The Los Angeles Dodgers were one strike away from taking a commanding 3-1 lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, but a stunning turn of events now has them facing a best-of-three scenario.
Heartbreak for the Dodgers aside, Game 4 of the World Series will go down as on of the all-time great postseason games. Both teams mounted multiple rallies throughout the night and included in that was a stretch of three consecutive innings that saw the Dodgers and Rays each score.
Part of that was Pedro Baez surrendering a pair of home runs in back-to-back innings. He inherited two baserunners from Blake Treinen in the sixth and gave up a three-run home run to Brandon Lowe that gave Tampa Bay a 5-4 lead.
“I just loved the matchup. I felt Petey could pick Blake up right there. He had him 1-2 and didn’t execute a pitch. Made a bad pitch and Lowe put a really good swing on it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
It was evident Baez, like Treinen before him, was not sharp. He nonetheless was sent back out to the mound in the seventh inning after the Dodgers pulled back ahead. Baez struck out Mike Zunino but promptly allowed a game-tying solo homer to Kevin Kiermaier.
“I take blame for having him go back out. We were down and I told him he was finished,” Roberts revealed. “Asked to go back out, he said he felt good, but I shouldn’t have said that and kept him burning a little bit.
“He went out there and gave up the homer to Kiermaier, but in that run of hitters, I really felt good with Pedro.”
Baez inexplicably was left in the game after Kiermaier’s home run and he walked Yandy Díaz. Roberts’ trusted reliever still remained on the mound to face Randy Arozarena, who grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Dodgers focused on moving forward
For as frustrating of a loss as the team suffered, Roberts was confident in their ability to keep moving forward. Clayton Kershaw starts Game 5 in what suddenly is another legacy-shaping outing.
“This is certainly a tough one but I know our guys, know the coaches. We’re going to come in fresh,” Roberts said. “I think we’re very resilient, we’re playing good baseball. We got beat, but we’ll be ready to go.”
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