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Dream Delivered, Dream Deferred

Dave Randall

Posted on November 3, 2017 19:26

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Getting to the World Series is gold. Losing Game 7 is Reynolds Wrap

There are three kinds of written post mortems once a World Series is over and winter falls over summer's game. 1) The objective reporting of the celebrants and their victory; 2) The less than objective search for answers why one team lost and the other prevailed. This is also the most popular venue for deciding who should shoulder the blame, and who's head should roll for the humiliation of defeat.

Then there's what I offer--the fan's lament. I have no reason to be objective. I don't cover the Los Angeles Dodgers. I follow them with the fervency of a High School Football Dad, but the caution and reserve of a cat when it hears a newspaper being rolled-up. 

Enough time has passed to put this seven game odyssey into perspective. In the 9th inning of Game 2, when Houston's Marwin Gonzales connected with a Kenley Jansen cutter that failed to cut, tying the score at 3, I felt the series was effectively over. My pessimistic, child-like side took over. I thought we were doomed, while hoping I'd be wrong.

I was right. Had Gonzales flied out and ended the game, the Dodgers fly to Houston up two. It wasn't to be. When, exactly, did the Astros' raw firepower actually do the Dodgers in? They held on in the wild and wooly second game, and touched up the likely four-time Cy Young Award winner, Clayton Kershaw in Game 5, at that pin ball machine once called "Ten-Run Field," a play on Enron Field, Minute Maid Park's original name. But it wasn't the slug fests that decided the series in Houston's favor. It was Games 3 and 7, when they fattened up on an uninspired Yu Darvish.

Darvish had been inconsistent before the deadline trade with Texas that brought him to L.A. The week before the deal, he'd given up ten runs to the San Diego Padres. In his first start as a Dodger, he easily dispatched the Mets. Then he suffered an injury, was up and down, won and lost, but was still looked upon as second to Kershaw in the rotation.

Houston teed off on him like he was the first hole at Augusta. 

By the second inning of the deciding Game 7, he should have been removed. Screaming sportswriters on ESPN, Fox and other outlets were beside themselves. Must Dodger manager Dave Roberts be held accountable? Yes and no.

Baseball is no longer a game where an elderly manager (think Casey Stengel, or more recently, Jack McKeon) can scratch his backside, spit, and play a hunch. If it were, Darvish may not have started at all. Analytics, in their post "Moneyball" form, have taken the game over, lock, stock and metrics. Roberts had his marching orders via spreadsheet. Unfortunately, Darvish, the fallible human, had, as crusty veterans would say, nothing on the ball 'cept a cover. The Astros were that one decision better--they took advantage of it, and won the series.

Dave Randall

Posted on November 3, 2017 19:26

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YUNG JOC GOES POP AGAIN! @Dodgers take the 3-1 lead in the 7th. #WorldSeries https://t.co/xrtSt8KN6x — FOX Sports:...

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