The Dodgers and the Astros will play Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. The game is a must-win situation, with Houston leading the series 3-2. One area that has been a bit of an issue for the Dodgers this World Series has been the pitching, from both starters and relievers.
Collectively, Dodgers’ pitchers have put up an ERA of 5.21 and a WHIP of 1.31. They’ve also given up 13 home runs and 27 earned runs in 46.2 innings pitched. Now, this shouldn’t knock the talent of the Dodgers’ pitching staff. They are facing the Houston Astros, a team that averaged a league-leading 5.44 runs per game in the 2017 season. Their opponent is top-notch and it’s been a grueling match since Game 1.
Out of the 46.2 innings pitched for the Dodgers so far, 23.2 of them have come from the bullpen. With Rich Hill pitching Game 6 of the World Series, and with a bullpen that has been used liberally, the question is who will the Dodgers turn to should Hill be pulled early like he was in Game 2.
Dave Roberts told the media on Monday that everybody, outside of Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw, are available. He also said that he is sticking with Kenley Jansen as the closer, which is a crime that he even needs to address that.
Roberts said everyone is available to pitch tomorrow except Darvish and Kershaw.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) October 30, 2017
Kenley Jansen (5.2 IP), Kenta Maeda (4.2 IP), and Brandon Morrow (4 IP) are the relievers that have been used the most this postseason. They were also not very effective on Sunday. Maeda gave up one run on two hits and Morrow gave up four runs on four hits in Game 5. Kenley Jansen has also given up a run in each of his last three appearances. Again, this is not a knock on their talent, but rather a combination of great opposition, high usage, and an ounce of being human.
With that said, and considering Dave Roberts said that everyone is available, it would make a lot of sense for the Dodgers to use Alex Wood out of the bullpen on Tuesday. He gave up one run in 5.2 innings in Game 4 and was pitching no-hit baseball into the 6th inning. Rich Hill was pulled after just four innings in Game 2. If that happens again, Alex Wood could be the answer to help lower Jansen’s, Maeda’s, and Morrow’s usage.
Dave Roberts specifically named Clayton Kershaw as a pitcher that is not available for Game 6. Kershaw pitched 4.2 innings on Sunday and gave up six runs on four hits. He also had three walks compared to his two strikeouts. Be ready for a flashback of the 2016 NLDS because, should the Dodgers win on Tuesday, I can’t imagine not seeing Kershaw come out of the bullpen in Game 7.
What do you think the Dodgers’ pitching game-plan should be for Game 6 and a potential Game 7? Let us know in the comments below!
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