Through the first five months of the season, the Dodgers were a middling offense against left-handed pitchers. As a group, they ranked 19th in baseball with a .711 on-base-plus-slugging percentage. That mediocrity prompted the team to acquire David Freese, a veteran corner infielder.
In September, the team posted an .831 OPS against left-handers, which was third in baseball, and not far from the team’s .860 OPS against right-handed pitchers that month.
Not all the credit belongs to Freese. But he was a significant factor, hitting .385 in September with a 1.130 OPS. His batting has not slackened in the postseason, as Freese has batted .400 with five RBIs in October.
Walker Buehler didn’t watch Game 2 of the World Series live. He departed Logan International Airport a half-hour before the first pitch was thrown at Fenway Park on Wednesday and landed about a half-hour after Craig Kimbrel secured the final out in a 4-2 victory for the Boston Red Sox. He did, however, purchase the in-flight WiFi to follow along as his team plunged to a 2-0 series deficit.
If the Dodgers fail to gain control of the World Series over their next three games against the Boston Red Sox, the waving of blue towels at Chavez Ravine intended to inspire the home team could double as a farewell gesture for many of their key players whose contracts are running out.
Rest assured, regardless of how much of their roster they retain, the Dodgers will remain competitive next season.
But being competitive isn’t the same as winning a championship. That’s why the Dodgers have to salvage this series and reverse the two-games-to-zero deficit, because they might not return to this stage of the postseason for some time.
Even Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, another key member of the Red Sox’s 2004 World Series championship team, was invited to participate (he declined, but was still recognized as part of the ceremony before the game)..
On Fenway Park’s first-base concourse is a wall bearing more than 100 pictures. There’s one for each of Boston’s victories in 2018. The number is up to 116 now that the Red Sox have piled up eight postseason wins.
It was inspired by a similar feature that first-year manager Alex Cora commissioned for his office. Team officials decided to replicate the “win wall” in a public space for the playoffs.
In his left arm, the one he had just used so powerfully against the Dodgers, David Price held his son.
Xavier Price is 17 months old, and adorable. He wore a T-shirt with a picture of his dad on it. He squirmed, trying to escape his father’s grasp and move freely about the interview room. He did his best to yank down the backdrop behind his father, the one that featured a sponsor that paid millions of dollars for its name to appear there.
For the one and only time Wednesday night, Price surrendered.