- The Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros, 5-1, in Game 7 of the World Series.
- The Dodgers left 10 men on base in Game 7, spoiling several chances to get back into the game.
- The Dodgers’ inability to get men home was an ill-timed reminder of the regular season, when they were one of the worst offensive teams with runners on base.
The Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, on Wednesday to win the World Series.
After a series that featured so much high-stakes drama and offensive potency, Game 7 stalled out after the Astros pounced on the Dodgers in the first two innings, going up 5-0.
But the score doesn’t tell the whole story. After the Astros jumped out to 2-0 lead in the first, the Dodgers had their chances to get back in the game. When the Astros went up 5-0 in the top of the second, the Dodgers had more chances, too. They just couldn’t capitalise.
The Dodgers left ten runners on base in Game 7, an ill-timed reminder of one of their biggest weaknesses from the regular season.
During the regular season, the Dodgers batted .252 with runners on base, 26th in MLB, according to Fangraphs. They also had the eighth-most strikeouts in the league with runners on base, which not only kept runs from scoring, but also kept runners from advancing bases.
Compare that with the Astros, who batted .290 and led all MLB with 715 runs batted in with runners on base.
The Dodgers somewhat reversed the trend during the postseason. According to ESPN, with runners on base in the playoffs, the Dodgers batted .255, better than the Astros, and they scored the most runs with runners on among the playoff teams (though obviously their sample size was larger). But in Game 7, the Dodgers left runners stranded when they could least afford to.
Why did this happen? It’s unclear. Credit, of course, goes to the Astros’ pitching and fielding, but some of it is bad luck, too, as it may have just been the Dodgers regressing to their own mean.
In the top of the first, the Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs and sent Joc Pederson up to bat. Pederson, who led the team in home runs in the World Series and had only been hitting ground balls 18% of the time in postseason, grounded out to second. Inning over.
In the bottom of the second inning, with a man on first and second and one out, Chris Taylor grounded into a double play to end the inning.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Dodgers got two men on with one out. Cody Bellinger grounded out, then the Astros brought in Chris Devenski, who got Yasiel Puig to line out to end the inning.
For whatever reason, the Dodgers didn’t get hits when they needed them. Unfortunately for them, it was a season-long trend that resurfaced at an inopportune time.
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