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Dodgers Dugout: Dodgers give Game 4 away

The Rays' Randy Arozarena scores the winning run in Game 4.
(Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and, yeah, I don’t know what to say.

Some random thoughts on Game 4:

—Let’s run down many of the things that went wrong, in no particular order.

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—It started pre-game, when Cody Bellinger‘s back tightened up and he had to switch from center field to DH. That became important later.

Will Smith started at catcher instead of Austin Barnes. That became important later.

—The Dodgers had two runners thrown out on the bases to end innings, one trying to advance to third on a hit, on trying to stretch a single into a double.

—The Dodgers had 15 hits and drew four walks and scored seven runs; the Rays had 10 hits and drew five walks and scored eight runs.

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—But there were a few mystifying pitching decisions made by Dave Roberts and the Dodger brain trust during the game

—Taking out Julio Urías with two out in the fifth when he had just struck out two guys. Yes, he gave up a homer to start the inning, but the top of the lineup was coming up and apparently the third time through the order is Kryptonite for all pitchers. But let’s look at how opponents have hit Urias each time through this season:

First time through the lineup: .281/.333/.494
Second time through the lineup: .159/.225/.159
Third time through the lineup: .206/.250/.235

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So, hitters fare worse against Urías the third time through a lineup than the first time through. I’ll take a pitcher that holds hitters to a .206/.250/.235 stat line any day.

—So they bring in Blake Treinen, who gets out of the fifth, but blows up in the sixth, giving up a single and a walk. Before too much damage is done, they take him out and bring in Pedro Baez, who immediately gives up a three-run homer and the lead. He gets the next two Rays out, ending his three batter commitment. The Dodgers re-take the lead in the top of the seventh, but strangely, they leave Baez in the game. He gives up a home run to Kevin Kiermaier to tie the score. AND ROBERTS LEAVES HIM IN THE GAME! Even more baffling, they have a left-handed pitcher warming up in the bullpen despite the fact the next two hitters are right-handed. Baez walks the next batter, but gets Randy Arozarena to ground into a double play. That doesn’t mean leaving Baez in was a good decision any more than playing in the center divider of the freeway for 10 minutes without getting hurt means that was a good idea either.

—The Dodgers take the lead again in the top of the eighth, 7-6. The Dodgers then bring in Adam Kolarek, who hasn’t pitched since about May 10, to pitch the bottom of the eighth. You can defend this because Kolarek is a lefty-killer, and the first three batters for the Rays in the inning are left-handed. He walks the first batter, retires the next two and is replaced by Brusdar Graterol. Throwing about 200-mph, Graterol gets Hunter Renfroe to fly to right.

—Instead of leaving Graterol in the game, Roberts and the Dodgers brain trust decide to trot Kenley Jansen out there. The same Jansen who gave up a long home run in his previous appearance. The same Jansen who everyone seems to think is “locked in” after a couple of strong outings despite weeks of evidence showing otherwise. The same Jansen who lost the closer role earlier this postseason.

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—Jansen strikes out a hitter, gives up a single, gives up a hard-hit ball that is run down for an out, walks a batter, then gives up a hit that should have tied the score.

—However, because Bellinger isn’t in center (Chris Taylor is), the ball gets misplayed by Taylor, who looks up to see the runners before making sure the ball is in his glove. He recovers and throws the ball in. Arozarena, trying to score, falls down between third base and home. The ball was relayed to home, and Smith, playing instead of Barnes, did his best Yasmani Grandal impression and dropped the throw, allowing Arozarena to crawl home with the winning run.

—By the way, Jansen didn’t back up home on the play. I doubt it would have made much difference, because the ball went the opposite way of the throw, but still.

—So here, in my opinion, is what happened: The Dodgers gave this game away, like they gave away Game 2 by making it a bullpen game. The Rays had to take advantage of all of this, and, like good teams do, they took advantage. Full credit to them for that. But the Dodgers should have won this game.

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—So once again, we have a World Series where bad pitching decisions cost the Dodgers a game. Will it cost the Dodgers the title this year? Time will tell.

—The Dodgers continuing infatuation with Baez is puzzling. For years now, he has had trouble in big games. I’m sure he has done well in some big games, but none spring to mind. He reminds me of former Dodger pitcher Antonio Osuna, who seemed unhittable when there was no pressure, but put him in a save situation or a tight spot, and the wheels would come off.

—And now the series is tied, 2-2, and the pressure shifts to the Dodgers and, gasp, Clayton Kershaw for Game 5 today.

Corey Seager and Justin Turner went 8 for 10 with five runs scored, two homers and three RBIs.

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—The Dodgers needed one more big hit in this game, but just didn’t do it.

—My prediction was Dodgers in six, and I’m sticking with it. But I didn’t really expect the second loss to be like this.

Dodgers World Series batting averages

Some of you hate when I start listing stats. You’ll want to skip the next two sections. Many have requested to see how the Dodgers are batting in the World Series, so here you are:

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Corey Seager, .500, 7 for 14, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 6 runs scored
Justin Turner, .444, 8 for 18, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 5 runs scored
Joc Pederson, .375, 3 for 8, 2 RBIs
Max Muncy, .333, 5 for 15, 1 double, 5 RBIs
Chris Taylor, .250, 4 for 16, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 9 strikeouts
Kiké Hernández, .250, 2 for 8, 2 RBIs
AJ Pollock, .250, 1 for 4, 1 double
Mookie Betts, .235, 4 for 17, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 stolen bases
Will Smith, .188, 3 for 16, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Cody Bellinger, .133, 2 for 15, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Austin Barnes, .125, 1 for 8, 1 HR, 2 RBIs
Edwin Ríos, .000, 0 for 2

World Series records

By popular demand, some Dodgers World Series leaders, which will be updates throughout the World Series:

Batters

Games
Pee Wee Reese, 44
Carl Furillo, 40
Gil Hodges, 39
Jim Gilliam, 39
Jackie Robinson, 38
Tied for 17th: x-Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, 16

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Runs
Jackie Robinson, 22
Duke Snider, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 20
Davey Lopes, 18
Gil Hodges, 15
Jim Gilliam, 15
Tied for 10th: x-Justin Turner, 11

Hits
Pee Wee Reese, 46
Duke Snider, 38
Gil Hodges, 35
Carl Furillo, 34
Jackie Robinson, 32
Steve Garvey, 32
Tied for 10th place: x-Justin Turner, 20

Doubles
Carl Furillo, 9
Duke Snider, 8
x-Justin Turner, 8
Jackie Robinson, 7
Jim Gilliam, 5
Roy Campanella, 5
Billy Cox, 5

Home runs
Duke Snider, 11
Gil Hodges, 5
Davey Lopes, 4
x-Joc Pederson, 4
Roy Campanella, 4
Steve Yeager, 4
Reggie Smith, 4

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RBIs
Duke Snider, 26
Gil Hodges, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 16
Ron Cey, 13
Carl Furillo, 13
Tied for 12th: x-Joc Pederson, 8

Walks
Jim Gilliam, 23
Jackie Robinson, 21
Pee Wee Reese, 18
Gil Hodges, 17
Duke Snider, 13
Carl Furillo, 13
Davey Lopes, 13
10th place: x-Chris Taylor, 9

Strikeouts
Duke Snider, 33
x-Cody Bellinger, 27
Gil Hodges, 22
Roy Campanella, 20
Steve Garvey, 19

Stolen Bases
Davey Lopes, 10
Jackie Robinson, 6
Maury Wills, 6
Pee Wee Reese, 5
Jim Gilliam, 4
x-Mookie Betts, 4

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Batting average (minimum 20 plate appearances)
Mickey Hatcher, .368
Tommy Davis, .348
Steve Garvey, .344
Pedro Guerrero, .333
Charlie Neal, .323
x-Corey Seager, .317
Billy Cox, .302
Ron Fairly, .300
Justin Turner, .299
Steve Yeager, .298

Pitchers

Wins
Sandy Koufax, 4
Johnny Podres, 4
Burt Hooton, 3
Don Drysdale, 3
Carl Erskine, Clem Labine, Hugh Casey, Don Sutton, x-Clayton Kershaw, Tony Watson, Preacher Roe, Larry Sherry, Orel Hershiser, 2

Innings
Sandy Koufax, 57
Carl Erskine, 41.2
Don Sutton, 41
Don Drysdale, 39.2
Johnny Podres, 38.2
x-Clayton Kershaw, 32.2

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Strikeouts
Sandy Koufax, 61
Don Drysdale, 36
x-Clayton Kershaw, 35
Carl Erskine, 31
Don Sutton, 26

Saves
Clem Labine, 2
Larry Sherry, 2
x-Kenley Jansen, 2
Mike Marshall, Jeff Pfeffer, Bob Welch, Hugh Casey, Ron Perranoski, Steve Howe, Jay Howell, 1

ERA (minimum 18 innings)
Claude Osteen, 0.86
Sherry Smith, 0.89
Sandy Koufax, 0.95
Orel Hershiser, 1.00
Clem Labine, 1.65
Johnny Podres, 2.11
Whit Wyatt, 2.50
Preacher Roe, 2.54
Joe Black, 2.82
Don Drysdale, 2.95
16th: x-Clayton Kershaw, 4.68

x- highest active player

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Dodgers-Rays schedule

All times Pacific

Dodgers are home team for Game 1, 2, 6 and 7

All games at Arlington, Texas

Game 1: Dodgers 8, Tampa Bay 3

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Game 2: Tampa Bay 6, Dodgers 4

Game 3: Dodgers 6, Tampa Bay 2

Game 4: Tampa Bay 8, Dodgers 7

Game 5: Today, Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw**) vs. Tampa Bay (Tyler Glasnow), 5 p.m., Fox

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Game 6: Tuesday, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 7*: Wednesday, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

*-if necessary
**-left-handed

In case you missed it

Dylan Hernández: Clayton Kershaw is tasked with gaining back World Series’ momentum in Game 5

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Corey Seager’s four hits in Game 4 keeps his stellar postseason on a roll

Dodgers’ record-setting clutch scoring with two outs makes impact on postseason

And finally

1988 World Series Game 5: Dodgers win the title. Watch it here.

Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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