Why Clayton Kershaw Was So Good Against The Astros In Game 1

clayton kershaw dodgers world seriesClayton Kershaw pitched seven superb innings in game 1 as he struck out 11 batters, allowed just three hits and one run (a homer by Alex Bregman) to lead the Dodgers to a 1-0 lead in the World Series against the Houston Astros.

He executed his game plan perfectly as he pounded the strike zone and attacked the Astros batters.

He kept coming at the batters with fastballs, had the breaking ball working early and he combined it with his nasty sliders and used everything in his ample repertoire to constantly attack the strike zone.

He didn’t hesitate as he also used the corners and was aggressive even when the count was 0-1 or when there were two strikes in the count.

Some might say that is a little bit unfair for the Astros to have to deal with a pitcher such as Kershaw in the World Series when you don’t face him that much during the regular season (in fact this year the Astros and Dodgers didn’t meet during the regular season). You can end up swinging at some pitches that may you look like a fool because, for a righty, he hides the ball really well during his pitching motion and he owns a very deceptive delivery that messes the timing of opposing batters off.

Because of that deception, some Astros batters had some trouble navigating those game 1 at-bats. Kershaw was so efficient against the Astros that he used just 83 pitches in those seven innings, meaning that depending on how many pitches he throws in game 4, he could possibly come back in time to be used as a starter in game 7 if he’s needed.

Another thing for the Astros to figure out before they face him again is how to hit those balls that just explode out of his hand. Those pitches give batters way too little time to react and mess their swing and timing even more to the point where, before they realize it they’re just letting those fastballs that go down to the middle pass them by.

Undoubtedly a promising first World Series start for Kershaw who is exorcising all those postseason demons of past seasons as he tries to help the Dodgers to their first World Series title in 29 years.

 

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