Dodgers fail matchup vs. Red Sox

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports -

BOS­TON — It was the sec­ond game of the sec­ond half of the sea­son, sure. Don’t kid your­self.

It was the big­gest game of the Dodgers’ sea­son thus far.

It wasn’t just that the Dodgers had lost four in a row.

It was HOW they were los­ing.

A for­mula was de­vel­op­ing. Neu­tral­ize all that po­tent left-handed hit­ting with left­handed pitch­ing.

Jam the left­ies, and you jam the Dodgers’ fir­ing mech­a­nism.

The San Diego Padres did it for three straight set­backs to end the first half last week­end in Los An­ge­les.

Things were get­ting a lit­tle edgy around Dodger­dom.

After his brain-cramped throw to sec­ond base ig­nited a three-run out­burst, catcher Austin Barnes was the sac­ri­fi­cial sub­ject of David Vassegh’s postgame Dodger Talk Fri­day.

Call­ers were de­mand­ing the per­ma­nent pro­mo­tion of Will Smith, the rookie catcher who has two walk-off home runs in his first seven ma­jor league games.

When you can’t beat a team, and worse, that team looks like it has your num­ber, you’ll lapse into this kind of pan­ic­s­peak.

The opener of World Se­ries 2018.5 looked a lot like those first two for­get­table games in Fen­way last Oc­to­ber.

The Dodgers, who thrive on matchups, just didn’t match up with the Bos­ton Red Sox.

It was more a case of over­matched than matchups.

When Eduardo Ro­driguez picked up Fri­day where the Red Sox left off last Oc­to­ber, all the talk of the in­evitable/ un­stop­pable Dodgers seemed em­bar­rass­ingly pre­ma­ture.

Had Chris Sale, whose trou­bles at Fen­way Park are truly baf­fling, sud­denly re­lo­cated his form of the fi­nal game of the 2018 World Se­ries, the Dodgers would have known they were in trou­ble.

But he didn’t.

The Dodgers of­fense made sure he didn’t.

Right-handed hit­ters Justin Turner, David Freese and newly re­ac­ti­vated A.J. Pol­lock drove in the first five runs, and drove Sale to the show­ers.

Beat­ing Bos­ton checked off a very big box on the Dodgers’ World Se­ries cham­pi­onship check­list.

The spe­cial sea­son has now of­fi­cially re­sumed.

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