LOS ANGELES — Amid the somber Dodgers clubhouse after Wednesday night’s loss, a couple of things stood out that helped end their season with the result they did not want. The Astros celebrated a World Series win at Dodger Stadium thanks to a Game 7 that got away early from the Dodgers, and an offense that couldn’t get the big hit.
Yu Darvish was bad, again, and allowed five runs while only recording five outs. It was his second five-out start of the series.
“I didn’t make adjustments or the stuff that I didn’t have hurt. It hurt the team,” Darvish said. “But this pain is going to stay in me for a while. I’ve just got to learn from it and just go from there.”
It was still 3-0 with a runner on base and two outs in the second inning when George Springer, who doubled an inning earlier, was up again. Manager Dave Roberts didn’t want to remove Darvish at that point, even though he generated just one swing and miss.
“Up to that point, there were two balls that were hit hard. There was the first ball off Springer’s bat, the double and then Gonzalez -- outside of that we made an error, the stolen base, and then some soft grounders,” Roberts said. “I understand it’s Game 7, but I just felt his stuff was good. And I think anything other than a homer would have been considerably better.”
Springer, the World Series MVP, homered, giving the Astros a 5-0 lead. Springer hit a slider for the double in the first inning, and Darvish said he shook off a slider call from catcher Austin Barnes to throw a fastball to Springer for the home run.
“I think every game that we’ve won this series, they had the lead at some point. 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 even is not insurmountable by any means,” said Clayton Kershaw. “But once Springer hit that home run and made it 5-0, that makes it pretty tough, especially with the guys they had ready to go.”
The initial plan was for Kershaw and Kenley Jansen to pitch the final nine outs in some combination if the Dodgers had the lead, but that plan went out the window when Darvish was done so early.
Kershaw pitched four scoreless innings in relief, followed by Jansen for one inning and Alex Wood for two to help keep the Astros offense in check the rest of the way. But the offense didn’t do much at all.
The Dodgers were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 runners on base.
“We had a couple of chances to get through with Peacock and McCullers. Just couldn’t get that big hit,” Roberts said. “Morton just really — the velocity, the slider, and he was really on point tonight. And they made pitches, and we just couldn’t get the hit when we needed to.”
The Dodgers hit just .205/.290/.393 as a team during the World Series, including .200/.258/.364 with runners in scoring position. Yet they scored 34 runs, nearly five runs per game, same as the Astros, who are soaked in champagne at the moment.
“It hurts more talking with the guys and seeing people after. You start giving people hugs and recapping the year. It was a great year,” said Brandon Morrow. “We had a lot of ups, and unfortunately this was the biggest down.”
“Like I told the guys, when you put everything, every ounce of your being into something and you come up short, it hurts,” Roberts said. “And it’s supposed to hurt.”
“Don’t take anything for granted. Remember this, let the pain motivate us,” Jansen said. “We let the pain from Chicago motivate us this year. Let this motivate us next year.”
“It’s hard. You go through this much effort to win that many games against this many good teams,” Kershaw said. “I hope we get to this point again.”