The Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a heartbreaking loss in Game 4 of the World Series, blowing a 4-0 lead in the seventh inning to fall 9-6. The loss gave the Red Sox a 3-1 series lead, putting them one win away from a championship.
Rich Hill put up an outstanding performance for the Dodgers, getting through six-plus shutout innings while allowing just one hit. His offense got him four runs in the bottom of sixth, and then Hill went back out for the seventh with his pitch count approaching 90.
It all went downhill from there though as Hill walked Xander Bogaerts to begin the inning. He then struck out Eduardo Nuñez, but that was the last hitter he would face before being replaced by Scott Alexander.
“Well, prior to that, before the top of the seventh was going on, it was a long sixth for us. And I had a conversation with Rich, and we talked about it. He said, ‘Keep an eye on me. I’m going to give it everything I have. Let’s go hitter to hitter and just keep an eye on me,'” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained.
“So right there, I know Rich did everything he could, competed, left everything out there.
So when I hear that and see what he’s doing, and he goes out there, and you want him to go as long as he can. So the walk to Bogaerts, started losing a little bit, then got back into the next at-bat with Nuñez.
“So right there at that point you get an out and we’re talking about hitter-to-hitter, guy’s on first base, and you’ve got a lefty on the bench or in the pen that has done it all year long, getting lefties out, and trying to keep those lefties on the bench, Moreland, Devers.”
Boston went on to score three runs in that seventh inning, one more in the eighth and then five in the ninth to put an exclamation point on their come-from-behind victory. All six of the Dodgers relievers that came into the game were charged with earned runs as no one could put out the fire.
Hill only threw 91 pitches, so many wondered why he was removed from the game so early despite not getting in any real trouble all night. While Hill did not admit to being tired, he didn’t take issue with Roberts’ decision.
“Yeah, that’s what everybody wants,” he said of possibly being left in the game. “The moves we’ve made all year have worked out. We wouldn’t be in this position without doing that. Unfortunately, it didn’t fall in our favor tonight.”
If Hill could have gotten out of that seventh inning without any damage and maintained the 4-0 lead, then the end result may have been much different for the Dodgers.
A lot of the blame has been pointed toward Roberts for the decisions he made after removing Hill, and rightfully so. But when none of your relievers can get outs then it makes it awfully tough to win a game as Hill was not going to make it through nine innings regardless.
The season is not yet over for the Dodgers, but they now must win three straight, including two at Fenway Park, to come back in the series.
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