This year’s World Series began on Tuesday night, and with it came no shortage of talking points. Chief among them will be the continued lessening importance of starting pitching. Neither starter, Clayton Kershaw for the Los Angeles Dodgers or Chris Sale for the Boston Red Sox, would even make it five innings at Fenway Park. This set up a game in which more runs would be scored than average, and that was always going to play into the Red Sox hands, right? On the night, it certainly did. The Sox started quickly against Kershaw, scoring twice on singles from Andrew Benitendi and J.D. Martinez. In the second, though the Dodgers hit back with a Shawn Kemp home run and then they tied it up in the third when Manny Machado singled in, much to the chagrin of the Boston faithful, Justin Turner.
At 2-2 it was finely poised, and once again J.D. Martinez stepped up in a big way after an overturned double play call at first via replay. Martinez doubled off the garage door in center field to put them ahead 3-2. But it wouldn’t hold for long, with Manny Machado hitting a sacrifice ground ball that plated Brian Dozier. The Sox caused more issues in the fifth and would score twice to go up 5-3. But again, the Dodgers stuck around, with Machado hitting a sac fly to make it 5-4 in the top of the seventh. But the Red Sox would soon put the game away in the bottom of the frame as Eduardo Nunez pinch hitted for them. Nunez, left out because of match ups, had a big at-bat as manager Alex Cora promised, and he would score Bentintendi, Martinez, and himself on a three run dinger that gave them an 8-4 lead and ultimately handed them Game 1.
Elsewhere, the NBA’s early season got a jolt when Blake Griffin put up 50 points, a career high, for the Detroit Pistons in a 133-132 overtime win against the Philadelphia 76ers. And the way in which he scored the last three was not only impressive but clutch. On 47 points with 1.8 seconds left in the game, he drove to the rim and drew contact. He still made the shot to tie the game, and he was sent to the foul line. He would make his free throw, and the Pistons would hold on to win by one. Griffin has said he had a point to prove, and while he knows that he and his team have a long way to go to reach their goals, this is a very positive step in his personal development that could unlock his potential moving forward. The win keeps Detroit unbeaten at 3-0, while the Sixers fall to 2-2, with both losses coming on the road.