The Dodgers dropped Game 2 of the World Series, falling to the Rays, 6-4. Although they trailed for the entire game, it seemed like the Dodgers were constantly in it, but never could rally back when needed.
Here are three takeaways from the game.
You need to play perfect to win the game
The Rays were the better team for the night, but the Dodgers could have (and probably should have) won this game. Arguably the biggest play of the night came in the fourth inning. The Rays were up 1-0, and had a runner on first with one out. Ji-Man Choi grounded to second baseman Kiké Hernandez. What should have been a routine double-play to end the inning ended up resulting in only one out. Hernandez bobbled the ball, and they were only able to get the runner at second.
Instead of heading to the bottom of the fourth, the inning continued... and the Rays made the Dodgers pay for that miscue. Manuel Margot followed with a single and Joey Wendle added a double, bringing in two runs to make it 3-0 Tampa Bay. Instead of entering the bottom half of the inning down one run, they were down three runs.
This next one isn’t on the Dodgers, it’s on the home plate umpire. If you watched the game last night, you likely noticed..... a lot of bad calls. Well, there’s a reason for that. Todd Tichenor was behind the plate. He had the worst accuracy in all of baseball in 2020 among umpires who called at least 10 games. Yup, that’s who Major League Baseball picked to be the umpire for this game.
The Dodgers trailed 5-2 entering the sixth, but had momentum after putting some runs on the board and chasing Blake Snell out of the game. Choi was at the plate, and instead of a called strike three, this pitch was called a ball.
Choi went on to single the very next pitch, and of course, came in to score a run.
Who knows what happens the rest of the game, but had that double play been turned and the correct call been made, that is three runs taken off the board for the Rays, and the Dodgers win. Again, anything could have happened had the game gone a different direction, but you need perfection from every pitch and every out in a World Series game.
The Dodgers desperately need something out of Tony Gonsolin and Dustin May
All season, both Gonsolin and May delivered solid appearance after solid appearance for the Dodgers. The same can’t be said for the rookies this postseason. Gonsolin got the start for the Dodgers, only giving them four outs before being pulled. He allowed a solo home run to Brandon Lowe in the first. Through his first three outings in October, Gonsolin has allowed eight runs in 7 2⁄3 innings of work.
Things have been rough for May as well as he struggled in Game 2. He allowed three runs on four hits in only 1 1⁄3 innings of work. May has allowed six runs to score on eight hits over his last three appearances.
With those two arms seeing the most consistent work out of the bullpen and pitching bulk innings, the Dodgers will desperately need them to turn things around if they have any hope of winning this series.
Overall better at bats
Everything went well for the Dodgers at the plate during their recent four-game winning streak. Things didn’t go so well on Wednesday night. All four of LA’s runs came via the home run ball, as they hit three as a team. Hitting three homers is great, and I’ll take that any night of the week.
It’s not so great when that is how all your runs come.
LA had numerous chances to put more runs on the board, but just couldn’t deliver that clutch hit. They were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded five runners on base.
Finally, the biggest takeaway from the at bats was the fact they struck out 15 times. It’s tough to put runs together when you’re not even putting the ball in play and more than half of your outs aren’t even on balls put in contact. During the regular season, the Dodgers struck out the fourth fewest times in all of baseball, averaging less than eight strikeouts per game. Their discipline was some of the best. However, they just couldn’t see the ball well last night.
You have to tip your cap to the pitching staff of the Rays, they have some of the best arms out there. But if the Dodgers want to win any more games this series, 15 strikeouts cannot happen again.