Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Los Angeles Mitchell. I sold my house and car, turned in all the recycling material and mowed every lawn in the neighborhood and still can’t afford World Series tickets.
--That Vin Scully, Steve Yeager, Fernando Valenzuela first pitch was the greatest opening in the history of sports. I was expecting Sandy Koufax when Scully asked for a left-hander, but Fernando was great too.
--Let’s talk about Rich Hill for a moment. The Dodgers gave him a three-year, $48-million contract in the off-season. I thought it was a good deal at the time, but here’s what I don’t understand: If you don’t think a pitcher can successfully pitch through a lineup for a third time, why are you giving him $16 million?
The thought process this season is that a starting pitcher, particularly Hill, turns into a pumpkin when he faces a lineup for the third time. Is that correct in Hill’s case? Let’s look like at the numbers this season.
First time through a lineup the opponent hits: .192/.286/.318. That’s really good.
Second time through a lineup: .236/.324/.450. Uh oh, numbers are going up.
Third time through the lineup: .158/.208/.200. Wait, what? His numbers are actually better the third time through the lineup than any other time?
Well, perhaps this season is a fluke and over his career he has been hammered during his third time through a lineup. Let’s look:
First time through: .221/.311/.339
Second time through: .222/.306/.386
Third time through: .227/.294/.384
Gee, I’m not seeing a big difference. Which makes the decision to remove Hill after four innings a bad decision. He went four innings, giving up one run on three hits while striking out seven and walking three.
He had only thrown 60 pitches. So, try to squeeze a couple of more innings out of him. Then you can use Kenta Maeda/Tony Watson in the sixth/seventh, Brandon Morrow in the eighth and Kenley Jansen in the ninth.
Because again, why are you paying a guy $16 million if you don’t trust him to go six innings?
I don’t blame Hill for being irate. He had every right to be.
--Even though the Dodgers lost, that was a really great game.
--Nice of Josh Fields to fill the Pedro Baez role in Game 2. He retired no one, giving up two homers and a double. I could have done that.
--If you blinked, you may have missed Ross Stripling. Four pitches, one walk and he’s out of the game.
--We can moan and groan about things the Dodgers did wrong, but sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opponent. The Astros are a great team. They didn’t win 101 games by accident.
--It’s hard to win a game when you only get five hits and the other team gets 14.
--That being said, when you are up 3-1 on Justin Verlander, you need to win.
--I had one person email me a few seconds after Jansen gave up the tying homer. He was irate and said the Dodgers would lose the series, 4-1. If that’s how you feel, just stop watching and give any Dodgers gear you own to a real fan.
--Even Mariano Rivera lost a game in the World Series.
--Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger combined to go one for 17. Hard to win when that happens.
--How nice was it to see Joc Pederson hit a home run? And how sad was it to see him strike out with a runner on third and one out? That’s Pederson’s career in a nut shell.
--Hill had seven strikeouts in four innings. Over the next seven innings, the bullpen struck out only one.
--The Astros can’t feel too comfortable, because the Dodgers were hitting rockets off of their bullpen. They just kept hitting them right at people.
--The Dodgers acquired Yu Darvish for situations like Game 3. Let’s see what happens.
--Now the Dodgers need to shake it off and come back strong in Game 3. That’s what championship teams do.
Game 3 preview
Dodgers vs. Lance McCullers Jr.
Andre Ethier: 1.000 (3 for 3)
Yasiel Puig: .667 (2 for 3)
Enrique Hernandez: .500 (1 for 2)
Chase Utley: .333 (1 for 3), 1 double
Logan Forsythe: .286 (2 for 7), 1 double
Justin Turner: .000 (0 for 2)
Team: .450 (9 for 20), 2 doubles, 3 strikeouts
Astros vs. Yu Darvish
George Springer: .333 (6 for 18), 2 homers
Alex Bregman: .222 (2 for 9)
Jose Altuve: .219 (7 for 32), 2 doubles, 6 walks
Carlos Correa: .200 (3 for 15), 1 double, 1 homer
Carlos Beltran: .200 (2 for 10)
Brian McCann: .182 (2 for 11), 1 double
Josh Reddick: .160 (4 for 25), 1 triple
Marwin Gonzalez: .143 (2 for 14)
Evan Gattis: .143 (1 for 7)
Yuli Gurriel: .143 (1 for 7)
Cameron Maybin: .111 (1 for 9), 1 double
Team: .197 (31 for 157), 5 doubles, 3 homers, 50 strikeouts
The World Series
All games start at 5 p.m. PT and are televised on Fox.
Game 3: Friday, Dodgers (Yu Darvish) at Astros (Lance McCullers Jr.)
Game 4: Saturday, Dodgers (Alex Wood) at Astros (Charlie Morton)
Game 5: Sunday, Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) at Astros (Dallas Keuchel)
Game 6*: Tuesday, Astros (Justin Verlander) at Dodgers (Rich Hill)
Game 7*: Wednesday, Astros (TBA) at Dodgers (Yu Darvish)
* if necessary
This needs no explanation. Just watch.