Chris Taylor long ago earned a spot among the most clutch Virginia athletes thanks to his famous hit against UC Irvine that sent the baseball program to its second College World Series. Now he’s angling for a similar spot in Los Angeles Dodgers’ lore.
On Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series, Taylor came through twice for the Dodgers as they took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven format with a 3-1 victory. And he didn’t wait long to do it. In fact, he didn’t wait at all.
On the first pitch from Houston’s Dallas Keuchel, he scorched a rocket shot deep into the left field stands. Per Major League Baseball, that’s just the fourth leadoff home run in Game 1 in World Series history (1969 – Don Buford with Baltimore, 2007 – Dustin Pedroia with Boston, 2015 – Alcides Escobar with Kansas City). Plus, Keuchel had allowed only one other leadoff home run in 154 previous career starts (read some other fun facts in this article).
Taylor said he jumped on the pitch … and it jumped out of the park as a no doubter the second it left the bat. Lots of angles, calls, and video of the home run are in this article.
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Later in the game, Taylor drew a two-out walk in the sixth inning with the score tied 1-1. The next batter, Justin Turner, Taylor’s co-MVP from the National League Championship Series, brought home the decisive runs with a two-run homer. So Taylor, who The Sabre’s Greg Waters profiled prior to the postseason start, scored two of the three runs in the game.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in L.A. at 8:09 p.m.