2 innings and walked four, he struck out nine and allowed only two hits. He even took a no-hitter into the fifth before he was ultimately knocked out of the game.

Baseball history is filled with pitchers who felt awful warming up and then went out and spun gems. Snell didn’t go as deep into the game as he might have liked, but he gave the Rays what they were looking for.

Snell has some interesting responses to certain things when he’s getting ready to start games. As long as it works for him, there’s no reason to question it.

Randy Arozarena ties Derek Jeter postseason record during Rays’ Game 2 win

Randy Arozarena

Randy Arozarena continues to have a hot postseason, and he tied an impressive record on Wednesday night.

Arozarena went 1-for-3 with two walks in his Tampa Bay Rays’ 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 2 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Arozarena’s single in the ninth inning gave him 22 hits this postseason. That ties Derek Jeter for the most ever by a rookie in one postseason.

Jeter, who was widely recognized as a clutch hitter, had 22 hits in a postseason three times: 1996 (his rookie year), 2003 and 2009. Jeter accomplished the feat in 15, 17, and 15 games. Arozarena has done it in 16 games.

As for Rays fans wondering whether the hot hitting translates to a championship, the New York Yankees won the World Series in two of the three years when Jeter had 22 hits.

Arozarena also has seven home runs this postseason, which is one shy of tying the record for the most in a single postseason.

Chris Taylor ruins Blake Snell no-hitter with 2-run home run

Chris Taylor

Blake Snell came out strong for the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 2 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Wednesday night, and he even flirted with a no-hitter. But the Rays starter lost the no-hit effort in the worst way possible.

Snell no-hit the Dodgers through 4.2 innings of Game 2 but got into trouble in the fifth. He walked Enrique Hernandez with two outs. And then he served up a 2-run home run to Chris Taylor.

The 2-run opposite field home run for Taylor made the score 5-2. Snell allowed another walk and then a hit before being lifted for Nick Anderson.

What began as a dominant start for Snell ended as an average one. He was charged with both runs, two hits, and four walks in 4.2 innings. The Rays turned things over to their bullpen in hopes of closing out a victory to tie the series.

Photo: TonyTheTiger/Wikimedia via cc-by-sa 4.0

Brandon Lowe terrorizes Dodgers with two home runs in Game 2

Brandon Lowe

Brandon Lowe was the difference early in Game 2 of the World Series between his Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

Lowe took Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin deep for a solo home run as the second batter of the game.

Then in the fifth inning, Lowe delivered an even bigger blow. He crushed a 2-run home run to make it 5-0.

The home runs were much-needed for Lowe. The 26-year-old third baseman was struggling in the postseason. He entered the game batting .107 (6-for-56) with only one extra base hit in the postseason. The Rays getting some production from him makes a huge difference in the lineup.

The Dodgers entered Game 2 with a 1-0 series lead.

Photo: Erik Drost/Flickr via cc-by 2.0

Clayton Kershaw defies postseason reputation with impressive Game 1 start

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw defied his reputation as a postseason choker with an impressive start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in their 8-3 Game 1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday night.

Kershaw pitched six innings and allowed just one run, two hits, a walk and had eight strikeouts in the game. About his only mistake was a solo home run to Kevin Kiermaier in the fifth inning.

Kershaw entered the game 11-12 with a 4.78 ERA in the postseason. He had a career 1-2 record and 5.40 ERA in the World Series over 26.2 innings. To see him come out and dominate for six innings in such a big game was a surprise.

But Kershaw actually has a record amount of starts in the postseason of at least six innings with no more than one earned run and one walk.

The Dodgers southpaw is now up to 200 career postseason strikeouts and is five behind Justin Verlander’s postseason record of 205.

What this tells us is that despite all his struggles, Kershaw has also had plenty of good starts in the postseason. And in general, the guy has just gotten many more opportunities in the postseason than most players. Since making his MLB debut in 2008, the Dodgers have made the playoffs in 10 of 13 seasons.

Mookie Betts is America’s Free Locos Tacos hero

Mookie Betts

Mookie Betts did it again, and America loves him for it.

For the second time in his career, Mookie Betts earned America a free taco from Taco Bell.

The fast food restaurant is running its popular “Steal a Base, Steal a Taco” promotion. The first player to steal a base in the World Series earns America a free taco at Taco Bell.

In the 2018 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers, Betts (then with Boston) stole the first base of the series to earn everyone free tacos. In 2020, Betts did it again.

Betts stole second base in the bottom of the fifth inning of Game 1 of the World Series between his Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. He actually stole third base that inning as well and later scored on a ground ball.

Fans can redeem their free Doritos Locos Tacos at participating Taco Bell locations on Oct. 28 from 2-6 p.m. local time, as supplies last.

This is why Cody Bellinger did a foot tap celebration after huge home run

Cody Bellinger foot celebration

Cody Bellinger lived up to his word after smashing a 2-run home run in Game 1 of the World Series between his Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas on Tuesday night.

Bellinger homered off Rays starter Tyler Glasnow in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it a 2-0 game. After touching home plate, Bellinger celebrated with his teammates by tapping feet.

This was toned down from the big celebrations fans are used to. So why did he do it?

Bellinger hit the game-winning home run in Game 7 of the NLCS on Sunday and actually suffered a shoulder injury doing a forearm bash. Bellinger popped his shoulder back in and is fine, but he said he was going to change his celebratory method to avoid a repeat injury. He indeed stuck to that promise.

Bellinger is now up to three home runs this postseason.