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Alexander: Roberts rolls the dice, and wins a shot at a 7

By in Press Enterprise on November 1, 2017

By Jim Alexander

LOS ANGELES — We know this much. Dave Roberts may manage out of desperation in an elimination game, but he’s not managing scared.

And that is why Dodger Stadium will host its first World Series Game 7 in 56 years of existence Wednesday night.

Roberts, going with his convictions, against conventional wisdom and despite the worried second-guessing of every Dodger fan who saw an overworked bullpen and feared the worst, pushed enough right buttons to bring a 3-1 victory over Houston and keep the season alive one more day.

Where to start?

Rich Hill’s exit after the fourth inning in Game 2 was blamed by many for prematurely starting the bullpen shuffle that left most of the Dodgers’ relief arms worn out, including that of Kenley Jansen. We’ll come back to that.

Before the game, Roberts implied he’d give Hill a longer leash this time, even with the team’s routine reluctance to send a pitcher against the opponents’ lineup a third time.

“God, I’d love to see him throw a complete game,” Roberts said. “I want him to go as long as he can go. Go as hard as he can go for as long as he can go. We’ll have guys behind him.”

Sure. With first and third and none out in the fifth, Hill struck out Josh Reddick and Justin Verlander, the latter of which shouldn’t be a surprise. And after George Springer accepted an intentional pass, Roberts came to the mound.

The look on Hill’s face said, “Oh, no you don’t.”

Roberts’ response? “Oh, yes I will.” In came Brandon Morrow, one of those overworked Dodger relievers, and out went Hill, angrily knocking over several cups of water on the way.

But it worked. Morrow got Alex Bregman on a grounder to short and got out of the inning.

Roberts’ reasoning?

“Obviously Rich came out throwing the ball very […]    

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