Walker Buehler, Justin Turner shine in Game 3 win over the Rays
By Ian Blum
Alright guys I’m gonna take the blame for this one. While I can’t put a finger on it, for whatever reason I was sluggish today. Got up late, took a little long to get going on the school work and then had a power nap during the 2nd inning. I just wasn’t locked in today and it set the tone for the Rays tonight. I have to be better, you have to be better, we all have to be better tomorrow.
Charlie Morton came into tonight as a big time postseason pitcher. The Rays went into the market place to bring him in and hoped he could help them win big games. Up until this point he had done that. Justin Turner jumped on Morton early and opened the scoring with a homer in the 1st.
Max Muncy followed that up with a 2 RBI single in the 3rd to make it 3-0. A fun moment in the game came after that. Small ball isn’t popular in the age of analytics but it did not stop Dave Roberts from letting Austin Barnes pull a safety squeeze and scoring Cody Bellinger to make it 4-0.
In the 6th Barnes would hit a solo shot that would make the score 6-1. Later Randy Arozarena hit a homer in the 9th to tie the all time record in a single postseason. That is where the score would stay for the rest of the night.
Now that we have the recap out of the way we have to get into the story of the night which was of course the 26 year old Walker Buehler. Walker has been a big game pitcher with World Series experience coming into tonight so this was not anything new for him. However it becomes more and more evident each time he comes out to pitch that he is the new Dodgers ace. For the better part of a decade Clayton Kershaw has been the face of the pitching staff. Now as his career winds down Buehler has come in at a perfect time and has contributed in a big way.
Tonight Buehler went 6 innings allowing only 1 run on 3 hits. He also struck out 10 batters joining Tim Lincecum, Adam Wainwright, and Kershaw as the only pitchers to do that in the World Series since 2010.
The Rays are a team that strike out a lot and they were simply unable to lay off pitches out of the zone with 2 strikes. That’s easier than done of course because if you happened to miss the game, Buehler was absolutely disgusting tonight,
The Rays looked over matched tonight after I made all this talk about them belonging in this series. Guess what? They still do. I fully anticipate that the Rays will get after Julio Urias tomorrow despite his 4-0 record and 0.56 ERA. Kevin Cash hasn’t announced a Game 4 stater as of this writing but I predict it will be a bullpen day of sorts similar to what we saw from the Dodgers in Game 2. I won’t guarantee a Rays victory but I expect them to come out and have a better showing tomorrow.
While I have you here I want to tip my cap to Ji-Man Choi who made two eye popping plays at first base tonight. The first one of course being when he did the splits. I could not believe it when I saw it and part of me still can’t. I watch this over and over in awe.
That was amazing. But Choi wasn’t done winning over the hearts of Americans with big man athleticism. Check out this tag he put on Corey Seager:
It should be known that this is not a Rays blog, but it will forever be a Ji-Man Choi blog.