The LowDown (WS): Dodgers Eliminated in Fall Classic for Second Consecutive Season

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Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Game One

[TUESDAY] Clayton Kershaw took the mound for the Dodgers in game one of the 2018 Fall Classic against the Boston Red Sox’ ace, Chris Sale. The Dodgers’ offense struggled while Boston’s high-powered offense got to Kershaw early.

Kershaw earned the start as the Dodgers’ ace in game one of the World Series, giving up five runs on seven hits and three walks. However, two of Kershaw’s runs were inherited after a tough outing for Ryan Madson. Kershaw only pitched four innings complete, which surprisingly was a longer outing than that of his foe, Chris Sale.

Fighting from behind to attempt to keep the game close, the bullpen had a difficult time keeping runs off the board. following Madson, Julio Urias, Pedro Baez, and Alex Wood entered the game, in that order. Each of the three pitchers following Madson was credited with giving up a run. The three runs came across on a three-run home run by Eduardo Nunez, served up by Alex Wood. The Red Sox would finish the game having milked eight runs out of the Dodgers’ pitchers.

The offense was pitiful against Sale and the Red Sox’ relievers, going 1 for 7 (.142) with runners in scoring position and leaving seven runners on base. Matt Kemp and Manny Machado played the role of the Dodgers’ bright spots in game one, providing all of the Dodgers’ four runs together. Kemp launched a home run over the ‘Green Monster’ in left field to get the Dodgers on the board early. Machado then went on to snatch up three RBIs in the game. Justin Turner also played a big role in the Dodgers’ offense, collecting three hits in the game. By the game’s end, the Dodgers offense was struck out twelve times.

The Dodgers lose to the Red Sox, 8-4. (Red Sox lead World Series, 1-0)

Player of the Game: Manny Machado

 

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Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Game Two

[WEDNESDAY] Hyun-Jin Ryu took the starting job for the Dodgers at Fenway park in game two of the World Series. Ryu pitched well in his start, but inherited multiple runs after exiting the game part way through the fifth inning.

Ryu worked his way through four and two thirds innings, being charged for four runs on six hits and a single walk in his outing. Ryu also collected five strikeouts versus the Boston lineup. Hyun-Jin Ryu ended up pitching a decent game, but as previously mentioned, inherited runs after another performance of serving up runs, un-credited to himself, by Ryan Madson.

The Dodgers’ bullpen was represented by Ryan Madson, Julio Urias, Kenta Maeda, Scott Alexander, and Pedro Baez in game two. The box score ledgers show only two hits surrendered by relief pitchers. However, Madson entered the game with three inherited runs on base, and dished up an RBI walk, followed by an RBI single off the bat of J.D. Martinez to score all three inherited runs. These three scored inherited runs would stack Madson’s World Series total to five inherited runs scored, besting his full regular season total of four.

The Dodgers’ offense was nothing short of putrid in this momentous game two, collecting only two runs on three hits; all coming in the four inning. In the other eight innings, the Dodgers were hitless and scoreless, being shut down with every at-bat at barely above-freezing Fenway Park. The Dodgers only worked their way into three situations with runners in scoring position, capitalizing on only one with the an RBI single from Yasiel Puig.

Dodgers lose to the Red Sox, 4-2. (Red Sox lead World Series, 2-0)

Player of the Game: Yasiel Puig

 

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Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Game Three

[FRIDAY] The Dodgers battled and clawed their way to victory in a record-setting game three, led by a dominating performance from the youngster, Walker Buehler. A walk-off performance ignited a fire under the Dodgers that reeks of a series comeback.

Walker Buehler had the Boston Red Sox’ offense in fits the entire night, pitching seven innings of two-hit, shutout baseball. Buehler tossed 108 pitches to reach the final out in his stellar outing, striking out seven. Buehler also didn’t allow a free-pass to any batter, keeping his walk total to a clean-cut zero. Performances like this from Walker Buehler just go to show that the hype surrounding this young fireballer is real and warranted. Buehler’s 108th pitch of the evening, striking out J.D. Martinez, clocked in at 98 MPH on the radar gun.

The bullpen needed only to handle two innings of work after Buehler left the mound with a 1-0 lead intact. Kenley Jansen would go on to handle both the eighth and the ninth inning for the Dodgers, and would surrender a solo home run in Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox’ playmaking center fielder, burning Walker Buehler’s chance at his first career World Series win. The rest of the game following Jansen’s exit in a 1-1 contest would be in the hands of the bullpen.

Following Jansen’s two innings, in order, was Pedro Baez, Ryan Madson, Scott Alexander, Dylan Floro, Kenta Maeda, Julio Urias, and Alex Wood. Of these extra innings relievers, who would add on to make the World Series game with the single-most players used at a total of 46, only Alexander would yield a run. Alexander’s run would come across in the thirteenth inning on an RBI single by Eduardo Nunez. Wood would close the game out as the final Dodger to pitch in the eighteenth inning, securing the win on a walk-off home run in the bottom half of the inning.

The Dodgers’ offense is what would go on to win them the game, for sure, but the offense did a poor job in assisting their star pitcher’s outstanding performance on the mound. The Dodgers mustered only one run in the regulatory nine innings, coming on a solo home run by Joc Pederson. In extra innings, the Dodgers collected another run on an RBI single by Yasiel Puig in the thirteenth to answer back to Boston’s run scored in the top half of the inning. Both of these runs preceded the biggest run of the game for LA. That run came in the bottom of the eighteenth inning with no outs. Max Muncy stepped up to the plate, battling Nathan Eovaldi to a 3-2 count. And with that count, the fans who stuck it out for this seven hour marathon on their feet, and Eovaldi nearing 100 pitches, Muncy sent a pitch deep to left center and over the wall, calling back to the picturesque postseason walk-off home runs of Justin Turner in 2017 or Kirk Gibson in 1988. With his teammates charging the field in celebration and fans chanting and cheering, Max Muncy will forever be immortalized in Dodgers’ lore after this historic night.

Dodgers defeat the Red Sox, 3-2. (Red Sox lead World Series, 2-1)

Player of the Game: Walker Buehler

 

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Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Game Four

[SATURDAY] In a game filled with questionable calls from the Dodgers and manager Dave Roberts, the Red Sox would pull ahead in the 2018 Fall Classic, sitting on the doorstep of the franchise’s ninth World Series title.

Rich Hill started the game for the Dodgers, dominating through six and one third innings. Hill only gave up one hit to Boston, but inherited a run after walking Xander Bogaerts to begin the seventh. Ryan Madson would enter the game later in the inning and give up a home run. Hill also punched in seven strikeouts.

Scott Alexander, Ryan Madson, Kenley Jansen, Dylan Floro, Alex Wood, and Kenta Maeda represented the Dodgers out of the bullpen in game four and absolutely fell apart. Each reliever ended responsible for at least one run. Floro was suited with the loss, giving up three runs. Alexander’s run was inherited off of a home run given up by Madson. That run would turn out to be Madson’s seventh inherited run of the World Series, and the seventh one allowed to score. No single reliever had ever allowed seven or more inherited runs to score in a World Series before Madson this series.

The Dodgers’ offense played well in the game, but simply couldn’t keep pace with the Red Sox as the Dodgers’ relievers continually served up runs in the final few innings. Most notably, Yasiel Puig launched a loud three-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Dodgers a strong 4-0 lead. It was a bases-loaded field’s choice by Cody Bellinger with a throwing error that got the Dodgers on the board in the sixth, before the aforementioned Puig home run. The Dodgers didn’t score again until the Red Sox collected nine runs. The Dodgers could only answer back with a two-run homer off the bat of Kiké Hernandez. The Dodgers would leave eight runners on base.

Dodgers lose to the Red Sox, 9-6. (Red Sox lead World Series, 3-1)

Player of the Game: Yasiel Puig

 

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Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Game Five

[SUNDAY] Clayton Kershaw took the mound in a do-or-die situation and the game didn’t go the way that the Dodgers and Kershaw would have liked it to. The Red Sox would battle through the Dodgers in game five and celebrate their World Series victory on the field at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw worked through seven innings for the Dodgers in what could be his last start as a Dodger, giving up four runs on seven hits; three hits being home runs. Kershaw’s final line also included five strikeouts. With only one run of support, Kershaw would be handed the loss in this game five.

Both Pedro Baez and Kenley Jansen worked an inning out of the ‘pen for the Dodgers following Kershaw’s exit. Baez gave up one run on a solo home run by World Series MVP, Steve Pearce, in the eighth inning. Jansen’s ninth inning was perfect, minus a lead-off walk to Xander Bogaerts. Jansen then pitched into a double play, followed by a groundout to get out of the inning.

The Dodgers offense was pathetic with the pressure of this must-win game five weighing on them. The only bat that seemed to be on was the bat of David Freese, who hit a triple and a home run. Freese’s home run was the only run scored by the Dodgers, as the rest of the team combined to get one hit amongst themselves. The Dodgers would finish with an 0 for 2 (.000) line with runners in scoring position, stranding three runners. This embarrassing performance from the Dodgers’ offense in game five and the entire World Series is arguably the biggest reason the Dodgers are not World Champions. The bats were cold all series, and made it look easy for Boston to beat Los Angeles in five games.

Dodgers lose to the Red Sox, 5-1. (Red Sox win World Series, 4-1)

Player of the Game: David Freese

 

Arrick Joel has covered the Dodgers since 2017, and for Dodgers-LowDown since 2018. Follow @ArrickJoel and @DodgersLowDown on Twitter for more.