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Dodgers’ Opener And Notes

October 21, 2020

The Los Angeles Dodgers won a World Series opener for the second time in 4 seasons, a third in 32 completed, and just the fourth, (#32 Sandy Koufax set a then World Series strikeout mark in winning the 1963 opener vs a great Yankees team, that had “a bit” more hitting prowess than the woeful hitting Rays, who are a very good team, but simply not hitting) in 57–winning (8-3) vs Tampa Bay in game 1.

A very cocky, but tremendous player, Cody Bellinger again put L.A. ahead to stay, this time with a 2RHR/B4, one out after losing pitcher Tyler Glasnow yielded a leadoff walk to Max Muncy.

Walks undid Glasnow and the Rays in the bottom of the 5th, after Kershaw, who now again is getting far too much praise, as if his excellent 6 innings, 1 run, 2 hits performance, erases a career of post-season failures–maybe it does, but not in my book—did give one back T5.

Mookie Betts walked and stole second, talked incessantly with the Rays’ Willie Adames and was nearly picked off. NLCS MVP, Corey Seager drew his third walk and when “Just” Turner fanned, Betts and Seager “double stole.” (I did not have sound on, but in listening to highlights, Smoltz seems to credit Turner for the advance, “even though he struck out.” I had a nice little sign once, that said “put brain in motion before moving mouth” and Smoltz needs to adhere to that, more than just about any person who ever walked this earth). Muncy’s fielder’s choice, not shown with any clarity by Fox cameras, tuned Betts and eventually 3 more runs yielded an L.A. opener.

The Rays are (0-2) in World Series openers while the Dodgers are (7-14), (5-7) as L.A. and (2-7) when in Brooklyn.

In 40 percent of the 20 previous Dodgers’ W.S. the game 1 loser came back to “title,” 4 times vs the Dodgers (the Yankees doing so in ’52,’56 and ’78 while the Astros did so in 2017, something the Dodgers are still making excuses about. All 4 of those times, the first two in Brooklyn in a game 7 and the next two in respective games 6 and 7, the Dodgers were ousted on their home field) and 4 times favoring the Dodgers (’55, ’59,’65 and ’81–the first and last of those in 7 and 6 respectively clinched at Yankee Stadium while ’59 in 6 was at the White Sox and ’65 was at Minnesota and the only home World Series loss ever suffered by the Twins, victors in their other 11 home World Series tilts).

The oddsmakers do not give the Rays much chance of making 9, as L.A. is nearly a 4 to 1 series choice and even a 3 to 2 “fave” in #2 tonight, despite the Snell/T.B. vs Gonsolin and L.A. staff pitching matchup.

I have seen this “handwriting on the wall” for some time, though it got murky, as Atlanta led 3 games to 1 and seemed to lead (3-0) in #5.

However, a player named Ozuna left third too soon.

I once loved the Dodgers, still do re Sandy and those teams. (By the way, while Lou Johnson, Ron Perranoski and Jay Johnstone were not Whitey Ford–their aggregate contribution was immense, helping the club win titles in ’63, ’65, and ’81. The Yankees got a tribute onto their uniforms the same day, Whitey died. In the weeks since Lou, Ron and Jay died couldn’t the Dodgers have done similar?) but said no more after Lasorda stubbornly and frankly stupidly, pitched to Jack Clark. That cost the Dodgers any chance of winning the ’85 NLCS.

My father said he heard it before, as far as me giving up on this team, one whose fortunes and more misfortunes, I followed via “every half hour” sports reports on either WINS or WCBS, before each became far right and in better days. Yet I did stop rooting for them and as usual, I pay the price–this time seemingly emotional and not financial.

Also on October 15th, the anniversary (#32) of the L.A. win on Gibson’s HR in #1/’88 W.S. the Dodgers lost and fell down (3-1) vs Atlanta. They recovered and on the October 18th/43rd anniversary of Chambliss and of course Reggie’s 3 HRS to 6 L.A. and devastate me in ’77–the Dodgers won the NLCS with a 7th game triumph vs the Braves.

In another “reverse” outcome regarding the Dodgers, in their only other (maybe baseball’s only other) Tuesday October 20th, World Series opener, the Dodgers lost game 1 of the 1981 World Series to the Yankees. They recovered and won that World Series, their first after a 16 year drought.

Now they are top heavy “faves” to end a drought of double that time, having last won the World Series in 1988.

Thank you for your indulgence but alas what a year this has been, certainly not a good one!

Cody Bellinger 7 24 18 (cropped).jpg

Cody Bellinger, pictured above. Bob Welch’s #.

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