Astros vs. Dodgers. Dallas Keuchel vs. Clayton Kershaw. AL vs. NL. Loud, vibrant old-timey-looking stadium vs. park with a train inside of it. It’s the 2017 World Series, and we’re here to live blog it all. Starting, of course, with Game 1. Just because it’s near Hollywood doesn’t mean we need to Tarantino this thing and start in the middle.
The Astros defeated the Yankees in a seven-game ALCS to get into their second-ever World Series, and their first as the representative of the American League. The Dodgers haven’t made it to the Fall Classic since 1988, when Orel Hershiser was the age Clayton Kershaw is now.
The Astros have more cumulative pain since they haven’t ever won, sure, but the Dodgers have gone the entire lives of plenty of their fans without a championship, too. This is potential heartbreak vs. potential heartbreak, which seems to be a theme this decade.
First pitch is at 8:08 p.m. ET, and we’ll kick things off in the live blog then. As usual, if you want to catch up from the beginning, scroll down to the “1st inning” header and work your way back up.
Just so we’re clear about how rare what is currently happening is, first pitch was at 8:11 p.m. ET. It’s 10:31 p.m. ET as I write this, and there are three outs left in the game, assuming the Astros do not shock the Dodgers and everyone watching this game by hitting Kenley Jansen hard enough to extend the proceedings.
Oh, yeah, by the way, Kenley Jansen is in for the Dodgers now, and he’s due to face Springer, Bregman, and Altuve.
You would think Springer would be thrilled to be facing anyone besides Kershaw, but Jansen isn’t exactly easy to get a hit off of. Springer is aware of that now after watching strike three go by on the corner for his fourth strikeout of the game. Houston is down to their final two outs.
Bregman really battled, forcing Jansen to throw eight pitches and working a full count, but he flies out to center. It’s down to Jose Altuve to extend Game 1 for the Astros. He does not, as he flies out to Puig, and the Dodgers win Game 1 of the 2017 World Series, 3-1.
Don’t worry, Kourtney, they’re talking about your fiancé on FOX now.
Brandon Morrow is now in for the Dodgers, and that’s a pretty terrible reward for getting Clayton Kershaw out of a game. He gets Marwin Gonzalez out on just a couple of pitches, then gets Reddick to foul out on six pitches. The Astros are down to their last four outs, and they are down two runs.
Carlos Beltran is pinch-hitting, so that’s the end of the night for Peacock. And also the end of the night for Beltran, as he grounds out and then is replaced by the new pitcher, Chris Devenski.
Devenski has not had the best postseason, and that’s been a problem considering he was their setup guy in the regular season. He only managed to accrue 2⁄3 of an inning in the ALCS even though he appeared in two games, and he didn’t get more chances than that in large part because AJ Hinch had to find other pitchers who could keep them alive.
He just picked up his second out of the World Series, so he’s already matched his ALCS output. And now he’s surpassed it! Still 3-1, Dodgers, heading to the ninth.
Altuve gets a hit against Kershaw, and that gets the Dodgers’ bullpen up even though the lefty has thrown just 77 pitches. Correa grounds into an almost double play, but he’s safe at first — the Dodgers now at least get to have one out and only one baserunner when they face Yuli Gurriel, though.
That’s two near double plays in a row that end up getting just the one out, but instead, there’s a drop at second base by Forsythe, and the Dodgers just get the one again.
You can tell this is a different year for Kershaw and the Dodgers, as this mistake that forced Kershaw to face another batter and throw more pitches didn’t result in something as upsetting as a game-tying homer. Instead, Kershaw retires McCann, and he’s through seven innings on 83 pitches.
Kershaw is also getting some hugs in the dugout, so his night might be over just because of the inning. The Dodgers’ pen is awesome, and there could very well be two more opportunities for Kershaw to pitch, so might as well treat the low pitch count as a bonus, no?
Keuchel seems unaffected by giving up that dinger, as he gets the first two outs on, you guessed it, grounders. Seager then shows people why they should be happy he’s back in the lineup with a hard-hit single up the middle.
And that will be the game for Keuchel, who gets through 6-2/3 innings with three runs allowed, three strikeouts, the lone walk, and 11 groundouts. Brad Peacock will be in to relieve him.
The thinking might be, given Keuchel was at just 84 pitches, that the Astros can afford to avoid riding him too hard with Justin Verlander going in Game 2 and the day off on Thursday for the pen to recover.
Peacock has not had a good postseason, not even a little bit. He has an ERA of 9.00 in five innings, and he’s had just those five frames despite making a postseason start in the ALDS. The strikeouts are there — eight in all — but there’s too much of all the stuff he doesn’t want piling up like that.
The right-hander starts things off with a walk to Forsythe, and now here’s Barnes with Seager in scoring position. Peacock manages to get out of it, so it’s still 3-1, Dodgers.
If you combine what Keuchel and Kershaw have done so far, they’ve gone 10 innings on 111 pitches, struck out 11 batters, walked none, and allowed just two runs. Pretty good, considering the lineups they’re facing.
Now they’ve combined for 12 strikeouts, as Kershaw just got his 10th while facing Keuchel. Great teamwork, guys!
George Springer looked awful against Kershaw yet again — he’s struck out three times already, and it’s just the sixth inning. Bregman’s out to end the inning isn’t a strikeout, so Kershaw “only” has 11, the most anyone has picked up against the Astros in 2017.
Astros offense had the fewest strikeouts in MLB this year. Clayton Kershaw's 11 K are most by any pitcher against them in 2017— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) October 25, 2017
Kershaw might be dominating the strikeout competition tonight, but Keuchel has him in grounders with ease: the first out of the bottom of the sixth comes on Keuchel’s eighth groundout of Game 1.
Grounder number nine comes courtesy Clayton Kershaw, and the Dodgers are back to the top of their lineup.
Chris Taylor walks — somehow, it’s the first either pitcher has surrendered to this point. Keuchel is at 64 pitches through 5-2/3, and here’s Justin Turner to try to get his first hit of the night.
Turner makes said hit count, bashing a two-run homer to left field. It’s now 3-1, Dodgers, and Ben Lindbergh is vindicated.
Keuchel recovers and gets Bellinger swinging to end the inning. All told, he’s still through six innings with just three runs allowed on 72 pitches, so the Astros probably don’t need to think about lifting him just yet.
Brian McCann grounds out into the shift, and Kershaw is through 4-1/3 on 53 pitches. Alex Rodriguez, by the way, is analyzing the game from home. Just like the rest of us!
Keuchel at 30 pitches. No change ups. Not good. That pitch is a great weapon for him.— Alex Rodriguez (@AROD) October 25, 2017
Gonzalez grounds out on the first pitch he sees, so the Astros are apparently very afraid of facing the Los Angeles bullpen and want to keep Kershaw in as long as they can.
Woof, Josh Reddick strikes out looking, and Kershaw gets out of the inning on just six pitches.
Keuchel gets strikeout number two of the game against Kiké Hernandez to open up the fifth. He seems to have settled in pretty well after an alarming start. I’m back to telling you to be mad at Ben Lindbergh.
But now Corey Seager has singled against Keuchel, so I might have told the mob to light their torches too soon. Let’s just play it by ear for a bit.
You know, we’re talking about Kershaw’s efficient start, but Keuchel has thrown three pitches fewer through five innings, thanks to a double play that just ended the frame.
Amid the announce team talking about how Alex Bregman is wrecking lefties at the plate this postseason, he hits a shot to left field, and the game is all tied up. That’s the seventh homer Kershaw has allowed in four starts this month.
Altuve thinks he drew a walk on a 3-2 pitch, and started to happily run down the line, but the ump called it strike three. To be fair to Altuve, that thing was below his knees, but Barnes framed it back up in the zone, and the ump was fooled. There’s no such controversy on the next punch out call, at least, with Correa walking off immediately knowing he just watched strike three go by. That’s seven strikeouts for Kershaw.
And there’s eight, as Gurriel goes down swinging to end the top of the fourth.
What’s this? Dallas Keuchel retired the leadoff hitter? And said hitter was Justin Turner, too! Cody Bellinger grounds out to first, so that’s two down. Yasiel Puig is doing that thing where he’s decided he’s not going to bother swinging until he feels like it, so there are goofy leg kicks in this plate appearance. He’s the best.
When Puig finally does swing, it’s a ground out — Keuchel’s sixth of the game already — and we’re through four.
Taco Bell’s annual free taco promotion is back, but someone is going to have to give up a non-dinger baserunner for America to even have a chance at a free taco. Kershaw does not care about your hunger, striking out Marwin Gonzalez for the first out. Here’s Reddick, who again, the Dodgers’ fans just hate.
Reddick gets a grounder through the right side of the infield just in time for Dallas Keuchel to come to the plate and attempt to bunt him over to second base. Reddick had just one hit in the ALCS, so... this start is better!
Keuchel is quickly down 0-2, but he gives bunting a try again anyway. He has three hits in 44 career plate appearances, so hey, why not? It’s 2-2 now, by the way, as Kershaw has missed the strike zone on his last two pitches. Keuchel wastes the gifts, however, bunting on what was probably ball three, and he’s now out on a foul ball.
Now it’s George Springer and the top of the order trying to avoid stranding the first Astros’ baserunner of the game. Spoiler: he failed, with another strikeout, Kershaw’s fifth of the game. That’s 35 pitches through three frames for Kershaw.
Keuchel is back out for the third, and he’ll face Austin Barnes, Kershaw, and then Chris Taylor again. Barnes singles, and that’s the third inning in a row where the leadoff hitter has reached base against the Astros’ ace.
Kershaw took ball one and then pretended he was going to bunt, but the feint didn’t work out. He ended up getting Barnes over to second in the end with a successful bunt, but then a liner to Carlos Correa from Taylor starts a double play, and Keuchel escapes the jam.
Kershaw gets through Carlos Correa with the same ease he retired Altuve, getting the shortstop to fly out to center. That brings up Yuli Gurriel, who is batting .366/.409/.512 this postseason. Now he’s a little worse than that, as he just became Kershaw’s second strikeout victim.
Brian McCann, ALCS hero, grounds out, and gives Kershaw his second 1-2-3 inning out of two.
I’ll be Kiké Hernandez, Corey Seager, and Logan Forsythe in the second for Los Angeles. Hernandez hit three dingers against the Cubs in the deciding game of the NLCS, driving in seven runs in the process. This one doesn’t go yard, but he does dump a single into left field to give the Dodgers a leadoff baserunner.
Corey Seager didn’t play in the NLCS, with Charlie Culberson filling in (admirably, even) for the injured star shortstop. Now Dodgers fans all miss having Culberson around, as Seager grounds into a double play to erase Hernandez.
Josh Reddick fails to catch a foul ball, and boos rain down upon him — Reddick was not only ineffective as a trade acquisition for Los Angeles a year ago, but then he made comments about the fans before the World Series began. So... get used to those boos!
Reddick’s miss doesn’t impact the Astros, as Keuchel gets Forsythe to then fly out to center to end the second.
The Dodgers have home field advantage, so we’re kicking things off with Clayton Kershaw pitching on full rest, which... does not happen as often as you might think! It’s 103 degrees in Los Angeles by the way, which Joe Buck says makes this the hottest postseason game in history.
Kershaw has been giving up dingers all over the place this postseason — he’s allowed six already in just three starts — but everything else has been working well enough for him that the Dodgers are here instead of their usual, which is to very much not be here.
The lefty will face George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Jose Altuve in the first. He gets Springer striking out on four pitches, all strikes, so his World Series career is off to a good start.
Bregman lifts a fly ball to left field, but nowhere near deep enough even with all this extra hot air to help the balls fly. Two down, Altuve up.
Altuve vs. Kershaw is some perfect dream matchup stuff, but Kershaw gets the best of the heart of the Astros in their first World Series meeting to complete a 1-2-3 first.
Dallas Keuchel was roughed up by the Yankees in his final ALCS start, but it didn’t keep Houston from advancing. Over at The Ringer, Ben Lindbergh wrote today about how the Dodgers’ lineup is exactly the wrong one for Keuchel to be facing given they are able to lay off pitches and he requires opponents to swing at pitches they shouldn’t. Let’s see if he’s right, and judge him harshly if the Dodgers falter.
Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger start things off for the Dodgers. Taylor gets things going in a hurry with solo shot, so, uh, maybe Ben knew what he was talking about. 1-0, Dodgers, and on one pitch.
That homer went pretty far, by the way:
You can already see huge beads of sweat on Keuchel, who just threw his seventh pitch, for the same reason Taylor’s homer just kept going: it’s 103 degrees out.
Justin Turner strikes out so maybe we shouldn’t write Keuchel off after one homer. Doesn’t seem fair and all. Especially not now that he has three outs following Bellinger and Yasiel Puig grounders — wow, that Ben Lindbergh guy told us things would be different, smh.