Dodgers fail matchup vs. Red Sox
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.