Buehler, Dodgers Cruise to Game 3 Victory

(Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Walker Buehler had yet another outstanding postseason performance. Buehler’s final line was six innings pitched, only allowing one run on three hits while striking out ten batters. The Dodgers gave Buehler an early lead when Justin Turner homered off Rays starter Charlie Morton in the first inning. From then on, Los Angeles cruised to a 6-2 Game 3 win and a 2-1 lead in the 2020 World Series. 

Morton, who had essentially pitched lights out all postseason, was victimized early. After the Turner long ball, the Dodgers tagged on two more in the top of the third inning. Corey Seager reached base with two outs after getting hit by a pitch. Turner then doubled to make it second and third with two outs. Max Muncy then singled up the middle to make it 3-0.

The Dodgers then scored two more in the fourth inning. Cody Bellinger hit a leadoff single and Joc Pederson followed with a single of his own, landing runners at the corners with one out. A nice display of small ball appeared when Austin Barnes laid down a great sacrifice bunt to score Bellinger. Mookie Betts followed up with an RBI single that scored Pederson.

The Rays got their first run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Manuel Margot hit a double for the Rays’ first hit off the ballgame and later scored on a Willy Adames double.

However, the Dodgers got that run right back when Barnes homered off Rays right-handed reliever John Curtiss. Barnes became the first player since the 1961 World Series to drive in a run on both a home run and a bunt.

Betts also recorded two hits and two stolen bases becoming the first player since 1972 to accomplish such a feat in the World Series.

Right-handed reliever Blake Treinen relieved Buehler in the seventh inning and pitched a scoreless frame with two punchouts. After Brusdar Graterol threw a perfect eighth, Kenley Jansen came in the ninth inning and got two easy outs, but he did serve up a meaningless one-run homer to Randy Arozarena. The Dodgers had done a good job of holding Arozarena at bay so far, after being one scary hitter this postseason.

The Dodgers now lead 2-1 and look to go up 3-1 in Game 4 on Saturday. Los Angeles will start left-hander Julio Urias, who last pitched in Game 7 of the NLCS. Urias pitched the last three innings of that game, recording the save. He also started Game 3 of that series, going five innings and allowing only one run. Urias is 4-0 this postseason with a 0.56 ERA.

The Rays still haven’t announced a starter, but all signs indicate that they will go to a bullpen game. One possible opener is left-hander Ryan Yarbrough.

The Dodgers should have a plentiful, well-rested bullpen after getting six full innings from Buehler.

First pitch for Game 4 is set for 5:08 p.m. Pacific.

5 thoughts on “Buehler, Dodgers Cruise to Game 3 Victory

  1. Great game! Nice to see AB barrel up, after laying down a perfect safety squeeze earlier. Now if Bellinger would just take advantage of the wide open left side, I’d be a happy fan. I’ll swear, a well placed bunt would give him a double anytime he tries.

    1. The crazy thing with Bellinger is that he’s bunted in those situations before. It’s not as though he doesn’t know how to lay down a bunt.
      Really happy to see Mookie running so much on the bases. That kind of stuff forces errors and puts extra pressure on the pitcher to keep an eye on him. All of that leads to wins.

  2. Great game. Cemented the fact to me that Buehler is the Ace. Kershaw is the legend. Urias is the Young Gun deputy with a trigger finger. May and Gonsolin are the new kids in town who can shoot the eye out of a crow. One game closer to ending the drought. Barnes called a great game and Buehler was about as calm as one could be. He hung a pitch that cost him a run, but other than that, he was dominant. I said at the beginning of the series that one of the keys was keeping Arozarena quiet. They have done that. His homer last night was meaningless other than to pad his stats. They have raved about him, and kept saying how great a pitcher Charlie Morton is. Granted he was 3-0 in the playoffs with a 0.67 ERA coming in. Now he is 3-1. Joe Buck is one of those guys who just is insufferable. I turned the sound down on my TV and just watched the game. Just like I would at the ball park. Between him and Smoltz, there is never a moment of silence. When they are not praising the Rays, they are talking about Smoltz’s career or some other stuff that has no connection to the game. The Ump last night missed some obvious strikes, and called some balls that were outside the zone strikes. I am pretty tired of one thing. And that is our players taking a called strike three. That is the most frustrating thing to watch.

    1. As usual, Bear … you are spot on! And I thought I was the only one who can’t stand Buck, and turned the volume off.

      1. Buck is no where near the announcer his dad was. And I think he got the job in large part because of his name. His dad was impartial as they come when he was not doing Cardinal games. Joe has to take sides. You would think the entire Rays pitching staff was made up of hall of famers. Sorry, Morton in his career is 4 games above .500. Has an ERA over 4. Has never won a Cy Young award. Yeah, he was 3-0 coming into the game with a minuscule 0.76 ERA. For this World Series it is now 10.28. Snell has a Cy Young, but he is beatable. Any pitcher is. They have some flame throwers coming out of the pen. But most are young, all are inexperienced, and no pitcher is unhittable. Oh Yeah, Morton was 2-2 this season with a 4.74 ERA in 9 games. Nothing mystical about that.

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