Boston: The fans hung around bundled in Dodgers jackets and beanies, wearing enough layers to stave off the chill as midnight approached. They had more interest sticking around Boston than the Dodgers themselves after two nights getting squashed by the Red Sox. After a 4-2 loss in Game 2 of the World Series, the Dodgers will fly to Los Angeles in jeopardy of seeing their season end this weekend at Dodger Stadium.
“It’s going to be warmer,” Cody Bellinger reasoned. “And hopefully our bats will get hot too.”
The bats were colder than the climate on Wednesday. After a fourth-inning flurry, the hitters produced nothing against Boston starter David Price and the relievers, who replaced him after the sixth inning. The Dodgers finished the night on an 0-for-16 skid. The group compiled three hits and struck out eight times, whimpering through the finish line after a go-ahead single by Yasiel Puig in the fourth inning.
Handed a lead, the duo of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Ryan Madson let it disappear. Ryu permitted three runners to reach base in the fifth inning with two outs. Madson allowed all of them to score.
Manager Dave Roberts paid for his faith in Madson, and found his team two defeats away from another season without a championship.
“We’ve got to find a way to win a baseball game,” Roberts said.
That task proved elusive at Fenway Park. The offence has yet to materialise. Neither Ryu nor Clayton Kershaw could complete the fifth inning. Madson combusted in both games. The team allowed Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel, who teetered on the high wire earlier in the postseason, to cruise through two outings.
The Dodgers can comfort themselves with the presence of rookie pitcher Walker Buehler for Game 3. They will also roll out a line-up that features more power than the group they used in Boston.
With Boston planning to start right-handed pitcher Rick Porcello in Game 3 on Friday, the Dodgers will build a batting order that includes Bellinger, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson. All three sat on Wednesday for the second day in a row, as Roberts utilised the same line-up as he did in Game 1 against left-handed starter Chris Sale.
The Dodgers have only a day to regroup.
The temperature will reside in the 80s on Friday. Their line-up will feature more sluggers. And they will have Buehler, making his first World Series start. They must take solace in these things, because the 18 innings at Fenway Park left little reason for optimism.
“We’ve got Walk on the mound,” third baseman David Freese said. “Give him the rock, and let’s go. We need it. We need it to be 2-1.”