Game of juxtapositions
This game was supposed to be about the HOF bound postseason veteran pitcher dominating the young kid who had never been West of Oklahoma. For one inning it played that way, as the HOF bound pitcher struck out the side on twelve pitches. From that point on though the HOF looked like a rookie pitcher missing his spots more time than not and left the game behind 3 – 0 when it easily could have been six or seven to nothing.
The rookie pitcher, the kid who was in indy ball at this point last year, the kid who never been West of Oklahoma looked like he was the one bound for the HOF. This kid struck out ten Dodgers in a fourteen out outing. He had only one walk headed into the fourth inning when he struck out two, and walked two, and was replaced with two on and two out. The Dodgers failed to score and his final tally read fourteen outs, one hit, zero earned runs, three walks, and ten strikeouts.
To further complicate this game, the Dodgers had the 2016 ROY at shortstop. The Dodgers had the shortstop who came in third in MVP voting in 2016. The Dodgers had the shortstop who came in seventeenth in MVP voting in 2017. The Marlins had a shortstop who was a glove-first guy, a throw-in, in the Dee Gordon deal, a guy who was only starting because the Marlin starting shortstop has been hurt all year.
The Dodgers shortstop had one of the worst games of his young career. He would weekly make outs four times before finally getting a single in the 9th. He would strike out twice. He would make two costly blunders in the 9th. One was a simply throwing error, the second was falling down on a simple fly ball. I’ve seen many senior softball players fall down on that play, I haven’t seen many major league shortstops with the athleticism of the Dodger shortstop fall down on that simply play. Those plays were key in the Marlins scoring two unearned runs in the 9th. Which turned out to be important given the Dodgers managed to score three runs in the 9th and only lose by those two runs.
The Marlin shortstop, the glove-first guy, had the big blow of the game for the Marlins against the HOF bound pitcher. That pitcher had wiggled out of trouble in the 2nd, 3rd, and fourth and was one out away from doing it again when the shortstop slugged a mistake down the foul line and off the pole.
This is the kind of game that stop gamblers from betting on baseball. Everything was in the Dodgers favor. Everything. They still lost.