Dallas Keuchel was solid, but he gave up a late home run to lose Game 1. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
The Dodgers were able to get a key Game 1 victory of the World Series thanks to Chris Taylor and Justin Turner taking advantage of a couple of bad pitches in an otherwise fierce pitcher's duel that would ultimately be won by Clayton Kershaw.
Chris Taylor got the scoring started with a homer on the first pitch the Dodgers saw, then Justin Turner added two more on a two-run blast as Kershaw gives up just one run while striking out eleven in a dominant pitching performance in the 3-1 win over the Astros in World Series Game 1. The Dodgers hold a 1-0 series lead with Game 2 tomorrow.
The game got underway with a Clayton Kershaw strikeout of George Springer. Kershaw went on to retire the Astros in order on a flyout and groundout. Dallas Keuchel took the mound in the bottom of the inning for Houston but was met with a home run from Chris Taylor on the very first pitch, giving the Dodgers an early 1-0 lead. Keuchel bounced back to get the next three batters out on a strikeout and two groundouts.
In the bottom of the second, Kershaw had another quick inning to put the Astros down 1-2-3 on 10 pitches. Keuchel gave up a leadoff single to Kike Hernandez but followed it up with a double play ball for the first two outs, then a popout to end the inning and keep the game at 1-0 going into the third.
Josh Reddick hit a one-out single into right field in the top of the third for the first Astros' hit of the night but was left stranded after a bunt strikeout from Keuchel and strikeout of Springer by Kershaw for his fifth of the night. Keuchel gave up another leadoff single in the bottom of the inning, this time to Austin Barnes, who then moved to second on a Kershaw sacrifice bunt. He went on to be doubled up, though, on a perfectly played lineout caught by Carlos Correa that he tossed to Jose Altuve at second for the double play to end the inning and leave the game 1-0 in the Dodgers' favor.
Alex Bregman came through to tie the game with a leadoff solo home run in the top of the fourth to make it a 1-1 game. Kershaw bounced back from it with three consecutive strikeouts to end the half inning. Keuchel had his first 1-2-3 inning in the bottom half including two groundouts to send the tied game into the fifth.
Kershaw had his best inning of the night so far in the top of the fifth, getting two groundouts and a three-pitch strikeout to sit down the Astros on just 6 pitches. Keuchel worked around a one-out single by Corey Seager in the bottom of the inning by getting another double play, his third of the night, to end the inning and leave the game tied 1-1 after five innings.
Kershaw continued to dominate in the top of the sixth with two more strikeouts, bringing his total to 11, and a groundout in another three up, three down inning. In the bottom of the inning, Keuchel issued a two-out walk followed by a two-run home run by Justin Turner to make it 3-1 Dodgers. Keuchel was able to get a strikeout to end the inning, but the damage was done as the Dodgers took the two-run lead into the seventh.
Altuve led off the seventh with a single but was out at second on a fielder's choice hit by Correa. Kershaw followed that with a groundout and fly out to get through the inning. Keuchel was able to get two groundouts for the first two outs in the bottom of the inning but after a Seager single had his night ended by A.J. Hinch. Brad Peacock entered the game and after a walk was able to get a flyout to end the seventh and keep the game at 3-1.
Brandon Morrow was first out of the Dodgers' bullpen in the top of the eighth and made quick work of the Astros on 10 pitches. Chris Devenski pitched the bottom of the eighth for the Astros and threw two strikeouts and a line out for a quick half inning to send the game into the ninth with the Astros in a 3-1 hole.
Kenley Jansen came in for the close in the top of the ninth and was able to get a strikeout and two flyouts to save the 3-1 victory for Los Angeles.
Game 2: First pitch of Game 2 is scheduled for 7:09 PM Central tomorrow and will air on FOX. The Astros will try to even the series 1-1 by sending out their new-found ace, Justin Verlander, who has been dominant in the playoffs with a 4-0 record. The Dodgers send out Rich Hill who posted a 3.32 ERA in the regular season with a 12-8 record but has only pitched 9 innings this postseason during which he has allowed three runs.
Jamal Shead hit a short follow shot with 0.4 seconds left and No. 1 Houston beat Oklahoma 87-85 on Saturday night, giving coach Kelvin Sampson a victory over one of his former schools.
Shead missed a driving layup attempt, but corralled the rebound and put the Cougars back ahead after they blew a 15-point lead. Emanuel Sharp tipped away a desperation pass by Oklahoma’s Milos Uzan as time expired.
“The main thing (on the last shot) was to get it to the rim,” Sampson said. “We weren’t going to shoot anything outside of 5 feet. There were three ways to win that game — a whistle, make the shot or (grab) an offensive rebound and put it in — and we got the third one.”
Sampson credited the result to Houston’s “winning DNA. We had a lot of things go against us tonight. … We were just plugging the holes in the boat up.”
L.J. Cryer led Houston (26-3, 13-3 Big 12) with 23 points, making 5 of 9 3-pointers. J’Wan Roberts added 20 points on 10-of-12 shooting, and Shead scored 14 points. Houston shot 56.7% from the field and Oklahoma was at 52.7%.
Rivaldo Soares had 16 points for Oklahoma (19-10, 7-9). Le’Tre Darthard had 15 points, finishing 5 of 7 from 3-point range.
Sampson coached Oklahoma from 1994 to 2006 and ranks second in program history with 279 wins and first in winning percentage (.719). Before Saturday, he’d never coached against the Sooners, but Houston’s entry into the Big 12 for this basketball season provided that opportunity.
Sampson received a warm welcome as he entered the Lloyd Noble Arena court, with many fans applauding, cheering and standing. Just before player introductions, Sampson and his three assistants with Oklahoma ties — former players Hollis Price, Quannas White and Kellen Sampson, his son — were individually recognized with announcements and pictured on the video board.
“The memories that I will take from here are just amazing,” Kelvin Sampson said. “Oklahoma will always be home in a lot of ways.”
Houston made its first week this season at No. 1 a successful one, with two wins. The Cougars are a game ahead of No. 8 Iowa State in the conference standings with two games left in the regular season and remain in the conversation for the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Houston has won eight of the last nine games it has played as the No. 1-ranked team and is 35-5 overall while atop the AP poll.
Oklahoma dropped its second game of the week against a top-10 opponent, having lost 58-45 at Iowa State on Wednesday night.
The Sooners pushed Houston to the limit. Houston led 67-52 with 12:01 left, but the Sooners methodically closed that gap and Javian McCollum’s layup with 11.8 seconds left tied it at 85. It came after a hustle play by Uzan, who tracked down a rebound off a missed free throw and threw it off the leg of Sharp, allowing it to carom out of bounds.
Oklahoma coach Porter Moser said the vibe in the Sooners’ locker room was “tough. It wasn’t like they were happy to be close. They’re hurting. That’s a good sign. … That’s the elite of the elite and we’ve got to find a way to win that. That’s my job.
“I thought they were resilient battling back. Houston made tough shots, open shots, good shots. They do a lot of good things … but I thought we did too. We played the best team in the country, but we fell short. The margin of error when you play a team that good is small.”
Godwin went 6 of 6 from the field and led Oklahoma with 17 points, missing only the one free throw in six attempts as well. He also had seven rebounds.
Houston: Sampson surely appreciated the warm welcome from fans on his return to Oklahoma, but he’s undoubtedly glad to have the emotional game against the Sooners over with. Now he can push the Cougars to focus on finishing the regular season strong and prepare them for the postseason.
Oklahoma: A win over the nation’s No. 1 team might have pushed the Sooners up a line or two in NCAA tournament seeding, but the loss shouldn’t damage their postseason hopes too much. Oklahoma probably needs at least one win next week — at home against Cincinnati or at Texas — to stay comfortably off the NCAA bubble heading into the Big 12 Tournament.
Houston: At Central Florida on Wednesday night.
Oklahoma: Host Cincinnati on Tuesday night.