Manager Dave Roberts announced Gonsolin as the starter after the Dodgers won 8-3 in Game 1 on Tuesday night. But Roberts, who had earlier described it as a bullpen-like game “using various arms,” also said Julio Urias and Dustin May would be available to pitch.
The Rays have 2018 AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell lined up to start Wednesday night. Snell was 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA in 11 regular-season starts this year, and is 2-2 with a 3.20 ERA in four post-season starts.
Urias, the 24-year-old lefty already in his fourth post-season, closed out Game 7 of the NL Championship Series by retiring the last nine Atlanta batters on 39 pitches. He is 4-0 in his four appearances this post-season. His only start was NLCS Game 3, when he pitched five innings in a 15-3 win when the Dodgers had a record 11-run first before he threw his first pitch.
Depending on if and how Urias is used before then, he could also be a potential starter for Game 4, though Roberts again was revealing no plans before the game.
“To keep that optionality just makes sense, and to have Julio be in with us and understanding how we value him, certainly it’s helpful,” Roberts said.
Snell has faced the Dodgers only once in his career, in September 2019 at Dodger Stadium, when he struck out four while retiring all six batters he faced in his return from the 10-day injured list.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw became only the second pitcher ever with at least 200 post-season strikeouts.
Kershaw’s eight strikeouts over his six innings in Game 1 on Tuesday night pushed the post-season career total to 201 for the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner from nearby Dallas.
A strikeout of Willy Adames for the second out in the fifth was Kershaw’s 200th. He joined Justin Verlander (205) as the only pitchers to reach that mark. After Kevin Kiermaier’s solo homer, the only run he allowed, Kershaw ended the fifth by striking out Mike Zunino.
No. 3 on the post-season strikeout list at 199 is John Smoltz, who was in the stadium working on Fox’s national TV broadcast.
GLASNOW Ks — AND WALKS
Tampa Bay Rays starter Tyler Glasnow struck out eight in 4 1-3 innings, becoming only the sixth pitcher in World Series history with at least eight strikeouts in fewer than five innings.
The last pitcher to do that was Justin Verlander for Detroit in Game 1 in 2006.
But Glasnow also had six walks, the first pitcher since Steve Carlton in Game 2 of the 1980 World Series with at least eight strikeouts and six walks in the same game.
His 112 pitches were a career high, and the most for any Rays pitcher since July 2018.
The Dodgers became the first team with three stolen bases in the same inning of a World Series game since the New York Giants against the Boston Red Sox in Game 6 in 1912.
Mookie Betts had a leadoff walk in the fifth inning, then stole second base. After Corey Seager also walked, he and Betts pulled off a double steal.
CASH IN TEXAS
Before Kevin Cash was hired as a first-time manager with the Tampa Bay Rays in December 2014, he was also interviewed by the Texas Rangers and was one of the finalists for their vacancy that off-season.
Now Cash is leading the Rays in their first World Series since 2008, which is being played in the Rangers’ new $1.2 billion stadium.
Cash said he is still “extremely appreciative” of the opportunity the Rangers presented in that interview process, and said there was a time then that he was excited about whether he would get that job.
“But saying that, I’m pretty thrilled to be where I’m at, and in Tampa with all of the people I get to work with on a daily basis,” Cash said before Game 1.
Jeff Banister got the Rangers job after the 2014 season. He won AL West titles his first two seasons, and was there two more years before Dodgers third base coach Chris Woodward replaced him two years ago.
While the Rays had an AL-best 40-20 record in MLB’s pandemic-shortened regular season, the Rangers were at the bottom of the AL with a 22-38 record.
Like it was throughout the National League Division Series and NLCS games the Dodgers played there, the retractable roof at Globe Life Field was open for the World Series opener.
Major League Baseball plans to keep the roof open through the playoffs, unless there’s rain. There is no wet weather in the immediate forecast.
It was a pleasant night for the first World Series game played in Arlington since 2011, when the Rangers played in their second consecutive World Series. There were clear skies and the temperature was 84 degrees at first pitch, and it was still in the upper 70s when the game ended.