The manager botched the seventh inning. The closer botched the eighth. And in the ninth, with the lead gone and the energy leaking from Dodger Stadium, one of the few useful relievers acquired earlier in the summer by Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman botched the ninth.
Call it a historic collapse. Call it a systematic breakdown. Call it the early onset of winter. All apply, yet none precisely capture the bitterness of the fourth game of the World Series, a 9-6 defeat to the Boston Red Sox, when the Dodgers stood on the verge of tying this series and let the opportunity slip through their collective fingers.
Up four runs in the seventh inning, eight outs from a shutout, the Dodgers crumbled. Manager Dave Roberts pressed the wrong buttons. Kenley Jansen combusted once again. Dylan Floro could not stymy the most prolific offense in baseball, instead trembling in their wake.