The Dodgers evened up the World Series Saturday night with a five-run explosion in the ninth inning off Astros closer Ken Giles. Giles has been shaky all postseason, with a 2.217 (!) WHIP and 11.74 ERA (10 earned runs, including three home runs, in 7⅔ innings).
Both managers have been justifiably criticized for their bullpen management in this postseason. While Giles has been bad, Luke Gregerson, who made two scoreless appearances in Houston’s division series against the Red Sox and another in the ALCS against the Yankees, has yet to appear in the World Series. Unless he’s injured I don’t quite get this.
I’m guessing Giles, who has faced 11 batters in the World Series and retired just five of them, won’t be allowed anywhere near Game 5. If I’m A.J. Hinch, Chris Devenski, who was outstanding in Game 4, is my closer the rest of the way.
Here are today’s particulars.
Clayton Kershaw vs. Dallas Keuchel
This is a pitching rematch of Game 1, which was quite even (one solo homer allowed by each starter) until Justin Turner smashed a two-run shot in the sixth inning, the difference in the game.
Kershaw struck out 11 in Game 1, but during 2017, his K rate was higher at Dodger Stadium (11.2) than on the road (9.5). Also, he won’t have the advantage of the late-afternoon shadows as he did in Game 1.
Keuchel, who had a very good season overall, had an ERA more than a run lower at home (2.26, 11 starts) than on the road (3.53, 12 starts).
Another pitchers’ duel like Game 4 would seem to be what we’ll see tonight.
Tonight’s game is on Fox-TV. Announcers: Joe Buck, John Smoltz, Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal.
(Note: Going forward, I am going to link to the “classic” Gameday here because MLB.com broke the links I used to use to get to their “new” Gameday. If you click on this link, you can then click on “New Gameday” at the bottom of the page to get to the updated version. Note that the “classic” Gameday won’t load until just before game time.)
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This is the only thread for today’s game. Enjoy, and discuss amongst yourselves.