“The Dodgers Way”
Branch Rickey wrote the book on how the game was to be played….”The Dodgers Way”
And so it was last night, in the must win-or go home for good World Series game.
The Dodgers were going to do it their way, by their own book, regardless of what anyone thought, wrote or said.
And so they went to the bullpen, time and time again, and for at least this one night, the bullpen bailed them out, in the LA win over the Houston Astros, forcing Game 7-tonight.
Dodgers Stadium has never seen a Game 7-in its long history.
There were flashback responses thru out the night.
Page 2 of the Dodgers analytics, said pull starter Rich Hill at the first sign of trouble.
They did it again, yanking him early, leading to a temper tantrum by the volatile left-hander in the dugout.
They did it again, getting to page three, asking overworked Brandon Morrow to get a key out or two, and somehow he did, despite pitching for the 12th time in the 13-postseason games his team has played.
And then the parade of relievers continued. Tony Watson, Kenta Maeda, and again the request of ace relieved Kenley Jansen, ‘get us another 6-out save’.
And somehow, someway, the fatigued bullpen brigade came thru.
It was not easy.
While the Dodgers wore down Justin Verlander, despite a 9-strikeout-3 hit outing, it was the timely hits that got LA into the position to win.
Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson did the heavy lifting.
But it was the boys in blue, marching out of the pen that was the difference.
Morrow worked out of a bases loaded jam.
Watson bailed them out of a 1st and 2nd man on scrape.
Maeda stranded runners at first and third.
And Jansen willed his stuff to overwhelm the Astros in the 8th and 9th frame.
I almost came out of my chair, when they went by the book, and yanked Hill.
I did come out of my chair when they went to Morrow. And I slumped back in my seat, wondering if the rest of the arm weary staff could get this done.
The Dodgers were going to live, or die, by the book, the book of analytics.
Bring on game seven, Yu Darvish-Alex Wood-Clayton Kershaw will be ready, plus whatever gas is left in the arms in the bullpen.
By the book, right or wrong, it got them the Game 6-win.
It’s a new version of the Dodgers Way.