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Alexander: Darvish’s failure brings out the second-guessers

By in Press Enterprise on November 2, 2017

By Jim Alexander

LOS ANGELES —This second guess was, in reality, something of a reach. But it couldn’t be helped.

When you get drilled in the first two innings of Game 7 of the World Series, and then can’t even play catch-up because you can’t get a hit with runners in scoring position … well, there will naturally be a lot of reflection, and more than a little bit of blame assigned by those who follow the Dodgers.

Much of it has already centered on Dave Roberts’ choice of starting pitcher in Wednesday night’s championship-deciding 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros.

Yu Darvish had been belted around in Game 3 last Friday night in Houston, giving up almost as many runs (four) as he got outs (five). But it was his turn on regular rest. Surely he couldn’t pitch that badly again, could he?

Yep. Worse, actually.

Five outs, five runs allowed, though one was a gift due to a Cody Bellinger error in the first. But when George Springer hit his fifth home run of the Series (and basically secured MVP honors) with two out in the second, Darvish was done.

What happened next had the social media cognoscenti grabbing for keyboards, tablets and smart phones.

Brandon Morrow got the final out of the second inning. Clayton Kershaw then took over, on two days’ rest after throwing 94 pitches (and blowing a 4-0 lead) Sunday night. He delivered four shutout innings, giving up two hits and throwing 43 pitches.

Kershaw, and then Kenley Jansen for an inning and Alex Wood for two, at least gave the Dodgers a chance to respond offensively — which they didn’t take advantage of, leaving 10 men on base and going 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position.

But the question echoed throughout the baseball community as the evening continued: If Kershaw was available, shouldn’t […]    

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