10 Thoughts on the Remainder of the 2018 World Series

It has taken me a good week to figure out what I want to say about the 2018 World Series. I felt like the Dodgers went from being up 4-0 in Game 4 to having the whole Series fall apart. Congrats to the Red Sox. The balled out and their bullpen was just straight nasty.

Here are my 10 Thoughts:
  1. The Red Sox were terrors throughout the playoffs when hitting with two outs. This season, the Red Sox had five of the top fifty hitters with two outs. There is nothing more heartbreaking than giving up runs after you have battled to get two outs in an inning.
  2. The Red Sox bullpen was lights out. Going into the Series, I thought the Dodgers had the better bullpen. However, the Sox bullpen, with the addition of Nathan Eovaldi, was flat dominant.
  3. David Price got the playoffs monkey off of his back. He went 2-0 in the Series with a 2.12 ERA. Price was 1-8 in the ALDS in his career.
  4. I predicted that Mookie Betts or Yasiel Puig would be the MVP of the Series. Steve Pearce was the Series MVP and his timely and game-winning home runs are just another product of Boston\’s clutch hitting with two outs.
  5. One of the most surprising things to me was the Red Sox won the Series without a dominant outing from Chris Sale. He pitched five innings and had a 5.40 ERA. He was their ace all season and he really didn\’t have the impact I was expecting him to have.
  6. While the Red Sox bullpen shortened the game, the Dodgers bullpen was good and not great. The question coming into the beginning of the season was whether the Dodgers had made any moves to strengthen their bullpen. They let Tony Watson and Brando Morrow go in free agency. Then they signed Tom Koehler and he immediately got injured. They tried to bring in Ryan Madsen but he was no replacement for Brandon Morrow. The Dodgers\’ lack of addressing this problem didn\’t really expose itself until the Series. The bullpen was good enough during the playoffs that I forgot it was the weak link. A weak bullpen and a team that is super clutch with two outs is a bad combination.
  7. Walker Buehler was outstanding in his one and only appearance in the World Series. He should have had the win. Buehler and Julio Arias make me excited for the Dodgers starting rotation next year.
  8. Rich Hill was amazing in Game 4 as well. Too bad there was some kind misunderstanding between Hill and Dave Roberts. Essentially, Hill took himself out of the game.
  9. I am not sure what this Series means for the legacy of Clayton Kershaw. He was 0-2 with 7.36 ERA in the Series. He was 2-3 with a 5.40 ERA in the playoffs. Now that David Price has the monkey off of his back, Kershaw\’s lack of playoff success has only been magnified.
  10.  Before the Series, I predicted the Dodgers depth would be the deciding factor. That depth could not overcome the bullpen errors and the Red Sox bullpen dominance.

10 Thoughts on Games 1 & 2 of the 2018 World Series

Boston dominated the first two games of the Series. Some of the things I discussed in preparation for the Series played themselves out. The games were personified by clutch hitting and a dominant bullpen. Here are 10 thoughts as we get ready for Game 3.

  1. My Correct Predictions – As I look back, I was right about quite a few things.
    1. Mookie Betts is playing like the AL MVP and maybe the World Series MVP. He was 3 for 4 in Game 2. Yasiel Puig had a clutch hit and one walk. He could explode in Games 3 thru 5.
    2. J.D. Martinez is a Dodger-killer. He is ridiculously successful against the boys in blue.
  2. My Wrong Predictions – There were also some predictions that did not play out so far in the Series.
    1. Kershaw v. Sale was not the pitcher\’s duel I suspected it would be. Kershaw was tormented by his nemesis, J.D. Martinez and gave up two runs in the first inning. Sale got a lot of swings and misses; but a high pitch count was his undoing. I think there is still a chance for Game 5 for all the marbles being the pitcher\’s duel we all dream of. 
    2. The MVPs from League Championship Series have not made an impact on the Series yet. Maybe we can call this one a push.
    3. The Dodgers depth has not had the impact I thought it would. The Red Sox bullpen has been better than I expected.
  3. Andrew Benintendi May Be the MVP – All he has done is get hits and make amazing plays in the field. His four hits in Game 1 and his leaping catch in Game 2 were daggers to the hearts of Dodger fans.
  4. The All Right-Handed Batter Lineup – The Dodgers unveiled their all right-handed batting lineup for Games 1 & 2. A new lineup is not surprising, the Dodgers had 112 different lineups during the season. What is weird is all their power hitters are left-handed. I was not that concerned because of the Sale pitch count and the Dodgers\’ ability to get into the Red Sox bullpen and bring the lefties off the bench. In Game 2, David Price kept his pitch count under control and went six innings, it took much time to get these guys off the bench.
  5. Game 2 Pitcher\’s Duel – David Price and Hyun-Jin Ryu started the game off by keeping things under control for the first four innings. That is the closest we have gotten to a pitcher\’s duel so far this series.
  6. RISP – The Red Sox have been amazing hitting with two outs and runners in scoring position. Half of their runs in the playoffs have been driven in with two outs. The achilles heel for the Dodgers during the regular season was hitting with runners in scoring position. However, the Dodgers have been good, not great, with runners in scoring position. Their problem has been getting runners in scoring position late in the game.
  7. I Am Concerned About Chris Taylor – Taylor is 0 for 5 in the two games he has started in left field. He looks lost at the plate. He doesn\’t look like he has a plan. He also misplayed a ball that resulted in a run. I would like to see Bellinger in center and Kike in left field.
  8. Both Bullpens Have Been Good – The Red Sox bullpen has been outstanding. Going into the Series, I thought the Dodger bullpen had the advantage. The Red Sox bullpen has been lights out so far. The Dodger bullpen has been good also; with the exception of an Alex Wood  and Ryan Madson meltdowns.
  9. Urias Makes Me Smile – Julio Urias has looked great and makes me think he should get the Game 5 or 6 start. I am also excited for the starting rotation next year with Kershaw, Buehler, Urias and Hill.
  10. Dodgers in 6 is Still Possible – It would take the Dodgers being dominant for the next four games. They would need to gain some super momentum with their 3 home games.

10 Thoughts on the 2018 World Series

As we approach the start of Game 1, I wanted to share 10 thoughts that are intriguing to me as the Series starts.

  1. 1916 – The last time these two historic franchises met in the World Series was in 1916. The Red Sox won the Series behind 16 scoreless innings posted by a player by the name of Babe Ruth. He was later traded and the Red Sox were cursed for more than 80 years.
  2. Unfinished Business – The Dodgers are back in the World Series for the second year in a row. They are the 28th team to return to lose the World Series and return the next year. 15 of the previous 27 teams won the Series. 
  3. The Managers – Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Alex Cora of the Red Sox were teammates with the Dodgers from 2001-2004. In 2004, Roberts was traded to the Red Sox and stole a crucial base that is part of the team history. These teams are so intertwined it is not funny. 
  4. The Rightfielders – Mookie Betts is probably the American League MVP. Yasiel Puig has the ability to put together an MVP like performance in any series. It would not surprise me if either of these guys were the difference makers for their teams. 
  5. Kershaw v. Sale – The two left-handers square off in what should be an amazing pitching duel. Kershaw dominated the Brewers to put the Dodgers in the driver\’s seat for NLCS. Sale was dominant and even came out of the bullpen to help the Red Sox dominate the Astros.
  6. Ryu v. Price –  Game 2 features Ryu vs. David Price. We are not sure which one these pitchers will show up. They both have enigmatic personas on the mound. This could be a pitcher\’s duel or it could be a 12-10 game.
  7. J.D. Martinez – J.D. Martinez killed the Dodgers last season. If he has any help in Arizona last year, he may be making his second appearance in a row in the series. He will have to play the outfield in LA; which will cause someone to be out of position. I have heard they have considered putting Mookie Betts at second base.
  8. The Center-Fielders and LCS MVP\’s – The centerfielders for both teams happened to be the League Championship Series MVP as well. Both Cody Bellinger and Jackie Bradley, Jr struggled during the season and found their swings when it counted. Both made some amazing defensive plays as well.
  9. The Two Mannys – While Manny Ramirez is not playing, his connection to both teams cannot be forgotten. Neither can the persona of Manny Machado and his talent and questionable baseball etiquette.
  10. The Dodger Depth – Here is the list of the dudes for the Dodgers I have not talked about yet.
    1. Kike Hernandez
    2. Max Muncy
    3. Joc Pederson
    4. Matt Kemp
    5. Justin Turner

The Prediction – I think the Dodgers pitching, bullpen and depth will be too much for the Red Sox. Dodgers in 6.