NLCS Game Four, 2020

Dodgers vs Braves, 5:08 PM PDT, TV: Fox

The Dodgers once more ask LHP Clayton Kershaw to be their ace and get them back to even in the series, which the Braves still lead 2-1 despite the bludgeoning they took yesterday. Kershaw is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 14 postseason innings this year. The Braves hand the ball to yet another rookie (in nine postseason games they’ve started six rookie pitchers), a righthander named Bryse Wilson. This will be his first postseason appearance. He was 1-0 with a 4.02 ERA in six games in 2020, two of which were starts. It’s not expected that Wilson will be in the game very long, but he could be the reincarnation of Howard Ehmke. Who knows?

Let’s hope the Dodgers repeat yesterday’s first-inning exploits:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1981 With Dave Righetti, Ron Davis, and Goose Gossage combining to shut out Oakland, 4-0, the Yankees sweep the A’s to capture their thirty-third American League pennant. The Bronx Bombers will face the Dodgers in the World Series for the third time in the past five Fall Classics.
  • 1988 In his only plate appearance in the Fall Classic, a limping Kirk Gibson, appearing as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning of Game 1, sends a two-out, 3-2 pitch from relief ace Dennis Eckersley over the right-field fence, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the A’s. The round-tripper marks the first time a World Series game ends on a come-from-behind home run in the final inning.
  • 2008 In Game 5 of the NLCS, the visiting Phillies beat the Dodgers, 5-1, to win their first pennant since 1993. Southpaw Cole Hamels, the series MVP, hurls his third postseason gem, and Jimmy Rollins starts the Philadelphia attack with a leadoff home run to start the game.
  • 2017 Twenty-nine years later to the day, Justin Turner follows Kirk Gibson into franchise folklore when he hits a postseason walk-off three-run home run in the 12th inning of the LA’s 4-1 victory over the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS. In 1988, a hobbled Kirk Gibson, in his only Fall Classic appearance, came off the bench to hit one of the most memorable round-trippers in World Series history, giving the Dodgers a come-from-behind victory against the A’s in Game 1.




236 thoughts on “NLCS Game Four, 2020

  1. WinnipegDave: I am late on this, but thanks for pointing out that Roberts has not been the manager for the last eight postseasons, only since 2016. This is his fifth; Mattingly had the prior three. But I don’t recall he mishandled pitchers, IMHO, as I feel Roberts has. The Dodgers have been to the postseason 12 times in the last 17 seasons, including this year. Little and Tracy took us there once each, Torre twice, Mattingly three times and Roberts five. In defense of all of them, we made the postseason, but unless we stage a huge rally in the 9th and win this one, we will need to win three in a row to make it to the WS.

    • Which is not impossible. But not at all likely they way they have been completely outplayed this series except for roughly 3 innings.

  2. Beaty trying to pretend that didn’t happen. If he could, he would be whistling right about now. Although his skin is suspiciously pink.

  3. I’m listening to the radio while cooking and swearing. I have had a rotten day and this is not helping. Bad health news for my best friend, bad news on a project I’ve been working on for years, and now this. Only bright spot is (rule violation alert) Giuliani’s daughter is vigorously for Biden.

    • Thanks for sharing real life. It makes this game seem like the candy store is out of my favourite candy bar. Meanwhile the real world is hard at work being real.
      Hope your friend and your project find the strength to get better.

  4. Roberts is the antithesis of Sparky Anderson. From Wikipedia: “During this time, Anderson became known as ‘Captain Hook’ for his penchant for taking out a starting pitcher at the first sign of weakness and going to his bullpen.” Isn’t he the only manager to win the World Series in both leagues?

  5. To be fair to Kershaw, the Dodgers gave him one run on one hit the entire time he was in the game.

    The MLB panel of writers falls mainly on the side of “Roberts and his other managers have left him in games too long thinking he’s still 22-year-old Kershaw, not 32-year-old Kershaw with 2,300 innings under his belt.”

  6. Is that chant not a bit inappropriate in this day and age? Actually – any day and age?

  7. We have too many guys on this team who would have had to buy expensive seats to get close to the likes of Garvey-Lopes-Cey-Russell-Baker-Smith-Monday-Yeager and the pitching staff we had in those days. Much of that nucleus won pennants in 1974, 1977, 1978 and 1981 and the WS in 1981. Just saying.

    • I hope the Dodgers win tomorrow. But they have been outclassed this series except for maybe 3 innings.

    • Just what I was thinking. I hate the freaking narrative of playoff performances but apparently he is akin to Kershaw (except Betts has been on WS championship team obviously).

  8. I think not being able to complete the comeback in Game 2 is the thing that will haunt me if the Dodgers somehow lose this series.

  9. Have the Dodgers ever come back and won one of the games where Kershaw/bullpen imploded? Maybe tonight they could finally do it.

  10. There are many points in the last eight seasons, including this one, to pinpoint Roberts’s failings. But things went from bad to worse in Game 4 of the 2018 WS vs. Boston. We had won the night before on Muncy’s 18th inning homer, a tremendous psychological boost, and now trailed in the WS two games to one. Hill led 4-0 and was pitching a one-hitter and had one out and one on in the 7th when Roberts pulled him. Supposedly, there was some miscommunication or misunderstanding between the two of them. The Dodgers then paraded Alexander, Madson, Jansen, Floro, Wood and Maeda to the mound over the final 2 2/3 innings. Each allowed one earned run except for Floro, who allowed three. (One of the runs was charged to Hill) We lost, 9-6. Kershaw got shelled the next day. Good-bye, World Series.

    • I agree with your example. I will point out Roberts hasn’t been manager for all 8 seasons.

  11. Good night everybody. I’ll watch the game alone from here and visit with everybody tomorrow

  12. Many have said they didn’t think Pederson and Hernandez would be back next year. I have doubts that Turner will be and I have doubts that Kershaw will be after his current contract ends after the 2021 season.

    So, let’s win three more games and move on the the WS. I have’t given up on this one either.

        • I fully agreed with you, WinnipegDave. A bullpen has to be able to mostly avoid bad stretches at any time, good or bad. Historically, dating back to early in President Obama’s second term, ours hasn’t.

        • A narrative that really doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Dodgers have managed to lose for a variety of reasons.

          • But haven’t the Dodgers FO specifically tried to rebuild the bullpen each year because they themselves have seen it as the weak link in the postseason? Wouldn’t that mean it does stand up to scrutiny?

          • No, they are always trying to get a better pen. But WS loss to Bosox, for example, was that are hitters didn’t hit like they did during the season.

          • That’s true. But I recall Kershaw not getting pulled lots of time because of the problem with the pen. Or so I thought.

  13. Unless this one completely turns around, what will Roberts’s sanguine perspective on the loss?

  14. As he often is with Kershaw. Doc is the kind of guy who tries to get on an elevator as the doors are about to close. Of course, when we can get only one hit and one walk off a no-name, limited experience pitcher, that doesn’t help.

    • As it turned out for sure but Kershaw was fine through 5 and outside of the ump helping him not walk the lead off hitter, the first hit of the inning was of feeble contact and the next one could have just as easily been a ground out.

  15. I can’t settle down here. Stomach in knots, even as I push it on the elliptical. Where’s my endorphin rush?!?!?!

  16. Ok Kersh. Please don’t do the thing where you give up back to back HR’s. Or multiple HR’s in an inning.

  17. Will have to follow this one under the table. One of those dinner party things. I think I need to get new friends (they likely think the same thing of me). I mean who would schedule such a thing on a night like this!?