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Walker Buehler is Brilliant in Game 3, as Dodgers Defeat Rays, 6-2, to Take Back Control of World Series
10/24/2020 3:23am

Justin Turner trotted around the bases, his long red beard bouncing back and forth, the back of his uniform stained by a pine-tar infused backswing. Before touching home plate Turner looked up at the Dodgers dugout and mouthed something inaudible for the 11,447 in attendance, but that resonated clearly with his teammates:We can beat this guy.To fully understand the context of Turners words, you have to travel back three years prior to the 2017 World Series between the Dodgers and Astros.Houston right-hander Charlie Morton had defeated the Dodgers twice. Posting a 1.78 ERA in two appearances, including a victory in the decisive Game 7.Now, Morton was once again pitching against the Dodgers in the World Series. This time with the Tampa Bay Rays in a pivotal Game 3, with the series tied at one apiece. Turners first inning homer sent a signal to his teammates that history would not repeat itself. Not on this day. Not in this year.Justin Turner 10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game 3 of the 2020 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Globe Life Field on Friday, October 23, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty ImagesWalker Buehler took the lead Turner handed him and did the rest, striking out 10 as the Dodgers defeated the Rays, 6-2, in Game 3 on Friday night.He was unbelievable, said Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes. He really was. That might be the best Ive ever seen his stuff.Like Blake Snell did before him in Game 2, Buehler took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before surrendering a one-out double to Manuel Margot. It was the first time starting pitchers had thrown four or more innings without allowing a hit on back-to-back nights in the World Series since 1995.Being a big-game pitcher and succeeding on this stage, theres only a few guys throughout history whove done that, and hes in some really elite company, said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts of Buehler. Im just happy hes wearing a Dodgers uniform.Buehler was brilliant on Friday, becoming the first pitcher in World Series history to have 10 strikeouts in six or fewer innings. Buehler allowed just one run in the game, but more importantly, he helped take the momentum back for the Dodgers.I felt good tonight, said Buehler, stating the obvious. The more you do these things the calmer you get. I enjoy doing this and I feel good in these spots. Right now I just want to win two more games.Game 3 was billed as a good old-fashioned pitchers duel, featuring the first matchup of two top ten postseason pitchers by earned run average in the World Series since Curt Schilling vs. Orlando Hernandez in 2001.However, the Dodgers made sure it would not be the low-scoring pitchers duel we all expected, instead Los Angeles made sure it was a lopsided affair.Turner tied Duke Snider for the Dodgers all-time franchise record for homers with 11 when he torched a 95 MPH fastball from Morton into the cardboard cutouts in left field for an early 1-0 lead.Ive had the opportunity to play on a lot of good baseball teams that have played deep into October and Ive gotten a lot of at-bats, said Turner of tying Sniders record. Its pretty cool and something I can talk about when Im done playing.Turner continued to be the catalyst for the Dodgers in the top of the third inning. A two-out double put runners on second and third for Max Muncy, who looped a single to center field that put L.A. ahead, 3-0.I thought we did a really good job against him tonight, Turner said of Morton. Battling him and making him work, and making him throw a lot of pitches.An inning later, the Dodgers delivered an October surprise, but not one you would typically expect during an election year.After singles by Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson put runners at the corners with one out, Austin Barnes put together an at-bat that proved to be atypical of the new normal in modern baseball: he put down a safety squeeze.They ask you to do something and you need to do it, said Barnes of the bunt. Being able to scratch those runs across were huge. Runs are at a premium in the postseason, and with Walker throwing the ball the way he did it was an important run.Austin Barnes 15 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits an RBI sacrifice bunt against the Tampa Bay Rays during the fourth inning in Game Three of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 23, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty ImagesIn an era of launch angle and record-setting home run totals, Barnes executed a textbook safety squeeze when he bunted down the first base line, allowing Bellinger to score from third. Suddenly a game of checkers had turned into chess, and Barnes became the second player in World Series history to have a squeeze bunt and a home run in the same game when he homered in his next at-bat to give the Dodgers a five-run lead.Once I saw Joc roll around first base on the turn, we got a situational at-bat, said Roberts, explaining why he called the safety squeeze. Morton is really tough on right-handed hitters and you have a plus runner on third base in Cody Bellinger. I trust Austin handling the bat, nothing against Ji-Man Choi at first base, I just dont think hes fleet of foot, so I felt if we could get something down on the right side of the infield that we could get an insurance run and Austin did a great job of executing.Barnes became the 11th different Dodger to homer in the postseason. Only Matt Beaty and A.J. Pollock have yet to hit a home run among Dodger hitters.The home run by Barnes also marked the Dodgers 50th run scored with two outs in the 2020 postseason. A new MLB record. Its about not giving up, said Mookie Betts about the secret to the Dodgers scoring with two outs. Obviously theres two outs, but you can still build an inning. Dont give away at-bats. Thats how you win a World Series and we need to do that for two more games.With Buehler looking every bit the big-game pitcher hes built his reputation on the past few postseasons, the final five innings passed by like sand through an hourglass, a slow-paced slog with fans counting down the outs like an astronomer counts stars, the final outcome inevitable.The Rays proved they still had a pulse in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Margot broke up the no-hitter with a double, Willy Adames followed with a double of his own and Tampa Bay was on the board. But the bats never woke up after that. Not against Buehler and the Dodgers bullpen.He was outstanding, said Rays manager Kevin Cash of Buehler. You totally understand and appreciate why hes so talented and destined for a lot of success. He has a really special fastball that just gets on hitters, and he commands it well. It was just dominant, dominant stuff.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts turned to his high-leverage relievers for the first time in the series, as Blake Treinen, Brusdar Graterol, and Kenley Jansen each pitched an inning of relief to shut the door on the Rays.At that time in the game and that part of the order I wanted to get Blake in there to shorten the game, said Roberts. Brusdar and Kenley havent pitched in four-or-five days so I wanted to get them both in the game.Randy Arozarena tied the MLB record for the most home runs in a single postseason with eight when he took Jansen deep with the Rays down to their last strike. Thats pretty special territory, said Cash of Arozarenas record. Hes certainly made the most of his opportunities in his first chance. We dont have the success weve had to date without him and we were all happy for him to get the big home run there.Through three games the World Series has proven to be a bareknuckle fight between two heavyweights. The Dodgers and Rays took turns walloping each other in Games 1 and 2, before Buehler bullied the Rays in Game 3.The Dodgers will hand the ball in Game 4 to Mexican left-hander Julio Urias, as he tries to fill the shoes of another legendary Southpaw from Mexico in Fernando Valenzuela.Valenzuela got the win and threw a complete game in his one and only World Series start in Game 3 of the 1981 Fall Classic against the New York Yankees.Now, Urias will try and deliver a devastating blow to the Rays with a chance to put the Dodgers within one win of their first World Series title since 1988.Los Angeles Dodgers9 hours agoMLB Players Extend Streak of no COVID-19 Positives to 54 DaysLos Angeles Dodgers9 hours agoRoof Closed for World Series Game 3 Between Dodgers, RaysLos Angeles Dodgers9 hours agoAustin Barnes to Catch Walker Buehler, Will Smith to DH for Dodgers in World Series Game 3This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

NBA Targeting Dec. 22 as Start to Coming Season, Source Says
10/23/2020 10:46pm

The NBA may be back before Christmas and fans could return to games at some point next season, if one plan considered by the leagues board of governors becomes reality.The board is targeting a Dec. 22 start to what would be a season of 70 to 72 games, with the NBA Finals ending in June again as has been in the case for many years, according to a person with knowledge of the situation. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because no plan has been finalized, said the possibility of fans being at games would hinge on how a particular market is faring against the coronavirus at that time.There are other options, such as waiting until later in the season to begin play with the hope that more arenas would be able to have fans. But starting in December instead of mid-January or later could generate a difference of roughly $500 million in revenue, the person said.Revenue projections for the league this season were missed by about $1.5 billion, the person said. The losses were the result of a combination of factors the shutdown caused by the pandemic, the cancelation of 171 regular-season games, completing the season in a bubble at Walt Disney World without fans, the nearly $200 million price tag for operating that bubble and a yearlong rift with the Chinese government that saw NBA games not shown on state television there.No decisions have been finalized on next season and talks with the National Basketball Players Association remain ongoing on many matters, including the financial parameters for the coming year. Those talks, especially on the money issue, would have to be concluded before any real decisions about next season are made.The NBPA has not made any final decisions on how it wants to see the league proceed, either. But this plan, starting in December and ending in June, would get the 2021-22 season virus-permitting back to normal, with 82-game slates starting in October.A pre-Christmas start for the upcoming season would mean the offseason for the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat would be almost absurdly short, since a Dec. 22 start date would mean teams would likely be starting training camps around the end of November. This seasons NBA Finals ended on Oct. 11, so the Heat and Lakers could basically have as little as seven weeks off.It would also mean that the league, and its broadcast partners, would get to keep Christmas games on the schedule. The league has made Christmas a five-game slate in recent years, primarily because of how many viewers tune in on the holiday.Typically, a mid-June end to the finals is followed by about a 3 1/2-month break before the following training camp. But a June ending of next season would also allow players to compete in next summers rescheduled Tokyo Olympics, which are set to begin in July.NBA Coveragevoting20 hours agoArenas, Stadiums Find New Life as Safer Options for VotingLos Angeles LakersOct 12Lakers Run Past Heat for 17th NBA ChampionshipThe U.S. has already qualified for those Olympics, as have seven other nations. There are 24 teams left to compete for the final four spots in the mens basketball field for the Tokyo Games, with those qualifiers set to begin in June. If the NBA season goes into July or longer, it would seriously jeopardize plans to have many of the leagues players taking part in the Olympics.Still, any December resumption of play would necessitate a serious time crunch to get rosters settled. The NBA draft is scheduled for Nov. 18 and it remains unclear when free agency which typically follows the draft would take place.It would be nice to have all of the numbers and everything in a tiny little binder, you know, but because of the pandemic and the delay in the season, this is where we are now, Miami Heat President Pat Riley said Friday, speaking at his annual end-of-season availability with reporters. I think the NBA and the Players Association are going to try to get that together.There were 171 games canceled this season by the coronavirus, which caused the league to suspend operations on March 11. The league sent 22 of its 30 teams to a bubble at Walt Disney World in July, with play resuming July 30 and the full 16-team playoffs going on as scheduled though all without fans.

Austin Barnes to Catch Walker Buehler, Will Smith to DH for Dodgers in World Series Game 3
10/23/2020 9:03pm

Austin Barnes was back behind the plate to catch Los Angeles Dodgers ace Walker Buehler in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night.Will Smith moved from catcher to designated hitter in place of A.J. Pollock, who was out of the lineup.Joc Pederson was inserted in left field, Chris Taylor shifted from left field to second base and Kik Hernndez was out of the lineup.Right fielder Mookie Betts hit leadoff, followed by shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Justin Turner, first baseman Max Muncy, Smith, center fielder Cody Bellinger, Taylor, Pederson and Barnes.Tampa Bay went with the same lineup and batting order as in its Game 2 win that tied the Series at one game apiece.Designated hitter Austin Meadows led off, followed by second baseman Brandon Lowe, left fielder Randy Arozarena, first baseman Ji-Man Choi, right fielder Manuel Margot, third baseman Joey Wendle, shortstop Willy Adames, center fielder Kevin Kiermaier and catcher Mike Zuinino.Rays starter Charlie Morton entered with seven straight winning postseason decisions, one shy of Orlando Hernandezs record.Tampa Bay is the home team for Games 3 through 5 after starting as the visitor.Los Angeles Dodgers9 hours agoRoof Closed for World Series Game 3 Between Dodgers, RaysLos Angeles Dodgers9 hours agoMLB Players Extend Streak of no COVID-19 Positives to 54 Days

Roof Closed for World Series Game 3 Between Dodgers, Rays
10/23/2020 8:53pm

The roof at Globe Field will be closed for Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.The commissioners office said in a statement it made the decision given Fridays forecasted temperatures, wind chill and the possibility of rain.The game-time temperature is forecast at about 51 degrees.The roof at the new $1.2 billion home of the Texas Rangers had been open for the first two games. The temperature was 82 degrees when Tuesdays opener began and 81 degrees when Game 2 started Wednesday night.MLB said it consulted with medical advisers and believes a closed roof will provide the best competitive environment for players and the most comfort for fans without jeopardizing their safety in any way.The Series was tied at one game apiece after Los Angeles won the opener 8-3 and Tampa Bay won Game 2 by 6-4.Los Angeles Dodgers9 hours agoMLB Players Extend Streak of no COVID-19 Positives to 54 DaysdoughnutsOct 21SoCal&039s Delicious Dodgers Doughnuts Are a Home Run

MLB Players Extend Streak of no COVID-19 Positives to 54 Days
10/23/2020 8:38pm

Major League Baseballs postseason bubble succeeded as a defense against the novel coronavirus.MLB players extended their streak of consecutive days with no new COVID-19 tests to 54 through Thursday during a time of rising cases in which of the United States.Players did not have positive tests in 62 of the previous 63 days, the commissioners office said Friday.There were no positive tests among 3,597 samples samples collected in the week.MLB has collected 172,740 samples overall, of which 91 have been positive, or 0.05.Fifty-seven of 91 positives have been players, and 21 of the 30 teams have had a person covered by the monitoring test positive.The eight teams that reached the Division Series entered bubble environments and played at neutral sites in the hope of minimizing exposure to the virus. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays will remain in bubble environments through the end of the World Series.World SeriesOct 22Bob&039s Big Boy Becomes One of the Boys in Blue for World SeriesLos Angeles DodgersOct 22Rays&039 Pitching Muzzles Dodgers in Game 2 of World Series, LA loses 6-4

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