The box score said that Brandon McCarthy lost last night game. I beg to differ. It was the Dodger’s Manager, Dave Roberts who lost the game for the Dodgers and he lost it in the top of the 5th inning when he removed Rich Hill from the game. Yes, the next six batters were RH hitters, but everyone knows that Rich Hill has reverse splits: LH hitters are better against him than RH hitters. I rarely second guess and it’s very unusual for me to question strategy, but I said that when Hill was taken out in the 5th inning it was a dumbass move and I stand by it. Come on, Doc!
Rich Hill had only thrown 60 pitches and clearly had (at the minimum) another inning (maybe two) in him. But Dave Roberts pulled him to bring in Kenta Maeda who was very solid. It was just an inning or two too soon and it came back to bite Doc in the butt! Doc lost this game! Come on, Doc!
Look, the Dodgers had 27 consecutive scoreless innings thrown by their bullpen in the playoffs. THAT IS SIMPLY NOT SUSTAINABLE! It IS BOUND TO EVEN even out … even Ray Charles can see that… and it did! The more the pen pitches, the more likely it is they will give up some runs, especially when you get to Stripling, Fields and McCarthy. On a night when Rich Hill was very good, he was taken out after just 4 innings where he struck out 7 and threw just 60 pitches. Yes, he was pissed and so was I! Come on, Doc!
By pulling Rich Hill after 4 innings , Doc Roberts anointed the bullpen as the Dodger’s savior and the odds were long that it could be. This loss is on Dave Roberts. He should have allowed Rich Hill to pitch deeper into the game. I totally “get” taking Clayton Kershaw out after seven innings, even though he was low in his pitch count and dominant, but taking Rich Hill out after four innings was indefensible! Rich Hill could have went five innings… most likely six innings. Then you bring in Maeda to pitch an inning or so, maybe Cingrani or Watson and then hand the ball to Morrow for the 8th and Kenley for the 9th.
The bullpen had way too much exposure! Giving Rich Hill and extra inning or two, ESPECIALLY WHEN HE WAS STILL VERY EFFECTIVE would have limited that exposure. Come on, Doc! It wasn’t broke and you tried to fix it! I rarely criticize moves made by the manager because it is very subjective, but this one I violently disagreed from Jump Street! Dave Roberts is my favorite Dodgers manager… ever! He should be the NL Manager of the Year. He’s a very smart guy but that was a dumb decision. Learn from it, Dave. Come on, Doc!
Last night win gave the Astros hope when they could have headed back to Houston crushed and defeated. They were resilient and kept coming back after the bullpen kept coughing up leads – that’s the good thing about this team. They are fighters… junkyard dogs and in my book, being called a “junkyard dog” is the ultimate honor. They will put this behind them and com out with guns blazing in Houston where we need Yu Darvish to go a strong seven as well. The good news is that Kenley Jansen should not have another bad game.
It was an incredible game in which a hat saved a run and an umpire did the same. These are Destiny’s Dodgers. Say “I Believe!” The heroes weren’t many last night: Hill, Seager, Puig, Joc, Kike and Cingrani as the Astro pitching held the Dodgers to 5 hits, but the manager snatched defeat from the jaws of victory with the bonehead decision to take out Rich Hill. Houston gave the Dodgers their best shot and the Dodgers we set to beat them. If you haven’t noticed, this really sticks in my craw!
P.S. Did someone whisper in Adrian Gonzalez ear “We are paying you – you can’t go on vacation during the World Series?”