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Dodgers Dugout: Dodgers are one win away from the title

Clayton Kershaw points to the sky as a Rays hitter pops up in the sixth inning of Game 5.
Clayton Kershaw points to the sky as a Rays hitter pops up in the sixth inning of Game 5.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and the Dodgers are so close, yet so far.

Some random thoughts on Game 5:

Clayton Kershaw didn’t have his best stuff, but battled through it and got the win. That’s what a great pitcher does.

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—Kershaw started two World Series games and got the win in each. You can’t ask for much more than that.

—In his World Series career, Kershaw is 3-2 with a 4.46 ERA. If you take out the game where the Astros were stealing signs, he has a 3.58 ERA.

—Did you see Justin Turner lobbying Dave Roberts to keep Kershaw in the game when Roberts went out to remove him in the sixth inning? It looked like, and many people on social media who can read lips also think, that he said “He can get this ... out, right?” With the dots representing a word we can’t print in a family newsletter. Or in this one. You have to love emotion like that.

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—Baseball is a funny game. In Game 4, almost every move Roberts made backfired and he looked like a bad manager. In Game 5, almost every move worked and he looked like a genius.

—Here’s how it went: “Why is he taking Kershaw out? Let him finish the inning! And he’s bringing in Dustin May? May can’t get anyone out this postseason.” Then May looks dominant.

—"Why is he taking out May for Victor Gonzalez, with Randy Arozarena on deck? Gonzalez is a lefty and can’t get Arozarena out!” Gonzalez walks the first batter, gets Arozarena and Brandon Lowe out.

—"He’s bringing in Blake Treinen? He’s been so shaky. Where’s Brusdar Graterol?” Treinen gives up a single, but then looks dominant and gets the save.

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—Any of those moves could have backfired and we’d all be talking about what a bad game manager Roberts is today. But they work and we just think he’s lucky.

—Which is my long way of saying that managing is hard. Sitting on the couch making decisions is easy. My couch decisions always work out perfectly. I’m not saying Roberts is the greatest game manager of all time. And I do think some of the decisions he and the Dodger brain trust make are wrong or rely too much on analytics. But, if you are going to blame him when the decisions backfire, don’t you have to give him respect when the decisions work?

—When Roberts went out to remove Kershaw, it sounded like a capacity crowd at Dodger Stadium was booing him.

—Dodger fans who traveled to Texas for this series have been awesome with the amount of noise they are making.

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Manuel Margot tried to steal home. At first I thought it was a horrible move, but after thinking about it and watching the replay, he almost pulled it off. His chance of success was probably better than the chance Kevin Kiermaier was going to get a hit off Kershaw in that situation.

—Also, a heads up play by Kershaw in stepping off the rubber properly and not balking.

—And a great tag by Austin Barnes, who had to reach away from the runner for the ball then slide back over to make the tag.

—I believe Will Smith will one day be a solid catcher, offensively and defensively, but I’m not convinced he makes that play. In this World Series, I prefer Barnes be behind the plate.

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—Amazing base running by Corey Seager, taking second and then third on two wild pitches. If the Dodgers win the series, he’s the MVP.

—You would have never guessed that the Dodgers had lost the night before in embarrassing fashion.

—Just think, Joc Pederson would be with the Angels right now and watching the World Series if Angels team owner Arte Moreno hadn’t vetoed that pre-season trade. Thanks Arte!

—I’ve been keeping track the last couple of games, and it’s official: Joe Buck makes just as many negative comments as the Rays as the Dodgers, and he praises them both about equally. Many of us are victims of confirmation bias, where, when he criticizes the Dodgers we say “He’s doing it again!” And John Smoltz has some great insights into the game, if he could just pare down his words from 100 per sentence to about 10. And Buck still has a weird obsession with May’s hair (Yes, I still like to pick on Joe Buck).

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—This postseason seems to be taking as long as the season did.

Tony Gonsolin will start Game 6 for the Dodgers in what is expected to be more of a bullpen games. Blake Snell goes for the Rays.

—Has anyone seen Edwin Ríos or Matt Beaty lately? I’m getting worried about them.

—Those people who emailed me after the Dodgers fell behind 3-1 to Atlanta, the ones who said that they were going to stop being Dodgers fans and that the team is full of losers? Have only heard from a couple since.

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—I’m sticking with my prediction: Dodgers in six.

—P.S.: The new Bruce Springsteen album is great. Give it a try.

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, .471, 8 for 17, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 7 runs scored
Joc Pederson, .400, 4 for 10, 1 HR, 3 RBIs
Max Muncy, .389, 7 for 18, 1 double, 1 HR, 6 RBIs
Justin Turner, .364, 8 for 22, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 5 runs scored
Kiké Hernández, .250, 2 for 8, 2 RBIs
AJ Pollock, .250, 1 for 4, 1 double
Mookie Betts, .227, 5 for 22, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 4 stolen bases
Chris Taylor, .200, 4 for 20, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 10 strikeouts
Cody Bellinger, .158, 3 for 19, 1 HR, 3 RBIs
Will Smith, .150, 3 for 20, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 9 strikeouts
Austin Barnes, .100, 1 for 10, 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, 17

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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, Corey Seager, 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
x-Joc Pederson, 5
Davey Lopes, 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
12th: x-Joc Pederson, 9

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, 28
Gil Hodges, 22
x-Chris Taylor, 21
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, .318
x-Max Muncy, .314
Billy Cox, .302
Ron Fairly, .300
Steve Yeager, .298

Pitchers

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

Innings
Sandy Koufax, 57
Carl Erskine, 41.2
Don Sutton, 41
Don Drysdale, 39.2
x-Clayton Kershaw, 38.1
Johnny Podres, 38.1

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Strikeouts
Sandy Koufax, 61
x-Clayton Kershaw, 41
Don Drysdale, 36
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
14th: x-Clayton Kershaw, 4.46

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: Dodgers 4, Tampa Bay 2

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Game 6: Tuesday, Tampa Bay (Blake Snell**) vs. Dodgers (Tony Gonsolin), 5 p.m., Fox

Game 7*: Wednesday, Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton) vs. Dodgers (Walker Buehler), 5 p.m., Fox

*-if necessary
**-left-handed

In case you missed it

Photos: Dodgers vs. Rays in World Series Game 5

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Bill Plaschke: Can you feel it? Dodgers one win from conquering 32 years of October heartbreak

Dylan Hernández: No longer an October failure, Clayton Kershaw is a win away from becoming a champion

Joc Pederson making it a ‘Joctober’ to remember for Dodgers

How Dodgers foiled Manuel Margot’s stealing home gamble

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And finally

1981 World Series Game 6, Dodgers vs. Yankees. Dodgers win 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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