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Dodgers Dugout: Breaking down the Game 4 loss

2019 NLDS Game 4 - Los Angeles Dodgers v. Washington Nationals
Max Scherzer was dominant.
(Getty Images)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and as I told everyone at the start “Dodgers in 5.” So, why is everyone so worried?

Breaking down Game 4

-- So that’s how an ace pitches when the pressure is on and a win is mandatory. Let’s see if Walker Buehler can match that Wednesday. I think he can.

-- If the bad Buehler shows up though, Dave Roberts needs to get him out of there early. This is not time to wait and see if he can find his stuff.

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--Will Clayton Kershaw be the first man up in the bullpen?

--If it’s 3-2 Dodgers in the ninth and Kenley Jansen comes in for the save, will Dodgers fans have a collective heart attack before the inning begins?

--I know that hindsight in 20/20 and that all decisions made from the comfort of my couch turn out perfectly, but, why wouldn’t you send David Freese up to pinch-hit in the seventh inning instead of Chris Taylor?

-- No offense to Taylor, but he strikes out a lot and was facing a strikeout pitcher. Plus, Freese may be the closest thing to a modern-day Kirk Gibson. What are you saving him for if not that exact situation?

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--Pedro Baez, who some say is tipping his pitches, gives up a key home run to Ryan Zimmerman. It was almost as if Zimmerman knew what pitch was coming.

--Hey, A.J. Pollock struck out! At this point they may as well bring in a fan from the stands and let him hit.

-- I have no problem with Rich Hill, but going with a bullpen game against Max Scherzer was not a recipe for success.

-- That being said, it is always a pleasure to watch Hill pitch. If that was his final start in a Dodger uniform, he will be missed.

-- Why take out Kenta Maeda? Because he had pitched the day before, had already gone an inning and a third, plus Julio Urias had pitched well. The decision is debatable, but it didn’t really bother me when it was made.

-- What about the Game 5 lineup? Does Roberts stick with Matt Beaty, Gavin Lux and Will Smith? Lux and Smith look overmatched a times.

-- Or does he turn to Kiké Hernandez, Freese and Russell Martin against Stephen Strasburg?

-- Whatever he decides, people will criticize him for it if the Dodgers lose.

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--Freese hit .361/.435/.738 against right-handers this season. I’d definitely start him.

In fact, let’s look at how the Dodgers have fared against Strasburg, including postseason games:

Matt Beaty, .667 (2 for 3), 1 double, 1 RBI

Russell Martin: .500 (3 for 6)

A.J. Pollock: .412 (7 for 17), 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 3 RBIs

Jedd Gyorko: .412 (7 for 17), 2 doubles, 1 homer

Justin Turner: .250 (4 for 16), 2 homers, 6 RBIs

Will Smith: .250 (1 for 4)

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Kiké Hernandez: .222 (2 for 9), 2 homers

Joc Pederson: .143 (2 for 14), 1 double, 1 homer

Cody Bellinger: .118 (2 for 17), 1 double

David Freese: .091 (1 for 11)

Corey Seager: .071 (1 for 14), 1 homer

Chris Taylor: .063 (1 for 16)

Max Muncy: .000 (0 for 12)

Alex Verdugo: .000 (0 for 3)

Gavin Lux: .000 (0 for 2)

Team: .191/.276/.382, (33 for 173) 7 doubles, 1 triple, 8 homers, 4 walks, 66 strikeouts

And the Nationals vs. Walker Buehler

Brian Dozier: .600 (3 for 5), 1 double, 1 homer, 2 RBIs

Howie Kendrick: .500 (1 for 2), 1 walk

Victor Robles: .429 (3 for 7), 1 triple

Anthony Rendon: .375 (3 for 8), 2 doubles, 2 RBIs

Gerardo Parra: .235 (4 for 17), 1 homer, 1 RBI

Adam Eaton: .167 (1 for 6), 1 walk

Juan Soto: .143 (1 for 7), 1 walk

Kurt Suzuki: .143 (1 for 7), 1 double, 1 RBI

Trea Turner: .000 (0 for 8)

Matt Adams: .000 (0 for 4)

Yan Gomes: .000 (0 for 5)

Wilmer Difo: .000 (0 for 3)

Asdrubal Cabrera: .000 (0 for 2)

Team: .205/.278/.341 (18 for 88), 4 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 7 walks, 27 strikeouts

--For those of you asking, “Frenchy” in the TBS broadcast booth is Jeff Francouer.

--That Martha Stewart commercial where the guy chops off his finger and then falls out the window is a very odd ad for a food delivery service. It looks more like an ad for a horror movie starring Stewart, which really isn’t a bad idea.

--So if King Midas hangs out at all Midas shops, and touches your new tires (turning them to gold), aren’t you better off re-selling those tires to one of those “We Buy Gold” stores, using that money to buy tires and pocketing the rest? Because is it even safe to drive on gold tires?

--Here’s how I think Game 5 goes: Strasburg and Buehler only give up a run each, and the Dodgers take advantage of the Nationals’ bullpen and win 4-1.

--A guy can dream, can’t he?

The Cody Bellinger postseason tracker

Game 4: 1 for 4

NLDS: 3 for 15, 1 double, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 2 runs scored

Career postseason: .176 (23 for 131), 6 doubles, 4 homers, 13 RBIs, 10 walks, 50 strikeouts

Bullpen postseason tracker

Game 4: 5.1 IP, 7 hits, 5 ER, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

NLDS: 4.70 ERA, 15.1 IP, 14 hits, 8 ER, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

NLDS schedule

All times Pacific

Game 1: at Dodgers 6, Washington 0

Game 2: Washington 4, at Dodgers 2

Game 3: Dodgers 10, at Washington 4

Game 4: at Washington 6, Dodgers 1

Game 5: Wednesday at Dodgers, 5:30 p.m., TBS, AM 570

In case you missed it

Dylan Hernandez: Title chasers or chokers? Dodgers in precarious spot heading into Game 5

Dodgers forced into a winner-take-all Game 5 after Nationals beat them soundly

A.J. Pollock replaced by Matt Beaty after struggling at the plate

Max Scherzer and Ryan Zimmerman turn back the clock in Nationals’ win over Dodgers

And finally

Highlights from Game 4. Watch it here.

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston. Here’s how to subscribe to this newsletter.


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