While there were prolonged times Pedro Baez drew the ire of the Los Angeles Dodgers fan base, the majority of them clamored for him to remain on the mound instead of Alex Wood against the Boston Red Sox in the seventh inning of Game 1 of the World Series.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts lifted Baez in favor of Wood. Rafael Devers, who hit an RBI single in the fifth inning, was due up. Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora countered the pitching change by sending pinch-hitting with Eduardo Nuñez.
The decision paid off as Núñez golfed a pitch just over the Green Monster for a three-run home run that blew the game open. “Petey throwing the ball well right there, but Devers is really good against the right-hander,” Roberts said after his club’s loss.
“And to get a guy off the bench and Nuñez, I really liked Alex in that spot, I did. Whether they were going to hit Devers with a lead or go to the bench and go with Nuñez, I still liked Alex in that spot.”
Devers has hit left-handers better than righties over his two-year career, while the opposite has held true for Núñez.
Independent of that, Wood has struggled in the postseason this year. The home run is the third Wood has allowed in 5.2 innings. He took the mound Tuesday night with opponents sporting a 1.020 on-base plus slugging percentage in the 2018 postseason.
For Baez, because he issued an intentional walk between picking up two strikeouts, one of the runs on Núñez’s homer was charged to him, marking the first he’s allowed this postseason.
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