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The Boston Red Sox moved to within one win of their nin
12.04.2019, 05:53,
The Boston Red Sox moved to within one win of their nin
World Series championship with a 9-6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night.Following a record-setting 18-inning battle in Game 3 (a 3-2 Los Angeles victory) on Friday night Boone Logan Jersey , all eyes were on the starting pitchers. Rich Hill started for the Dodgers and threw 6.1 innings of one-hit, one-run baseball, striking out seven. After recording one out on six pitches in Game 3, Eduardo Rodriguez took the ball for the Red Sox, allowing four runs in 5.2 innings.Steve Pearce was the star of the night, going 2-for-4 with a walk and four RBI.Mitch Moreland sparked the Boston offense with a pinch-hit three-run homer in the top of the seventh, with Pearce tying the game with a solo shot in the eighth. Pinch hitter Rafael Devers delivered the go-ahead RBI single in the ninth.Yasiel Puig and Kike Hernandez each went yard for Los Angeles.Steve Pearce Showing Off as Boston's Most Underrated AdditionWhen Boston acquired Pearce in a deal back in June, it was a move that likely didn't land on many people's radar.However, Pearce is certainly grabbing everyone's attention now.The 35-year-old journeyman was solid for the Red Sox down the stretch, hitting .279/.394/.507 with seven home runs, eight doubles and 26 RBI in 50 games following the midseason trade.Pearce carried that momentum into the postseason, recording hits in six of his first seven appearances, reaching base in all seven. Although he had cooled off as of late, manager Alex Cora stuck with him and penciled him into the 3-hole for Game 4.That proved to be a brilliant decision.While it took a pinch-hit home run by Moreland in the seventh to wake up the Red Sox's bats, Pearce wound up stealing the spotlight. First, there was his game-tying homer in the eighth off All-Star closer Kenley Jansen:Boston Red Sox RedSoxPearced! 馃挜#DoDamage ANzrDsf1BnThen, the first baseman did more damage by breaking the game open with a bases-clearing double an inning later:Boston Red Sox RedSoxSteve Pearce, at your service. #DoDamage Cu2QDk0dHVThat big night resulted in some history, per MLB Stat of the Day:MLB Stat of the Day MLBStatoftheDaySteve Pearce is the 3rd RedSox player ever to homer and drive in 4 in a #WorldSeries game (Yastrzemski, 1967; davidortiz, 2004). NUKJEyukC8Not bad for someone who was held hitless through the first three games of the series.Offseason signing J.D. Martinez certainly played a role in getting Boston to the World Series Josh Hader Jersey , but it was Pearce who delivered the biggest performance of the season for the Red Sox.Rich Hill Justifies Dave Roberts' Decision to Give Him Game 4 StartFollowing the Game 3 marathon on Friday night, Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts was rethinking who would get the start in Game 4, going as far as calling Saturday's starter "TBD."Roberts had toyed with the idea of an unconventional approach, using an "opener" rather than a traditional starter. However, he decided to give Hill the nod after a conversation with the veteran southpaw."We were just kind of just potentially toying with the idea of an opener, and just kind of wanted to leave it open-ended," Roberts said on Saturday afternoon, according to Matt Vautour of MassLive.com. "And just after more conversation and thought, just feel great about Rich starting and going through his normal routine."Well, Hill made his manager look very wise by delivering a gem.The 38-year-old left-hander, whose injuries have made it tough to rely on him throughout his career, continued to shine on the World Series stage. After allowing just two total runs in two starts (spanning 8.2 innings) against the Houston Astros in last year's fall classic, Hill was on top of his game from the very start on this night.Hill took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before finally allowing a single to catcher Christian Vazquez. What makes that feat even more impressive is the fact that he had little room for error, as Rodriguez was matching him pitch for pitch, keeping the Dodgers off the board through the front five.Even though starter Walker Buehler gave Los Angeles seven innings in Game 3, the bullpen still had to cover 11 innings on Friday night, with four relievers, including Jansen and Pedro Baez, going more than one frame. That type of workload had the potential to impact the game plan in Game 4鈥攂ut Hill helped make Roberts' job much easier by delivering 6.1 strong innings.Not only did he give his team a chance to win Game 4, but eating innings was also key after Game 3. Then again, it appeared he could have gone longer Starlin Castro Jersey , being yanked while cruising with 91 pitches.Roberts and the Dodgers needed a good outing from Hill on Saturday, and he delivered more than they could have hoped for. Ultimately, a quick hook may have cost the Dodgers the game...and ultimately a World Series.Dave Roberts Must Trust Bullpen Beyond Jansen to Win SeriesFriday night's marathon likely affected the way both Cora and Roberts managed Game 4.It may have been the reason Cora tried to ride Rodriguez, who hadn't thrown more than 44 pitches in a game since Sept. 20, until the wheels fell off as the result of the bullpen throwing 12.1 innings the night before. That ultimately proved costly, as a scoreless game became a 4-0 Los Angeles lead in the blink of an eye.For Roberts, his bullpen management the last two games may have contributed to Game 4's loss.Saturday marked the second consecutive day in which Roberts turned to Jansen to try to close out a victory by getting the final six outs. It didn't work in Game 3, and it didn't work in Game 4. However, the latest blown save could have been impacted by his workload on the previous night.It's tough to extend a closer on back-to-back games like this鈥攅specially when he's not used to that kind of workload.Jansen reached the 30-pitch plateau just once during the regular season and never topped it. He has thrown 30-plus pitches twice in his past five appearances and may have made it three times had he been able to get through the eighth unscathed.In fact, he never was asked to throw multiple innings on back-to-back days at all this season.Nobody can blame Roberts for putting games on the arm of his best reliever. After all, this is a pitcher who has 268 career regular-season saves, making three All-Star teams and finishing fifth in Cy Young voting a season ago. But at some point, a manager has to be able to put his trust his setup relievers to bridge the gap.Let's not forget the Dodgers bullpen ranked second in all of baseball, first in the NL, with a 3.38 ERA during the regular season. Injuries certainly played a role throughout the season, but as a unit, there weren't many better.To be fair, Roberts did show faith in his bullpen in Game 4. He turned to Scott Alexander at the first sign of trouble, even though Hill had thrown "just" 91 pitches in 6.1 innings. That combined with the decision to go with midseason acquisition Ryan Madson one batter later proved costly, as the duo allowed a 4-0 lead to be cut down to just one.At that point, Roberts called on his No. 1 reliever to try to slam the door shut to even the series. Unfortunately for the Dodgers http://www.marlinsfanproshop.com/authentic-starlin-castro-jersey , Jansen blew his second save in as many nights after blowing just four during the regular season.Would Los Angeles have won had Roberts used someone other than Jansen in the eighth? That's impossible to say, especially since all six relievers he called on in the final 2.2 innings allowed at least one run. Perhaps that was the result of Friday's 18-inning marathon.Regardless, Roberts can't be asking Jansen to go multiple innings in high-stress situations on back-to-back days when that's just something he isn't used to. After the last two days, it's not clear what Jansen's availability for Sunday's Game 5 will be. And that could loom large if the Dodgers have a lead late in the game.What's NextThe Red Sox will have their first opportunity to clinch the 2018 World Series in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Sunday night, with first pitch scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET. The Dodgers must win to keep their season alive and send the series back to Boston.Probable pitchers: David Price (Boston) vs. Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles) David Banks/Getty ImagesChicago Cubs star Kris Bryant voiced the frustrations of many MLB fans when he criticized the ongoing trend of service time manipulation by teams with the game's top prospects.The Athletic's Sahadev Sharma shared Bryant's thoughts about the practice:"It's awful. So awful. It's going to happen this year and it happens every year. I could understand it if you go out and have a rough spring training where you don't look ready. But there's certain people who put the time and the effort into the offseason so that they do show up to spring training and they prove that they're ready to go. I feel like you should be rewarded for that."Bryant added that the custom is within the rules under the collective bargaining agreement but that it's tantamount to exploiting a "loophole."Bryant made his MLB debut April 17, 2015, in the Cubs' ninth game of the season. He almost certainly would've made Chicago's Opening Day roster if the team hadn't been focused on preserving an extra year of team control down the line.Bryant is far from the only player who experienced that, though.Gleyber Torres and Ronald Acuna Jr. didn't arrive in MLB until April 22 and 25, respectively, during the 2018 season despite being more than ready on Opening Day. Torres finished third in American League Rookie of the Year voting, and Acuna was the National League Rookie of the Year.This year, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the most obvious example.The 19-year-old third baseman hit .381 with 20 home runs and 78 RBI for the Toronto Blue Jays' rookie league, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A affiliates in 2018. Despite Guerrero's success at the plate, Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins told reporters earlier this month that Brandon Drury will likely open as the starter at the hot corner.Likewise, Eloy Jimenez slugged .577 with a .384 on-base percentage in 108 Double-A and Triple-A games for Chicago White Sox affiliates in 2018. He wrote a piece for the Players' Tribune in August to say he was ready for the jump to the majors. Jimenez, however, will almost certainly start 2019 with the Charlotte Knights, the White Sox's Triple-A affiliate.Teams have a clear incentive to maintain the status quo. Bryant is in his second year of arbitration and won't hit the open market until 2022. The two-time All-Star would've been a free agent in 2021 if the Cubs had him on their MLB roster to open 2015.That additional year has value, and it's hard to imagine general managers and team owners changing their tune unless the matter is addressed during the next round of CBA negotiations.