After an impressive win over Gerrit Cole and the Astros in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, the Nationals went right back to work in Game 2 on Wednesday. They plated two quick runs off of Justin Verlander, staking Stephen Strasburg to a lead before he even took the mound.
Trea Turner led off with a four-pitch walk. Adam Eaton followed up by slapping a ground ball single to left field. Anthony Rendon brought both runners home with a double that clanked high off of the wall in front of the Crawford boxes in left field.
Verlander settled down from there, striking out Juan Soto, getting Howie Kendrick to fly out, and Asdrúbal Cabrera to strike out to end the inning. Now it’s Strasburg’s turn. In four postseason starts this month, he has a 1.64 ERA with 33 strikeouts and one walk across 22 innings.
Update: Alex Bregman answered on the Astros’ behalf in the bottom of the first, slugging a two-out, two-run home run to left field off of Strasburg. Tie game.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed it in March and he confirmed it again on Tuesday: Clayton Kershaw will start on Opening Day, Jorge Castillo of The Los Angeles Times reports.
The Dodgers are one of four teams that will open the 60-game regular season schedule on July 23; everyone else begins play on the 24th. With a 10 PM ET start, the Dodgers will host the Giants at Dodger Stadium.
Johnny Cueto will likely pitch opposite Kershaw for the Giants. Cueto was named the Giants’ Opening Day starter on March 11, before the league shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Manager Gabe Kapler hasn’t yet officially named an Opening Day starter for the makeshift season.
Kershaw, 32, made the Opening Day start eight consecutive times for the Dodgers from 2011-18. Hyun-Jin Ryu, now a Blue Jay, pitched on Opening Day last season for the Dodgers. Last year, Kershaw logged 178 1/3 innings over 28 starts and one relief appearance, his highest innings total since 2015. He went 16-5 with a 3.03 ERA, 189 strikeouts, and 41 walks.