Every pessimistic Los Angeles Dodgers fan on the planet felt their stomachs drop collectively as the team lost a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the top of the seventh inning. The “secure” three-run lead felt already half-blown when Tommy Kahnle came out of the bullpen to pitch the seventh inning against the same opponents he faced in Game 3.
After hardly having an opportunity to get to know Kahnle during the regular season, the right-hander with the amazing changeup found himself in the firing line during the postseason and, after just 12.2 innings during the regular season, became Dave Roberts’ go-to pitcher.
You won’t believe this, but Roberts‘ strategy failed. The manager of the 2020 World Series champion (who may need to take some time to enjoy that specific victory) learned very little from embracing Ryan Madson out of the blue in 2018 only to watch him gift-wrap the World Series for the Boston Red Sox.
This time, Kahnle was the new and ultimately way too significant toy. He walked the leadoff hitter, gave up a single to Trent Grisham on a line drive, then allowed Austin Nola to reach on a fastball before his stint on the mound finally came to an end.
But Roberts chose Yency Almonte, another late bloomer who has been exceptionally good lately, despite the possibility that he would later regret securing a World Series victory before the season even began.
He lacked brilliance. Ha-Seong Kim‘s double and Juan Soto’s single tied the score before Almonte rallied and struck out both Manny Machado and Brandon Drury. Then he tossed Jake Cronenworth one ball—the crucial one. Roberts motioned to the bullpen that he had seen enough at that point. Phillips?
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And before the postseason even started, he gave Jake Cronenworth the two-run single that ruined the Dodgers’ 111-win season. Most victories in the company’s history. a list of generations. a fantastic group.
The organisation waited, hoped, and prayed that a lottery ticket bullpen arm who could only manage 15 regular-season innings would finally recover from injuries and contribute.
Done in by a bulldog left-hurried hander’s warmup before facing a dangerous batter who was already one ball behind in the count. Done in by a manager whose performance in October hasn’t given him the standing to act so brazenly before the season even starts. The 89-win San Diego Padres have lost.
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