The Dodgers have reacted to one of the worst losses in their history as champions. So now I’m a far cry from calling it that.
Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Clayton Kershaw settled quickly yesterday, so tomorrow the Dodgers are in a position to get their first title since 1988. Saturday was for regret, Sunday for redemption and now Tuesday may be for the last baseball reward.
Los Angeles suffered the kind of encounter Saturday that can last forever. The Dodgers made it to him 24 hours later, as promised.
“We have expressed concern for today [Game 5], ”Said first baseman Max Muncy.
So for Los Angeles, World Series Game 4 was brutal, the Game 5 response beautiful. They came with long beats and short memories. Kershaw denied it a direct attempt to steal it from home by Manuel Margot and found huge outs in great moments.
And Los Angeles director Dave Roberts, whose decision – like Kershaw’s pitching – received a lot of criticism in October, made a series of relief moves that everyone could have guessed. Everyone worked. A lot of Roberts ’postseason body shots turned around to attack too long with Kershaw and eventually turned to Kenley Jansen. In Game 5, Roberts shot a Kershaw cruiser, ignored Jansen and watched his launch maneuvers. ensure a 4-2 victory.
“I need to be clear about making the decision,” Roberts said. “Ultimately, my job is to help the Dodgers win the World Series.”
This is tantalizing close now. After 32 years of watching Kirk Gibson turn around the bases to symbolize the organization’s last title, the Dodgers are on the verge of winning everything for the first time since 1988, bringing this series to three games.
The Rays have shown that they don’t go easily. But then on Monday, the Dodgers will try to break the 116th World Series schedule in which they won the odd games – 1, 3 and 5 – and the Rays even – 2 and 4 – in the game. Tuesday, the 6th.
Game 5 lacked the drama and trauma of Game 4. But roughly all 677 World Series games in history are nothing more than the Russian novel that led to an 8-7 Radios victory. which tied the World Series at two games at a time. The greatest tension and attention in Game 5 was focused on how Roberts made a comeback with his pitching to protect a created head immediately.
Betts won an eight-round bout against Tyler Glasnow, opening the game with a double. Seager followed with an RBI single. Before the first inning was over, the Dodgers had two runs and had made Glasnow spend 34 pitches. Joc Pederson put home the second head. Kershaw scored two runs in the third and walked the first two batters in the fourth. The first to walk, Margot, had stolen the second and went to the third for a badly treated shot.
But Joey Wendle came out and Willy Adames blew it up. With Kevin Keirmaier beating him, Margot tried to exploit Kershaw by having her back to the runner in the third half and went home. Kershaw walked away to avoid a balk, threw himself at the plate and Austin Barnes applied a tag to cancel out just Margot’s attempt to steal a run.
Wendle’s pop-up began a streak of seven outs directed by Kershaw, including the first two in the sixth on just two pitches. But Roberts had a pre-game plan of just 21 batters for Kershaw and reaffirmed that before the sixth inning. Kershaw was at 21 batters, so Roberts removed the left-handed veteran despite a mountain protest by third baseman Justin Turner.
“That was the plan for the whole time,” said Muncy, whose fifth inner homer provided a 4-2 lead. “I think we all wanted Kersh himself. But they had a plan, they executed the plan and it went away.”
It did so because Dustin May picked up from a post-season for the poorest by finishing sixth, going 1-2-3 in the seventh and going with one out and one in the eighth – Mr. May becoming Mr. October, at least for one night. He was so brave that there was a surprise that Roberts wouldn’t let May go any further. Instead, he turned to Victor Gonzalez, who walked Mike Brosseau and then retired two straight to close out the eighth.
This left a mystery – quickly solved when Blake Treinen warmed up and Jansen kept his sweatshirt on. Jansen was in the midst of Saturday’s collapse and the 8-7 bowel stroke. He recorded his fourth World Series save, a record. Roberts said he was more in touch with Treinen a third day in a row than Jansen. But that sounded diplomatic, as Roberts said Jansen would throw in “high leverage” moving forward without ever committing to the ninth inning.
Treinen allowed a ninth-point shot at Margot, but he retired three minutes later. Kershaw would say, “It’s been an incredible job from these three guys [May, Gonzalez and Treinen]. “Roberts has been brave enough to go that route, to ignore his story and diminish the role and responsibility of his most experienced pitchers.
But those decisions helped the Dodgers get out of the misery of Game 4, win Game 5 and move on to the organization’s first title in more than three decades.