"Playoff Kershaw" has a new narrative.
Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was lights out in his World Series debut last night, striking out 11 batters, walking none, and allowing just three hits in seven innings of work as LA took Game 1 against the Houston Astros by the final of 3-1.
Last night marked the first World Series game played at Dodger Stadium since 1988, and it was a sweltering 103 degrees - hotter than it has ever been at the start of an MLB postseason game, according to ESPN. In fact, it was hotter than the game-time temperatures of the previous two World Series openers combined.
"It was hot tonight, so warming up, it didn't take long to get loose," Kershaw said. "But I tried to get that first inning under my belt. And, fortunately, I got that."
"[The Astros are] a really good hitting team," Kershaw said "They hit a lot of homers and don't strike out. There's little room for error. So it's important for me to establish pitches, be able to throw multiple things for strikes, and thankfully I was able to do that tonight."
Dodgers center fielder, Chris Taylor, gave Kershaw some early insurance in Game 1, homering on the very first pitch thrown by Astros starter Dallas Keuchel.
With the game tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning, Taylor drew a two out walk off Keuchel which set up their slugger Justin Turner for his fourth home run this post-season, which is all the Dodgers needed to secure a victory in Game 1.
The Dodgers and Astros will return to Dodger Stadium tonight for Game 2. Left hander Rich Hill will take the mound for the Dodgers while Justin Verlander takes the bump for the Astros.
Check out some of the reactions around twitter to Game 1 of the World Series.