Look, all the finger pointing and frustration and honest shock from last night’s Dodgers loss will likely be focused on Kenley Jansen and the 9th inning. That was the ugliest inning by this team in a long time, but while officially on paper the game was lost there, the real change point happened earlier in the night.
No, not Dave Roberts pulling Julio Urias early, it was the decision to go to reliever Pedro Baez with two runners on in the 6th that truly proved to be the undoing of the Dodgers.
First, notably, Baez has struggled with inherited runners throughout his career. Most recently, all 6 runners he’s inherited over the last two postseasons have scored. Not exactly what you would call relief.
Still, the Dodger manager went to Pedro Baez with two on and one out in the 6th
I loved [Blake Treinen] right there. He just wasn’t sharp. Lowe, I loved the matchup. I felt Petey could pick Lowe up right there. He just didn’t execute the pitch. He made a bad pitch.
The Rays took a 5-4 lead and Doc’s reaction should have been enough to consider Baez’s night done from that point…
Mood in LA… pic.twitter.com/MY9Hb0MsEd
— FOX Sports (@FOXSports) October 25, 2020
… but inexplicably, the reliever trotted out to start the 7th inning after the Dodgers regained the lead. And that, Dave admits, was a mistake. But there’s more to it.
I take blame for having him go back out. We were down and I told him he was finished. And so to ask him to go back out [after retaking the lead] and to see how he felt, he said he felt good. But I shouldn’t have said that and kept him burning a bit.
I’ll tell you — and just about anyone that know’s the game will tell you — that does not happen in baseball. Especially at the highest level on the biggest stage.
And now the Dodgers find themselves tied 2-2 in the World Series and feeling down 7 games to none. After a postseason full of mostly clean and near-elite baseball, Los Angeles put together its sloppiest, worst game of October.
Let’s hope everyone has a very short memory.
Clayton Kershaw takes the ball for the blue in a game 1 rematch with Tyler Glasnow. First pitch is set for 5:08 PM PT on FOX.