Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to let his closer Kenley Jansen close out the 9th inning of last night’s Game 4, and it was a huge mistake. Rays pinch-hitter Brett Phillips delivered a clutch 2-run single to center field that tied this series 2-2. You really don’t want to be Dave Roberts right now.
The October moment pic.twitter.com/5B68Bwfxpp— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) October 25, 2020
Dodgers fans have been overall skeptical of the job Dave Roberts continues to do, while not trusting Kenley Jansen either. To let Jansen throw the ninth inning when your best reliever has been Brusdar Graterol — ridiculous. Your closer has to be the most reliable guy you’ve got and Roberts continues to go to his dry well of a closer.
A little disclaimer that, like Yankees manager Aaron Boone, these decisions are coming from upper management, not Roberts himself. Relying on data instead of common sense to go to what’s working cost the Dodgers a three games to one lead lead in the World Series. These mistakes set the table for one of the most likable characters in major league baseball to send the Rays home happy — Brett Phillips.
Phillips spoke on-field about the feeling of coming through when his guys needed him most.
✈️✈️✈️ pic.twitter.com/lYfLlnt58Q— Ben Palmer (@benjpalmer) October 25, 2020
The guy hadn’t enjoyed the feeling of a hit in over a month, then he cashes in with the biggest hit he’ll have in his life.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for: Series tied 2-2 with all the pressure in the world and Clayton Kershaw checks in for his final act of 2020. This might be his final punch on the big stage, so it doesn’t get any bigger than this. Tampa has their ace Tyler Glasnow on the mound and he’ll likely be much better than he was in Game 1. An epic showdown is in front of us for what very well could decide who’s winning this year’s World Series.
In a way, didn’t we always know Clayton Kershaw wasn’t getting a World Series ring without passing his final test? Couldn’t let Corey Seager or Mookie Betts blaze the trail with their bats to a runaway World Series. The baseball gods would rather have Kershaw decide the fate of this Dodgers team. If the 3-time Cy Young winner comes through, he has to be the World Series MVP, right? Have to give him his flowers if he does it in grand style in a pivotal Game 5.
If you’re wondering where on earth you recognize game 5 hero Brett Phillips from, it may just be from his hysterical video from his days with the Brewers.
First pitch of Game 5 starts at 8:08 ET, so don’t be late.