Yu Darvish made sure last night that the Dodgers were not going to come out of Game 3 with a win. And with that outing, you can hear the sound of briefcases of money being burned in the fireplace. The Dodgers took on Darvish’s contract for him to produce in the postseason, notably here in the World Series. He’s been good up to yesterday, but for a pitcher of his caliber, he isn’t afforded any bad starts like the one he had on Friday night.
There are no mulligans at this point in the journey. Because of a couple of bad innings, Darvish is now losing the Verlander vs. Darvish trade. Verlander was rumored to go to the Dodgers for a few months before he ultimately went to Houston and Darvish to Los Angeles. If this is a deep series, Darvish will undoubtedly have a chance to redeem himself, though.
Yasiel Puig showed why he is one of the worst base runners in the majors in Game 3. In a shot along the 3rd base line, he rounded 1st but paused, and then continued on to 2nd base. At that point it was too late to make up for the brief stutter. Once the ball went fair, you would have assumed Puig had his foot on the pedal, but no.
Puig has been a bad base runner since coming into the majors and still hasn’t improved. Other honorable mentions include Corey Seager hitting into a double-play with the bases loaded and no outs. Seager had a bad night overall. He’s still a special talent and has a nice career ahead of him, though. Alex Wood and Charlie Morton will take centerstage on Saturday.
The Dodgers can’t afford another early blunder in Game 4. Momentum must go to the Dodgers early. After Darvish’s exit, the Astros scored just 1 run the rest of the game. If he isn’t off, who knows what way that game goes. It should be a good day of college football and the World Series. Of course, we also have the NHL and NBA on Saturday. Let’s get to our World Series Game 4 pick below.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Houston Astros World Series Game 4 Pick
Alex Wood (16-4, 2.81 ERA) vs. Charlie Morton (15-8, 3.83 ERA)
Fundamentally, the Dodgers just weren’t there last night. You can go down the list, from pitching, base running, out in the field defensively, their heads weren’t there. Despite all that, they were one swing away from tying the game up with a runner on base. It would have been a shame for the Astros if they lost, because the Dodgers definitely had no business even being within 2 runs.
A lot of Dodger fans want to see Kershaw go with short rest tonight. However, Alex Wood is no slouch. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since September 9th and held a record of 16-3 in the regular season with a 2.72 ERA. Wood has been solid on the road with a 2.44 ERA on the road. He is no Clayton Kershaw, but is not a scrub. If they tie the series up today, they’re in prime shape with Kershaw scheduled to pitch the next.
There were qualms about starting Charlie Morton against the Yankees in Game 7, after he was demolished for 7 runs in his previous start. Morton went out and didn’t allow a run, and giving up just 2 hits across 5 innings. I think it worked out for the ‘Stros. Other than the 7-run blemish on his record against the Yanks, we need to go back to August 27th to find the last time he surrendered more than 2 runs in a start.
At home, he has been solid as well, with a 3.18 ERA. Before Game 2, five straight Dodgers-Astros games went UNDER the total. The bullpens were all out of whack in that one, but they settled in for Game 3. The Dodgers will throw the kitchen sink out on the mound in Game 4, it’s close to a must-win for them. I can see a tight, low-scoring matchup in Game 4.
PICK: UNDER 8 (+105)