– The media wants to hold everybody accountable, fans want to hold everybody accountable. Sometimes, there’s no earthly explanation to what happens. The Dodgers bullpen was 98 and a– the team was 98 and 0 when they lead after eight innings. 98 and 0! Until last night. Their bullpen had thrown 28 scoreless playoff innings. That’s absurd!
But then Houston, for the first time in the history of baseball playoffs– and this never happened before, first time in history of playoff baseball– the Houston Astros hit a home run in the 9th, the 10th, and the 11th. And oh, by the way, record-breaking heat. Therefore, the air is thinner in L.A., and those fly balls, a couple of them, looked like warning track outs, and up in row four.
Sometimes crazy happens. Last night was crazy. So everybody– we know the Dodgers have this formula, and they stuck to the formula mostly. And last night it backfired. All right! But you still have the better pitcher going in game three, Yu Darvish, and Clayton Kershaw going in game five, and historically, if you win game one and win game five, you win the series. They’ve already won game one with Kershaw. He’ll be favored to win in game five.
Sometimes crazy happens. How many of you parents out there? Kids do stuff and you’re like, good kid, did something awful. I can’t explain it. You can’t explain everything.
The Dodgers basically went to their bullpen very early. They pulled Rich Hill early, after five, and you’re like, what are you doing? It’s a– he’s doing– it’s fine– it’s– this is what they do, because they have an analytically-driven formula which is, we don’t want our pitchers, outside of Kershaw, facing batters for a third time. So they went to their bullpen.
Well they thought the game was going to go nine innings. OK. And then it suddenly went 11 innings, and they run out of pitchers. Now you can say, well, they went to their closer an inning early. Well, Houston’s manager is doing that too. Why? It was crazy, balls were flying out of the park!
And we talk about this in playoff baseball. You ask players to do things in playoff baseball that you don’t ask them to do in the regular season. That is what is unique with baseball. You ask starters to go to the bullpen. You ask closers to get six outs, not three. You’ll ask, from time to time, a power hitter not to seek power, although these days you like home runs.
But, this is the way playoff baseball works. It is survival island. Dave Roberts, of the Dodgers, was managing what he thought would be a nine-inning game, it went 11, you had a record-breaking heat, a record-setting bullpen, a record-setting Astro, 9, 10, 11-inning home run. Everybody wants an explanation this morning. That wasn’t a normal baseball game.