World Series Game 2: Fifth Inning Two-Out Meltdown Dooms Dodgers

We can make excuses for the Dodgers all night long if we like. You can blame the Dodgers losing the first two games of the World Series on the frigid Boston weather. You can blame the Dodgers losing on the fact that most of the players have never played at Fenway Park before. You can blame Dave Roberts for making the wrong pitching changes. You can blame the front office for stupid matchups and dumb platoons, but at some point the players have to execute. It doesn’t matter as much what order the pitchers are used, or which players hit where in the lineup. At some point a club that has reached the World Series has to make the plays, get the hits, and make some pitches in order to win. The Dodgers haven’t done this.

That doesn’t mean that management always makes the right calls. Because we know that sometimes they don’t. That fifth inning was a doozy, and I’ll get to it in a minute. But going with the same lineup again for the second straight game just because a left hander (David Price) was starting made little sense. Enrique Hernandez, Austin Barnes, and Brian Dozier have done little to nothing with the bats this postseason and putting them in the lineup dooms you to a lot of automatic outs.

But let’s get back to the game here. The Dodgers lost 4-2 to fall two games to nothing to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Boston down 2-1 scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth all with two outs. J.D. Martinez’s two-run single was the difference after reliever Ryan Madson walked in the tying run. The series shifts back to Dodger Stadium this weekend for games 3-5, but let’s be honest, not many of us actually believe the series will even go back to Boston.

World Series game 2 – Boston Leads series 2-0

Dodgers 2 3 0

Red Sox  4 8 0

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Hyun-jin Ryu took the mound for the Dodgers and like most of the starts this postseason failed to pitch into the sixth inning. He wasn’t bad actually pitching a scoreless top of the first, but allowed a run to cross the plate in the bottom of the second. Xander Bogaerts doubled off the green monster with one out. After Rafael Devers struck out, Ian Kinsler’s RBI single to left scored Bogaerts to put Boston up 1-0. It could have been worse because Jackie Bradley Jr. singled into left, but Chris Taylor’s throw to third was on the money. Kinsler’s slide took him off the bag and Machado tagged him out.

The Dodgers had no hits and did nothing offensively until the top of the fourth when they scored twice to take a 2-1 lead. Consecutive singles from David Freese and Machado opened the frame. Chris Taylor walked and the bases were loaded with none out. Matt Kemp’s sacrifice fly to center plated Freese to tie the game for the Dodgers. The Dodgers could have gotten more, but Enrique Hernandez couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn right now. Price struck him out on a 3-2 pitch after Hernandez fouled off several pitches. But Yasiel Puig’s base hit into center scored Manny Machado to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead. Barnes of course struck out. What else is new?

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Ryu was fine in the bottom of the fourth, retiring the Red Sox in order to give us some false hope. He struck out Devers and Bogaerts and everything looked fine. Until they weren’t. After the Dodgers went down 1-2-3 in the top of the fifth (A recurring theme tonight) the Red Sox answered in the bottom half of the fifth. As usual things started out fine. Ryu got Kinsler to ground out, and Bradley popped out. Then singles from Christian Vasquez and Mookie Betts put runners on first and second.

Ryu was given the chance to get out of it. After not one, not two, but four mound visits in the inning, Ryu walked Andrew Benintendi to load the bases. That was all Dave Roberts needed to immediately hook him. This brought in Ryan Madson once again with the bases loaded. Things didn’t go well again. Madson walked Steve Pearce to force in a run and tie the game. Then Martinez blooped a flare into right to score two and the Red Sox took a 4-2 lead. That was all she wrote folks. Hard to understand why Madson was the one when Pedro Baez had been throwing bullets. Wouldn’t you want to use your hottest reliever in the highest leverage situation?

The Dodgers did not have a single base runner for the remainder of the game. We’ll go back to Dodger Stadium down 2-0 and the optimists will still tell you that the Dodgers are still in this series. But we can’t simply ignore reality people. Yes sir the World Series certainly sucks. Here’s hoping the Dodgers make the World Series not suck in Los Angeles.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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15 thoughts on “World Series Game 2: Fifth Inning Two-Out Meltdown Dooms Dodgers

  1. Nothing more to say, than what I have been saying all along. “Wasted Opportunities”. Dodgers just cannot seem to get that one or two key hits.

    The Dodgers again had their chances and squandered them. In the mean time the wheels fell off of Ryu’s wagon, resulting in another typical short start by Dodger starters.

    The only thing they got going for themselves is that they will be facing a right handed pitcher. No Lefty Lineup! Please sit Kiké. And Grandal may have to be given a second chance to start, as Barnes may hav overstayed his welcome behind rhe dish.

    Now, they can ill afford to lose any games at home.

    A tough task ahead, for sure.

  2. You can not win too many games with only 3 hits. Tell me again why Hernandez, Barnes and Dozier all in the same lineup. Oh well, will look forward to games at Dodger Stadium and hope they do better. Go Blue.

  3. Scott,

    Before the series got started everyone was making predictions about the outcome and my overall feeling was the Dodgers would be swept. After further thought and influence by fans and blogs, I tailored it to 4-1, Boston taking it all. Personally, I have no hope for this team although I know that they could explode and surprise everyone with a heavy offensive output. They’ve done this intermittently throughout this awful season showing some consistency in their playoff run. But there is no evidence that it will continue facing a team with little weakness. 3 hits is not going to do it, not with a powerhouse like Boston.

    I am already thinking about the off season and the possible changes that could be made but I have no confidence that the team’s look will change. There’s something about the overall makeup of the positional players that is off. Hernandez, Pederson, Taylor, Grandal, & Barnes are unproductive players, in general. They can barely squeak out mediocre stats and none of them have any consistency. Is it a testament to how bad the Nat’l League has become that the Dodgers are on top it two years in a row or my own self deception in not seeing how good this team really is? I don’t believe in them.

  4. I shut the game off immediately after Madson gave up the hit to Martinez. Once again they were put in a hole. Bad decision by Roberts? Maybe, but it is up to the player to perform. They only needed one out and Madson threw just one strike in a critical at bat. Some times Roberts has too much faith in a player. That happened in game 1 with Wood, who has been terrible in the playoffs. I do give credit to the Boston bullpen who totally shut them down after Puig’s RBI single. Dozier did put a charge into one, but Benintendi made a great running catch. After that, they were pretty much toast. This offense is painful to watch. Kike has been in a funk the entire playoffs. They can afford one bad bat in the lineup, and in that case I would opt for Barnes simply because he is superior to Grandal defensively. Grandal is not hitting either. And has not been for over a month. Former Dodger teams have come back from a 2-0 deficit. The 1955 Dodgers, the 1965 Dodgers and the 81 team were all down 2-0. The 65 team and the 81 team came back and won 3 in a row at Dodger Stadium. The 55 club did the same thing at Ebbet’s Field. So it can be done, but this team is going to have to play perfect baseball to pull it off…..I personally do not think they can do it, and the reason is simple. As much as their platoon system might work over 162 games, it is not working in the World Series. Continuity is needed more than match ups. And this team has none of that.

    1. I feel your pain Michael.

      Madson is a bit erratic. Sometimes good, most times bad. A bit arrogant in his post game interview where he said he made a good pitch, but the batter just hit it were the defense was not. Well, what about the four pitch walk to the first hitter he faced…. explain that, Madson. I thought I heard him say that it takes him a bit longer to warm up, then he was given.

      DR saw that the wheels had fell off the wagon, and Ryu was in trouble. He did not get the bullpen ready quick enough, so maybe Madson did not have enough time to get ready. If that is the case, I blame DR, and bullpen coach Prior, for lack of a sense of urgency, especially in the 42 degree weather.

      On the other hand, I have always questioned this starting rotation. These clowns (Kershaw included) cannot even get a solid 5 innings in, before they run out of gas. The bullpen is good, but not invincible. In the mean time, Maeda wastes away in the pen.

      The other rock in the cog, is this boring offense. They have opposing pitchers on the ropes, and fail to capitalize. They have three studs on the bench, and they have three “Mendoza” caliber players in the starting lineup. Kiké has to sit, he is lost at the plate. I like Barnes, but he has not capitalized on this opportunity to play over Grandal, so put Grandal back in… it is a wash. Dozier is a liability at 2nd defensively, and his offensive numbers are atrocious. DR, they may be right-handed, and part of your notorious “Lefty Lineup”, but they look like they are “No Handed”. What is the point of starting them if they cannot hit the side of a barn, without a blindfold.

      A sweep at home is a must, at this point… difficult, but doable. It would be a shame if these Dodgers cannot win the World Series, after failing last year.

  5. When the game is on the line in the 5th inning, why not manage the game like your hair is on fire? Jansen is the Dodgers best reliever, yet he may not make an appearance in this World Series. If the team is not hitting, yet somehow manages to give your club a 2-1 lead, why not protect the lead, because you may not see a lead again. The 5th inning became the difference in the game, and arguably the turning point for the remainder World Series. At least Jansen will be well rested for the 2019 season.

    1. In case anyone is wondering what happened to the comment by Bluto here…I was the one who removed it. we accept all baseball (and sometimes not baseball) related debates/opinions here. What we don’t approve are personal insults that don’t apply to the debate.

  6. Did anyone else notice that Ryu got squeezed on the 0-2 count on Vasquez. If he gets strike 3 called we are out of the inning and they don’t get 3 runs.

  7. Dodgers will never win a ring with this style of play. The Astros and the Red Sox have rock solid play every game 1-5 hitters. More talent. The Dodgers have two everyday players (Machado and Turner) and everyone else platoons no matter what. You can platoon a few guys, the dodgers platoon 6 of 8 spots in the lineup. It’s a joke.

    Plus there’s the inexplicable. Ryan Madson went from cast off having a brutal year to their go to guy in the pen? What? Hernandez hasn’t had a hit all postseason and he’s in there no matter what. Chris Taylor is totally clueless up there and playing washed up guys like Kemp and Dozier is just pathetic. Austin Barnes is basically another pitcher hitting.

    This organization needs to find a few more everyday players this winter.

    1. Uh, Kemp has the only home run by a Dodger and drove in the first run yesterday. He is far from washed up and led the team in batting average and RBI’s this year. Dozier is lousy that I will give you, if Kemp is suffering from anything it is a lack of playing time because of Roberts stupid lineups. Kemp had a better average against RHP than left all year. He should be in there no matter who pitches.

  8. Well, this is what it is all about. Yes, the team has had no offense to speak of and the handling of pitchers by Roberts is more of the same decisions he has made all season. It looks like he does not have a feel of when to play anyone. Now, headed back to LA he is excited I am sure to put back in the great team that he feels got him here. Taylor, Pederson, Kike, and Cody are 0-16 so far but he acts like he is about to wet his pants to get them in. He would like to get Freeze, and Kemp out permanently. This is why I call him Dummy. Maybe he can get Kike in the pitching rotation again.

  9. Red Sox and Astros last year ran out similar lineups every game. The Dodgers want to platoon 75% of their lineup.

    Good enough to win the poor national league, not good enough versus these superior teams.

  10. Agree Michael,

    Kemp should be playing every day. There is not justification for having your All-Stars, and heavy offensive threats on the bench, while you place .100 BA players with little playing time at their defensive positions, in the lineup. If your offensive stategy is “Long Ball”, then all the more you play Kemp, Bellinger, Muncy every day. Majority of the inconsistencies with the offense, as well as defense can be attributed to the Lefty/Righty platooning, and “ANAL”-ytics. In order to perform to their maximum capabilities, a player needs to play consistently, every day. In-N-Out only works for quality hamburgers, not for quality baseball.

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