Dodgers Grab That Mystical Momentum In World Series Game 4 Win

Joc Pederson

One of the age old questions in baseball is whether momentum is a real thing or not. The sabermetricians will tell you that it does not exist. They’ll laugh at you and call you an idiot for even suggesting it. They’ll argue that momentum goes in the same make believe baseball category as grit and playing the game the right way. Then again these are the same guys that believe in the luck stat (BABIP). Luck is not a tangible thing. You can’t hold luck in your hands as much as you can’t hold momentum. These guys will tell you that momentum isn’t real yet hands to god luck is.

Then there is the opposite end of the spectrum. The old-school baseball heads. Those old gritty guys that look like the crypt keeper because they’ve been playing baseball for like 70 years will tell you without wavering that momentum exists. It’s as real as the lost art of base stealing, bunting, and starting pitchers going the distance. The late great Connie Mack would tan your hide if he ever heard you say this, they would explain.

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Which side is correct? Both are correct and both are incorrect. I do believe that momentum does exist but it can’t be quantified with a start or number. The Dodgers grabbed that momentum swing on Saturday night in their 6-2 win over the Astros in game 4 of the World Series at Minute Maid Park. Let me paint the picture for you before the Dodgers took back control of the World Series which is now tied at 2-2.

The Dodgers won the first game of the World Series by a 3-1 score behind a dominant Clayton Kershaw start (7 IP 1ER 0BB 11K) and two home runs from Corey Seager Chris Taylor and Justin Turner. Game 2 was a heartbreaking insane fueled loss that tied the series at 1-1. The Astros scored two runs in the eighth and ninth innings including a game-tying home run off of Kenley Jansen (His first blown-save of his postseason career) to send the game into extra innings. It went 11 frames and the Astros scored four more runs hitting three more long balls.

The entire game was an example of how crazy baseball can be, and this was game 2 of the World Series. There was a ball that hit off the brim of Chris Taylor’s hat. Chris Devenski’s errant pick-off throw hit umpire Laz Diaz. There were a record 8 home runs hit, four from each club. In the end the Astros won 7-6 and tied the series.

Momentum status: Lost-Dodgers

Things got even worse for the Dodgers as the series shifted to Houston. Yu Darvish lasted only 1.2 innings and gave up four earned runs on six hits as the Dodgers fell behind 4-0 in the second inning. The offense could only muster three runs on four hits off of Lance McCullers Jr. and the boys in blue dropped game 3 by a 5-3 score. Cody Bellinger struck out 4 times in game 3. The Astros took the series lead 2-1.

Momentum stats: grave dug-Dodgers

Things looked super bleak for the Dodgers coming into game 4. With Alex Wood on the mound (who has pitched just once in the last calendar month) countering Charlie Morton it looked like the Dodgers were in serious trouble. Another loss would put them down 3-1 in the series. Not an insurmountable deficit to overcome but definitely difficult to do. Game 4 seemed like a must win for the Dodgers.

Then a funny thing happened on the way to another momentum destroying World Series loss….The Dodgers rallied. They rallied like they have all season long. First of all Alex Wood turned in a fantastic performance. Wood tossed 5.2 innings of one-run one-hit ball. He allowed just one hit (George Springer solo home run) and struck out three. Unfortunately when Wood was lifted with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, the Dodger bats had yet to figure out Charlie Morton and were down 1-0.

Then they rallied. Even after they had a runner thrown out at the plate on a contact play (Austin Barnes) they brushed themselves off and attacked in the seventh inning. In that frame Cody Bellinger (who worked on going the other way during BP) finally got off the schneid smacking an opposite field double. Two outs later with Bellinger still standing at second base Logan Forsythe’s RBI single plated Bellinger to tie the game 1-1. You could feel that momentum churning back to the Dodger’s favor.

Momentum status:-Gaining

With the game tied at 1-1 the Dodger bullpen took things over providing more effective innings. They’ve done it all postseason long. That allowed the Dodger bats to break through in the top of the ninth. Seager singled through the shift, and after a Justin Turner walk, Bellinger again doubled to score pinch-runner Charlie Culberson and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Momentum status:-Gained

With the lead the Dodgers kept adding insurance runs off the Houston bullpen. Austin Barnes sacrifice fly made it 3-1. Then the big blast came from Joc Pederson with a three-run home run that put the Dodgers ahead 6-1. The Dodgers would go onto win 6-2.

Momentum status: Found-Dodgers

After the game as the Dodgers were high-fiving the Dodger’s game 5 starter Clayton Kershaw went to the mound and pretended to throw a pitch. Oh and Kershaw is pitching in game 5 against Dallas Keuchel as the Dodgers try to take a 3-2 series lead. The win means that the World Series is coming back to Dodger Stadium.

Dodgers World Series game 5 Lineup

Is momentum real? I don’t know but maybe you should ask the Dodgers. I think they would agree that it is a thing and they grabbed it by the balls. They’re just two wins away from winning the World Series.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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27 thoughts on “Dodgers Grab That Mystical Momentum In World Series Game 4 Win

  1. This is a good lineup. Keuchel at home will be very tough and we have to be disciplined and get the pitch counts high – we have been letting their SPs off the hook. And Kershaw needs to keep his sliders low and his fastballs on the arm side of the plate.

    Let’s go Dodgers!

  2. Moving Puig down is a good move. We are going to need a lot of focus and grit to win this one. I think the Astros batters will be ready for Kershaw. We have to make Keuchel work too.

  3. Here’s hoping they keep not swinging for the fences every AB. When they focus on making solid contact, the rallies and runs follow. And stringing together walks and hits keeps the pitcher’s attention divided and forces the infielders to position themselves, oftentimes, according to the baserunners and not the batter. When the Blue does that, they dictate the game, as they did this season.

    But they gotta be patient and force Keukel to throw strikes. They led the majors and not swinging at bad balls during the regular season. They need to get back to this discipline and stay there.

  4. We need to keep the pressure on. Son of Culber let Keuchel off the hook a bit there. Can Seager and Bellinger make Keuchel work in the third?

  5. This umpire is killing Puig with the inside calls. That’s 3 balls he’s called strikes that are well off the plate!!

  6. Barnes comes through! Great at bat! Now we’ve got their bullpen for 5+ innings!

    We need to keep scoring and maintain pitch discipline. No lead is safe here.

    1. YF

      I hope Roberts didn’t leave Kershaw in this game, to get a win!

      He should have been pulled after his first walk.

      Roberts put Maeda in a bad situation.

      I am so sick of people catering to Kershaw in the post season!

  7. I echo MJ’s comments about Clayton. You have to know he’s likely to be a good deal
    less sharp today, even as Keuchel was likely to be, as Kenley has a great chance to
    be when he’s brought in. Claton was not getting any swings and misses even as he was getting outs. Caution, Dave!!!!!

    CK woulda been gone before Gurriel if my house was in charge). And no conceivable way
    he comes out for the fifth if you didn’t have eyes to see in the fourth. Kenta needed a clean slate.

    And the choice to bunt a non-bunter with a gimpy base-runner on second, and nine outs left
    with depleted pens on both sides is just bewildering, with an utterly predictable outcome.
    The return of Tommy LaSorda….

    The next time Yasiel puts the barrel on the ball might be first time this week, though he really has been hosed by the umps.

    Logan had no right to assume that last pitch (same with Cory) given the way this game was called in prior at-bats, would be called a ball.

    A classic game (as I’ve been cryin’ about for years) calling for the electronic grid.

  8. I started typing the above when the score was 8-7, going into bottom 7.

    I sent it, then switched to the NYT for an updated score.

    As I said, very unlikely that a single run in the 7th would stand up against depleted pens.

    I had doubts about Dave after last playoff. Have many more now. He can’t manage
    for me. He’s one of those who has what you need thru the regular season grind, but
    not the game skills (a la Whitey Herzog and hundred others) to handle the extra pressure
    of the second season.

    I said back in July, at the peak of their great run, that I still didn’t see a champ.

    Still don’t. Prove me wrong, flock:-).

  9. It is a wild wild game. I figured the Astros would be ready for Kershaw, but we show a lot of fight in this game. I am very proud of our guys, but we need to regroup and win 2 at home. Back against the wall. Let’s see what we are made of!!!

    1. YF

      To many stupid mistakes over and over!

      The Astros jumped our pitchers on a first pitch, six times!

      Kenley was pitching defensively instead of offensively.

      He was afraid to pitch inside on Springer, and the kid who got the last hit!

      Kenley has to pitch on the hands, of those type of hitters, so they don’t extend there arms!

      He was pitching outside to everyone except the catchers.

      But this game is on Kershaw and Roberts!

      1. Everyone wants to help Kershaw do well in the post season!

        Kershaw gave up 6 runs in four innings, and his era is only getting larger!

        This is the second worse feeling since that second game!

  10. I couldn’t believe they had that pity story about that racist, toward the end of this game, by Kenny the MLB writer with the bow ties.

    That racist shouldn’t be even playing!

  11. I wrote yesterday and today in the 8th inning that using Kenley for more than three outs
    was a recipe for disaster.

    I wrote mid-season I didn’t think Oscar’s Big Blue Roller had enough to roll to a title.
    Close. Certainly a better chance than previous Dodger favs in the last handful of years.
    But, somehow, not enough.

    I didn’t think you could count on Yu (though his last start against the Cubs had me hoping I would prove wrong). He just hasn’t been a guy who repeats excellence with any consistency
    the last few seasons. I didn’t think you could count on CK for two wins in a seven gamer, in
    spite of the extra rest from the DL stint (and I thought last spring he would do some time on the
    DL). His fast ain’t what it used to be, and for some reason, he would not trust his back-breaking
    curve for the third strike, especially today, when he was having trouble missing bats.

    But the thing I wondered most was how much Dave learned from last year’s second season.

    He overreacted in game two to last year’s failure to get an exhausted Blanton away from the Cubs
    once it was obvious he had no slider left. Hence the quick hooks leading to the foolish Jansen
    six-out prayer.

    And today, possibly reacting to the criticism of those hooks, he leaves In Case You Haven’t Noticed I Can Lose It Very Quickly Clayton a few batters, at least, too long. In our house, we were
    calling for him to take a shower to match Dallas K’s – i.e. before he faced Gurriel. I know both pens were likely spent. But CK DEFINITELY was. Then once he allowed the game to be tied,
    Dave had to give the doubtful Kenta at least the chance at a clean inning.

    I didn’t see the bottom of the seventh. I was busy typing my astonishment that Dave would have
    a non-bunter giving away one of his last nine outs with a gimpy-legged slow guy on second, no less, in a game that if I had been in Nevada, I would have gone looking for a book that was offering a late-game over in the 20-22 run total range. At 7-7, spent bullpens, locked-in lineups,
    that thing had 12-10, 14-11 written all over it. Not 8-7 the good guys, Manager Dave!

    Kudos to the Ds for being so much better than their braintrust, and keeping at it.

    They deserve to win these last two as much as that gutsy bunch from Chemical City does, led
    by perhaps the greatest little guy to ever play.

  12. PS

    I’ve often been a critic regarding the Ds base-running, not at all top ten in a league that is
    genuinely awful at that task.

    But I wonder what would have happened if Woodward had had the guts to send Taylor on
    JT’s line drive to Reddick in medium right. As it turned out, a guy with a rep for good arm,
    under pressure, heaved it 12-15 feet up the line to McCann. Would Chris have been by him
    by then? Tough call. Not saying Woodward was wrong, but he might have been rewarded
    if he had reckoned on the pressure that would alter the throw. Then the Ds would have had an extra run in the ninth (assuming everything else played out the same, which, of course, it would never have:-), and the good guys would be going home up 3-2.

    1. Dud

      Woodward sent Taylor but Taylor didn’t hear him correctly.

      Woodward was saying to Taylor, got to go, got to go, and Taylor thought he said no.

      Also Taylor almost lapped Joc on base, and if Joc would have run quicker, Taylor could have scored, but Joc got in the way.

      Also Joc should have been at third anyways, but Joc stood there and watched his hit, and didn’t run until a saw it was fair, and that cost us another run!

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