That was unexpected

Not that the Dodgers won but that Alex Wood kept the right-leaning Astro lineup to zero hits for 17 outs.  Nineteen left-hand pitchers have started at MinuteMaid this season:

Rk              Player       Date  Rslt  IP H ER BB SO GSc IR
1       Patrick Corbin 2017-08-17 W 4-0 8.2 4  0  1  7     82
2         James Paxton 2017-04-05 L 3-5 6.0 2  0  1  5     72
3         James Paxton 2017-07-19 W 4-1 7.0 6  1  1  7     67
WS       Alex Wood     2017-10-28 W 6-2 5.2 1  1  2  3     64 
4        Drew Pomeranz 2017-06-16 W 2-1 6.1 4  1  3  4     62
5        Daniel Norris 2017-05-24 W 6-3 6.1 4  1  2  5     62
6         Jason Vargas 2017-04-07 W 5-1 6.0 6  1  1  6     61
7          Danny Duffy 2017-04-08 W 7-3 7.0 8  2  2  3     54
8        Ariel Miranda 2017-04-06 W 4-2 5.0 5  2  3  4     50
9          Sean Manaea 2017-08-18 L 1-3 6.0 6  3  1  2     49
10   Jordan Montgomery 2017-07-01 L 6-7 5.1 5  3  1  4     49
11         Sean Manaea 2017-06-27 W 6-4 5.2 9  1  3  3     47
12        Jaime Garcia 2017-05-10 L 2-4 6.0 6  4  5  4     43
13        Alex Claudio 2017-05-02 L 7-8 4.0 4  3  0  1     43
14        Tyler Skaggs 2017-09-24 W 7-5 5.0 6  4  2  3     40
15         Blake Snell 2017-08-03 W 5-3 4.0 7  3  1  5     40
16       Ariel Miranda 2017-07-17 W 9-7 5.2 6  5  1  4     40
17         David Price 2017-06-18 W 6-5 5.0 8  3  3  3     39
18          Wade Miley 2017-05-27 L 2-5 5.0 8  4  3  2     34
19        James Paxton 2017-09-15 L 2-5 1.1 4  3  2  0     32

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/29/2017.

and Alex Wood pitched the fourth best game of the year there, in the World Series, with his team down two games to one.  There is a good chance that Alex Wood will never pitch a more important game in his career, and he delivered.  Alex Wood had barely pitched in a month and I fully expected him to have 1st inning troubles but he was ready for his big day and pitched his best in the most important game of his career.  It might not have been the best-pitched game of the postseason for the Dodgers but given the context, it is right there with Clayton’s game one masterpiece.

Player                  Date Series Gm#  Tm Opp   Rslt  IP H ER BB SO GSc
Clayton Kershaw   2017-10-24     WS   1 LAD HOU  W 3-1 7.0 3  1  0 11  78
Clayton Kershaw   2017-10-19   NLCS   5 LAD CHC W 11-1 6.0 3  1  1  5  66
Yu Darvish        2017-10-09   NLDS   3 LAD ARI  W 3-1 5.0 2  1  0  7  66
Alex Wood         2017-10-28     WS   4 LAD HOU  W 6-2 5.2 1  1  2  3  64
Rich Hill         2017-10-15   NLCS   2 LAD CHC  W 4-1 5.0 3  1  1  8  64
Yu Darvish        2017-10-17   NLCS   3 LAD CHC  W 6-1 6.1 6  1  1  7  63
Rich Hill         2017-10-25     WS   2 LAD HOU  L 6-7 4.0 3  1  3  7  56
Clayton Kershaw   2017-10-14   NLCS   1 LAD CHC  W 5-2 5.0 4  2  1  4  54
Alex Wood         2017-10-18   NLCS   4 LAD CHC  L 2-3 4.2 4  3  0  7  51
Clayton Kershaw   2017-10-06   NLDS   1 LAD ARI  W 9-5 6.1 5  4  3  7  51
Rich Hill         2017-10-07   NLDS   2 LAD ARI  W 8-5 4.0 3  2  3  4  49
Yu Darvish        2017-10-27     WS   3 LAD HOU  L 3-5 1.2 6  4  1  0  26

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 10/29/2017.

This win means the Dodgers will play again at Dodger Stadium and I don’t have to write a story about how Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers had lost every must win or go home game he has pitched in the postseason.

I got home one inning into the game and was befuddled to find Andre Ethier sitting once again against a right-hand pitcher.  This meant that both Kiké and Joc were starting. That seemed like one too many to me but once again Dave Roberts proved to know what he was doing as Kiké delivered a big hit that his fellow Dodgers couldn’t deliver on and Joc struck the big dong that sealed the victory.

Joc Pederson has hit three postseason home runs and each one has been huge. You could already say that Joc Pederson has hit more important postseason home runs than any other Los Angeles Dodger. He hit the home run that allowed the Dodgers to tie Max Scherzer and eventually beat him. He hit the home that broke up the Justin Verlander no-hitter and eventually led to the greatest four innings in the World Series in the second decade of the 21st century.  He hit a three-run dong that gave the Dodgers a 6 – 1 lead that felt much more comfortable after Jansen gave up a home run to cut the lead to 6 – 2.  A one-run lead after that would have nerve-racking, but Joc had taken care of the nerve tonic.

Cody Bellinger was the story before the game, during the game, late in the game, and after the game. In the beginning, it was all about his horrific slump and how could Dave Roberts continue to bat him cleanup. During the game, he made two more outs and at that point was zero for thirteen with eight strikeouts.  With Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger doing nothing since the Seager home run late in game two it was no wonder the Dodgers were down 1 – 0 in the 7th inning. Turner made another out and was no longer our Papi.  Bellinger had struck out in his last at-bat and was down two strikes. All I could think was don’t swing at the pitch headed for your toes.

And he didn’t.

Instead, he swung at a mistake pitch that was left up and he drove it toward the strange part of the stadium that has no business existing in a major league baseball park. Marwin Gonzalez couldn’t get to it and bounced off that weird wall for a double. The tying run was on with Puig coming up. Puig has looked confident but had not been particularly productive in the World Series and while he drove the ball well to RCF it was still an out.  Logan Forsythe has had a brilliant postseason and once again he came through with a bullet single to bring in Bellinger.

No one is wondering anymore who the Dodger 2nd baseman will be in 2018.

The game was tied, it was now a bullpen game and even after Friday nights bullpen debacle you at least felt as though you had a shot.

Brandon Morrow had gotten the 18th out in the sixth inning and would get outs 19 – 21 in the 7th.  Devenski did his job for Houston in the top of the eighth and Tony Watson did his job in as well for the Dodgers and we went to the 9th inning of game four tied at one.

Ken Giles the beleaguered Houston closer came into the game. Three of the four horsemen were coming up. Seager/Turner/Bellinger. Seager somehow found a hole between multiple infielders to start the game with a single. Justin Turner worked a walk. Two on, no out, Bellinger up, 9th inning, tied game.  Bellinger at this point was 1 for 14 in the World Series. You could not have been upset if Dave Roberts had asked Bellinger to bunt. If successful they would have walked Puig and pitched to the hottest hitter in the postseason for the Dodgers, Logan Forsythe.

Dave Roberts and the Dodgers have thrown out convention all year and he did it once again. He let Bellinger swing away and Cody Bellinger delivered the biggest hit any 22-year-old Dodger has ever delivered, slamming a shot to LCF to score Corey Seager with the go-ahead run. He also flew into second base for a double that probably shocked those who had never seen him run but it did not shock Dodger fans.

The Dodgers had the lead, they had 2nd/3rd, no outs. How many more runs could they score to make the lead insurmountable? Giles was gone and we may never see him again. Musgrove came in and struck out Puig very easily, might have been his worst at-bat of the postseason. They walked Forsythe to load the bases and it was up to Barnes to increase the lead. Barnes has continued to start every game even though he hasn’t hit a lick since the NLDS.  Barnes worked that count to 2-2 and hit the key sacrifice fly that gave the Dodgers a two-run lead. That should do it, every Dodger fan had to feel comfortable with a two run lead and Kenley.  Kenley might give up one big fly but he won’t give up two.

Didn’t matter.

Cause Joc changed it all with his huge three-run home run.

The Dodgers had tied the series, and now had the advantage with Kershaw in game five in Houston, and whoever in Los Angeles.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Had to do a late visit to Crawfish Boxes. Commenters had a meltdown (over Giles and Hinch) the likes of which I had never seen at TBLA. The evil side of me enjoyed it immensely.

    Like

    • Hinch was in a tough spot. Giles was his main man all year, and do you just dump the whole season because of a few tough games in the postseason? Evidently, the answer was yes and I can’t expect to see Giles again unless forced because of extra innings.

      Like

  2. 68elcamino427

    Kershaw

    like Koufax …

    Like

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