The Los Angeles Dodgers’ offensive woes were again on display in Game 2 of the 2018 World Series, mustering only two runs on three hits in a 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox.
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Facing two southpaws in Chris Sale and David Price on back-to-back nights, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stayed true to his platoon method and deployed an all right-handed hitting starting lineup in each of the first two contests at Fenway Park.
By doing so, the Dodgers became the first team in World Series history to field a starting lineup with nine right-handed hitters. Roberts elaborated on his thinking behind the process. “Well, David Freese, I think he’s done everything that we’ve asked of him,” he said.
“I think Brian Dozier, the quality has been there. I don’t think the results. He’s got a couple of walks in these first two games. This is two games and obviously it’s magnified, it’s the World Series, but it’s still two separate baseball games. I think that Taylor and Hernandez didn’t swing the bat well these two games. I think CT has had a really good postseason.
“But, yeah, it’s hard to have guys that slug like Pederson, Muncy, Bellinger on the bench, but this is something that we’ve done a lot in September and throughout the postseason and it’s proved to be successful. And those guys are still getting in games and staying current. But, again, when guys are in there, they’ve just got to be productive. So we’ve got a lot of good players and we’ve got a long way to go.”
As Roberts points out, it’s certainly difficult leaving the likes of 2018 NLCS MVP Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, Max Muncy and Joc Pederson on the bench at the start of a game. The quartet provided serious firepower during the regular season, combining for 109 home runs between them.
Per Elias, the Dodgers set another record when they became the first team to not start any of their four regular-season home run leaders in a World Series game.
Now trailing the Red Sox, 2-0, the Dodgers look to chip away at the deficit when the World Series shifts to Dodger Stadium this weekend for Games 3 and 4, and if necessary, a fifth contest.