Dodgers are now in a Red Sox bind

Well, what are the Dodgers now prepared to do? Two games into the 2018 World Series and the Dodgers find themselves in a 0-2 hole. All year, the Dodgers have shown off their resiliency in getting back to the World Series after dropping the October Classic to the Houston Astros last fall. Boston’s hot bats, the Red Sox’s timely pitching, and frisky weather conditions are the biggest contributors to the Dodgers’ series deficit.

“I thought the compete was there. You’ve got to give credit to Price. He made pitches when he needed to,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We had him, we had him on the ropes. I thought that early on we stressed him. We had some situational at-bats, got some baserunners, took our walks. And the difference is they got the big hit when they needed and we didn’t.”

Coming back is nothing new for this group, but this series against the Boston Red Sox already have a different feel to it, albeit after just two games. So far, the Dodgers just look outmatched against the Red Sox. Clayton Kershaw, the ace of the Dodgers pitching staff, couldn’t deliver in Game 1 or failed to deliver in Game 1, and the Boys in Blue got shelled 8-4. So Game 2 was a must-win for the Dodgers.

Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price recorded his first World Series victory against the Dodgers in Game 2. UC International/Keith Allison

With their bats going relatively quiet into that sweet night in a 4-2 defeat, the Dodgers are now in desperation mode with Game 3 being a “win by any means necessary” conundrum for Los Angeles. And they lost to a pitcher who came into the game with a struggling postseason record. Nine years into his career, left-handed pitcher David Price, who signed a seven-year, $217 million contract with Boston in 2015, had been anemic to winning in the playoffs, accumulating a 3-9 mark before picking up his first World Series victory.

“It’s huge,” Price said. “This is the biggest stage in baseball. There’s no other stage that’s going to be bigger than pitching in a World Series game unless it’s Game 7 of the World Series. To be able to do that, it feels good, for sure. I’m pumped for myself, pumped for all my teammates and coaches for us to be two wins away, and I’m 2-0 right now in the World Series, that’s a good feeling.

There are no ifs or buts about this dilemma. With 108 wins drummed up from the regular season and annihilation of the New York Yankees and last year’s World Series champs Houston Astros, the Red Sox are the Big, Bad Wolf of Major League Baseball this season.

Yeah, I mean, 108 wins in the regular season, beating the Yankees in the ALDS, and beating the reigning champs in the ALCS and being up 2-0, this is part of the reason I came here,” Price said. “We won the AL East the last three years and a Boston team had never won it back-to-back years; it blows me away. For us to do it three times and be where we are right now, that’s absolutely the reason why I came here.”

Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner slides into home for a run against the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday, Aug. 20, 2018. The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers, 5-3. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman for News4usonline

Boston handily beat the Yankees three games to one to win the American League Divisional Series. They then took care of the Astros in five games, going 4-1 in winning the American League Championship Series. In mounting their second straight World Series run, the Dodgers didn’t have the luxury of coasting into the postseason as Boston did. Like the success of the regular season, the Dodgers have had to grind their way in their peak playoff run.

Incredibly, out of a 162-game regular season, the Dodgers only spent 36 days in first place of the National League West Division. On top of that, it took a one-game playoff against the Colorado Rockies to determine the winner of the division, which the Dodgers won. After the first two months of the season, the Dodgers looked like they were going to finish the year at the bottom of the division as the concluded the month of May below .500.

By the end of June, the Dodgers had turned things around. That’s the way it’s been with this team throughout the year. Just when you think they might be counted out they come right back. Roberts is holding out hope that his team will be able to bounce back after the first two games of World Series play.

“We’ve got to find a way to win a baseball game,” said Roberts. “I think coming in here I thought we played these guys pretty straight up. Obviously we come out of here going home down 2-0. But they made pitches when they needed to. And when we stressed them, they made the pitch. And then when it flipped, they got the hit, and we didn’t. And that’s kind of the difference in tonight’s game. But I think as far as ballclub, talent, you can kind of look at the pitching, the offense. We’re not swinging the bats well right now. That’s obvious. But I think getting home, seeing their guys in the pen, I think we’ll be ready for Game 3.”

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