After an absolutely disastrous loss in Game 4, it felt the Dodgers were on the brink in Game 5 against the Rays even with the series just tied. Because it could be no other way, they sent Clayton Kershaw to the mound against Tyler Glasnow in a Game 1 rematch.
Showing incredible heart the Dodgers jumped out to an early lead they never relinquished as both Kershaw and the pen stepped up.
The Dodgers got to Glasnow and taxed them early last time around, and things continued in Game 5. Mookie Betts led the game off with a double and Corey Seager immediately followed with a single to make it 1-0. So much for a hangover. After advancing to second on the a wild pitch, Max Muncy drew a one-out walk, and Seager advanced to third on another wild pitch. With two down, Cody Bellinger then singled into the shift to make it 2-0.
Joc Pederson then led off the second by continuing Joctober, smashing a homer to left-center for a 3-0 lead.
The Dodgers started again in the 3rd with a Max Muncy single, advancing to second on a wild pitch, but they couldn’t make anything out of it.
Meanwhile, Kershaw wasn’t sharp, as he didn’t have his best slider and that always bodes poorly. He faced some minor trouble in the 2nd, allowing a lead-off single that advanced to second on a ground out, but didn’t allow anything to come of it.
Randy Arozarena then singled him home to make it 3-2 and things seemed to shift the other direction.
The 4th saw the biggest danger to Kershaw’s game. A lead-off walk to Manuel Margot led to him stealing second and advancing to third after Chris Taylor failed to catch an on-target throw. After another walk, disaster seemed to loom, but Kershaw fought back, getting a pop-out and a strikeout to put him on the verge. Then in a surprising play, Margot tried a straight steal of home and the Dodgers barely got him at the plate for a huge escape.
That seemed to be another shift in momentum, as with two-out in the 5th, Max Muncy absolutely unloaded on a fastball to make it 4-2.
After Kershaw got two outs on two pitches in the 6th, Dave Roberts came to get him for Dustin May, which left him open to second guessing. However, Kershaw never looked sharp and … well, John Smoltz made a good argument.
Smoltz made the argument for taking him out. That Kershaw wasn't sharp (agree, it was just one more out at most) and it gives May an ideal insertion for the game (didn't think about that, but makes sense).— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) October 26, 2020
Kershaw never looked sharp, but instead of imploding like people expect, he fought and battled and got through it, showing incredible poise in his worst moments.
May got out of the 6th and then followed with a 1-2-3 frame in the 7th as well. After a single to start the 8th, May rebounded with a fly out, but Dave went to Victor Gonzalez out of the pen. It was a move that would’ve led to him being roasted if it didn’t work, but I thought it made sense.
While he issued a walk to start, he rebounded with two outs against the Rays best hitters.
With all the relievers either ineffective or down, Blake Treinen took the ball again in the 9th. He started by allowing a single, but rebounded with two fly outs and a strikeout to end it.
One win away.
After another off day tomorrow, Game 6 will take place at the same time of 2:08 PM HST/5:08 PM PST/8:08 PM EST and same place on FOX. The Dodgers will run a pen game behind presumably Tony Gonsolin against Blake Snell.