Alexander: For Dodgers, determination doesn’t seem to be enough

first_imgBut Baseball Twitter soon had other things to worry about, not least a second-guess on Executive Time: Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Roberts’ response was diplomatic.“The president said that? I’m happy he was tuning in and watching the game,” he said. “I don’t know how many Dodger games he’s watched. I don’t think he is privy to the conversation. That is one man’s opinion.”Anyway, the manager has other things to worry about.Related Articles If this sounds like a redux of Game 2 last year against Houston, when Hill was taken out while pitching well and things fell apart … well, some habits are just tough to unlearn, I guess.The Dodgers’ marketing slogan in 2018 was “Determined,” a not-so-subtle reference to finishing one game short of last year’s championship. They have proceeded to do things the hard way throughout this season, and their task now is the hardest of all: Coming back from a 3-1 World Series deficit against a team that won 108 regular-season games, led baseball in most offensive categories and has been absolutely artful in this series in scoring runs with two out.Seven of Boston’s nine runs Saturday came with two out, including Mitch Moreland’s three-run homer off Ryan Madson in the seventh to draw close and two big hits in the ninth off Kenta Maeda: Steve Pearce’s three-run double for an 8-4 lead, and J.D. Martinez’ RBI single to make it 9-4. (Jansen’s contribution, a game-tying home run by Pearce, came with one out in the eighth.)For the series, 17 of Boston’s 23 runs have come with two out. You may think you’re almost out of danger, in other words, but you aren’t.“We had two guys go up there and build an inning before me, and we just kept grinding and kept grinding,” Moreland said. “With our mindset, we can change a game quick. We play 27 outs, or however many it was (Friday) night. We’re going to grind it until the last out, the last pitch, and we’ve proven that all year. We’ve had a lot of come-from-behind wins. We can throw a big inning together pretty quick.” Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire LOS ANGELES — While Kenley Jansen was explaining his and his team’s latest disappointment in the Dodgers clubhouse on Saturday night, reporters’ phones all went off at once.It was an Amber Alert. And no, it didn’t involve a runaway World Series, but that’s what we seem to have.Less than 21 hours after the Dodgers won a survival test and figured they’d changed the momentum of the 114th World Series, the Boston Red Sox flipped it right back Saturday night.How agonizing was that 9-6 Red Sox victory, in which the Dodgers had a 4-0 lead going into the seventh inning and blew it? Even the President second-guessed Dave Roberts, joining the chorus of Twitter critics who objected when the Dodgers’ manager pulled Rich Hill one out into the seventh, after 91 pitches, only to see the bullpen cough up the game.center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Maybe the Dodgers have just run into a team that is more, um, determined than they are.At this point, they are falling back on platitudes and trying to find something – a thread of history, a glimmer of hope – that can propel them. They thought they had it early Saturday morning, after surviving 18 innings and forcing Red Sox manager Alex Cora to use not one, not two, not three, but four of his starting pitchers. Their starters were fresh, Boston’s starters were supposedly ragged, and … well, look where that got them.Instead of bringing back Chris Sale on three days’ rest, as had been widely assumed, Cora used left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez, who had thrown six pitches in relief in Game 3. Rodriguez provided five solid innings before a messy sixth.He also gave Twitter a world-class meme after serving up Yasiel Puig’s three-run homer in that inning: Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Forty of the 48 teams in World Series history who have taken 3-1 leads have gone on to win. The 2016 Cubs were the last to come back from such a deficit, winning Game 7 in 10 innings in Cleveland. The last before that: The 1985 Royals, with eternal gratitude to umpire Don Denkinger.That history is about the only encouragement the Dodgers have left. And they’ll have to go through David Price on Sunday, and then Chris Sale in a potential Game 6 in Boston on Tuesday just to get to that opportunity.“It’s been done before,” Manny Machado said. “We’re gonna stay positive, always. We know what type of team we have. We’ve been grinding all year, we’ve been grinding in this series, so what’s three more games? Grind it all out. Keep playing, keep playing like we have. I believe in everybody in here, that we can do it.“If there’s a team that can come back from 3-1, it’s definitely us.”OK. Prove it. (And a little Johnny Hustle wouldn’t hurt.)[email protected]@Jim_Alexander on Twitter Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more