A defeat in game three of the World Series sees the Tampa Bay Rays fall behind 2-1.
Dodgers’ starting pitcher Walker Buehler was in excellent form, but Tampa Bay’s offense had another poor night. In an eerily similar manner to game one, the Rays struggled to impose themselves while the Dodgers were at their brash, and belligerent, best.
Charlie Morton was the starting pitcher for the Rays, but he was the shadow of his usual self. Justin Turner homered in the first inning, and Morton could not make amends. In 4.1 IP, he gave up seven hits as well as five runs before being replaced by John Curtiss.
It was the bottom of the fifth inning before the Rays could get a hit. Manuel Margot’s double was scant consolation as the Dodgers had were well on their way to victory at that point.
The one bright moment for the Rays was Randy Arozarena’s 9th inning homer. The rookie scored his eight HR in postseason and 23rd hit to become a record-breaker. If the Rays are to turn around the deficit in the series, Arozarena will need to keep his bat hot.
Picking through the bones of the match, here are five takeaways for Tampa Bay Rays fans.
Need to find a win against Kershaw or Buehler
In two matchups with the Dodgers’ ace starting pitchers, the Rays have been totally dominated. Both Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler pitched six innings, in their respective starts, and gave up a miserly single hit.
Undoubtedly, they are both excellent pitchers, but the Rays have not been close to pressuring them. They have a combined 18 strikeouts as the Rays’ offense is struggling to lay a bat on ball.
If the Rays are going to win the World Series, they will need to find a way to score of one if not both pitchers. They are likely to face Kershaw in game five which could be to close out the series for the Dodgers if the Rays drop game four. That is a worrying prospect based on game one’s outcome.