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The Mystery of The Fourth Game of The 2018 World Series

I was listening to the radio the other day, and the topic of conversation was the Dodgers. More specifically about the 2018 World Series, and even more specifically game 4 of the 2018 World Series. I’m sure you all remember the horrible outcome of that game. That was the game in which the Dodgers blew a 4-0 lead, surrendering nine earned runs in the final three frames in a 9-6 loss to the Red Sox. Big blows from Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce in the form of home runs accounted for most of Boston’s late rally.

That game sealed the series for the Red Sox. Sure there was still one more game the next day but the loss was a demoralizing nail in the coffin for the Dodgers. Most online wagers being placed like from were placed in favor of the Red Sox. The next day Boston defeated the Dodgers to clinch the series in five games.

The radio discussers turned their attention on the main focus of the conversations surrounding game 4, the inexplicable removal of Rich Hill. For those that were living under a rock at the time, let me take you back to last October. Hill (the Dodgers left handed starter) was throwing a masterpiece. He was twirling, kicking and grunting his way to a Dodger win. Up until the top of the seventh inning, Hill had allowed only one hit and no runs. He had walked only three and struck out seven and was in total command of the game. The Boston batters were flummoxed by his trademark curveball. Hill was spinning that curveball like Picasso painted a portrait.

That is why I like Hill so much. When the Dodgers need him most, he steps up and delivers. Going into that fateful frame (the seventh inning) the Dodgers were leading by a 4-0 score. Thanks to a three-run home run from Yasiel Puig and a throwing error, the Dodgers seemed to be in the driver’s seat. With the way Hill was pitching barring some kind of unforeseen disaster that the Dodgers would win. The series-tying win would seriously alter the momentum of the World Series.

Hill had made about 91 pitches and you would think, especially after both clubs played a seven hour 18-inning game the night before that Hill would be given plenty of rope to pitch as long as he could. However with one-out and a runner at first, (Hill had just struck out a batter) Dave Roberts inexplicably removed him from the game. In came the beleaguered Dodger bullpen and the rest was history.

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The guys on the radio discovered that they had figured out what had happened. They had uncovered the mystery. It was just a simple misunderstanding. A miscommunication between Roberts and Hill. Apparently Hill had asked Roberts to keep an eye on him earlier in the game. According to Roberts, he had come out to the mound to simply give Hill a pep talk. He was going to give him an “atta boy” for a job well done. But when Hill saw the skipper trotting out to the mound he assumed he was being removed from the game and gave the ball to Roberts and silently walked off the mound.

Was this what really happened? Or did Roberts remove Hill from the game to go another brainless bullpen matchup? I don’t think anyone will really know, but my money is on the brainless matchup. I do know that if Hill had been allowed to at least finish that seventh inning that the Dodgers would have won the game.

There is no question in my mind. I think it was Bluto who once told me not to be counter-factual. That means don’t try to predict the outcome, because there are so many different variables that can happen or not happen in a baseball game. Surely that is true in most situations. In this situation…..I can tell you with 100% certainty that the Dodgers would have won. I’m not trying to be counter-factual, but with this one…..I can. As a matter of fact you can call me nostradamus. You can call me Mrs. Cleo. You can call me the Oracle. There is no doubt in my mind that if Hill stays in the game, the Dodgers win.

Maybe the crackpot radio guys couldn’t properly explain it, but I can. That was on the skipper. That was 100% Dave Roberts screw up. Sorry folks, but yes the Doc messed up. It wasn’t Hill’s fault. His job is too pitch. Roberts job is to manage, and in that instance he didn’t. It was Robert’s job to not just let Hill know that he was letting him go as deep into the game as he can (due to the gassed and ineffective bullpen), but also to damn well make sure that there was no miscommunication. To make sure that Hill didn’t walk off the mound and then be forced to bring in some gassed bum who couldn’t get anyone out.

I’ve always liked Roberts, but that one was squarely on him. And let me tell you guys something; the Red Sox were the wrong club to make this mistake with. Not only do the players have to get better if the Dodgers want to get over the hump and win a World Series, but Roberts and the game management has to get better too.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

12 thoughts on “The Mystery of The Fourth Game of The 2018 World Series

  1. Considering Roberts made the same move in Game 2 of the 2017 series (just earlier) I have no problem placing blame on his shoulders, where his head should be.

    1. Roberts certainly does deserve blame if for no other reason than having made this blunder not once but twice in these WS. However many others must be held responsible for these back to back WS losses as well.

  2. No mystery what so ever. Roberts screwed the pooch pure and simple and the Dodger offense just plain sucked. But ultimately that loss was on a bullpen that failed miserably.

  3. Roberts and the coaching staff have had their share of gaffs, letdowns and plain stupidity in the last two world series.

    Scott just when I was ready to forget it all and wrap up, you pull me right back in it and drive me to have reach for another one ….

  4. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone that I disagree with this take.

    The Dodgers weren’t going to beat the Red Sox. Not in a 5 game series, not in a 7 game series, not in a 9 game series. Hill had thrown 91 pitches and looked gassed. He handed the ball to Roberts and walked off the mound. Box score says Blown Save Kenley Jansen, Loss Dylan Floro

    I think it is time to let it go and accept the painfully obvious fact the better team won that series. Clayton Kershaw was 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA and Kenley Jansen didn’t save anything. The Dodgers hit .180 as a team, and struck out 56 times in 5 games. The all or nothing Dodgers gave you nothing and Roberts had very little to do with it.

    1. Badger
      Agree with the stats you posted but it is also time for you to come to the realization that Roberts is not the manager you think he is. Many instances can be cited where Roberts has made stupid mistakes such as letting Kike pitch when the game was still able to be won and many others. That is why I call him Dummy. You can’t give him credit for being great and blame EVERYTHING on the players. He helped a lot to losing many games and those in the WS also. He has made more than his share of losing decisions. Nice to see you back however.

      1. Never said he was great. Don’t believe he is. Just think he’s doing what he was hired to do, implementing strategies he’s expected to employ.

        When a team is outgunned as badly as the Dodgers were it takes heroic effort on the players part to pull off the upset. Look no further than Madison Bumgarner for an example of just that. Had Clayton Kershaw pitched in either series to the level Bumgarner did the Dodgers would have a Championship. Had Kenley Jansen done his job, had the offense hit better than .180 and not struck out so often. The Red Sox came through for Cora. The Dodgers did not come through for Roberts.

        Changes have been made. Maybe they work. But without your ace and your closer pitching like they are paid to….. the results will be the same.

    2. How did he look gassed? He was dominating and had just notched a strikeout. I didn’t say they would have won the series. Of course. The Red Sox were a better club. I said they would have won that game.

  5. Badger, you came out of hibernation, that was a long nap. Well welcome back! Same old shit in here and in the Dodgers organization. I guess what I am trying to say is you didn’t miss anything.

    Time to turn this blog into a Rams blog, at least the Rams have owner, management and coaches that guide the players to go for the whole coconut. I have not seen any statements from management stating that winning a playoff game is a great achievement nor have I seen any statement that states going to the SB is a great achievement. I believe that we are watching an organization focused on winning it all, thus you need a player we get a player and then we let that player play. How refreshing.

    1. So Friedman addresses the OF this off-season, the question is Did he actually improve it? Puig appeared to just be getting a handle on being a major league force, both offensively and defensively (well he was always a force defensively), and Kemp was very productive until they decided to not allow him to play. So Friedman adds Pollock, is he really better or even equal to what Friedman unloaded?

      No matter what Friedman does or doesn’t do, it still boils down to the heavy reliance of computers making the line-up from day to day. I just don’t see most players being able to excel when they don’t know from game to game if they are even in the line-up. Batters need to bat and on a very regular basis, in order to keep it going. The Dodgers approach seems to betray that idea of using a set line-up and allowing the batters to find and keep their stroke. I’m afraid we are in for the same bullshit approach and will get the same bullshit results. Unless something really changes, this club is going to be a 85 to 87 win team this season.

      But hell, GO RAMS!!!

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