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What intrigue, drama is left for Dodgers in World Series Game 6?

By in Press Enterprise on October 31, 2017

By Bill Plunkett

It might have been a slip of the tongue after the second-longest game in World Series history and the short night that followed before traveling to Los Angeles.

Or it might have been closer to the truth than either manager in this series would care to admit.

“Well, we have two innings worth of bullpen left … I’m sorry, two games worth of bullpen left,” Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch said, correcting himself Monday when asked about the state of his relievers heading into Game 6 at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

Both Hinch and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts must have gone to bed Monday night wondering just how much bullpen they really do have left.

In this slick-ball series, the opening of a bullpen gate should produce a Pavlovian response from hitters, salivating at the chance to take their swings. Astros relievers have allowed 16 runs on 16 hits (including five home runs) in 19 innings against the Dodgers. The Dodgers bullpen was widely – and accurately – seen as the place where the National League champions had their biggest advantage in the World Series matchup. But the relief crew has betrayed them, allowing 15 runs on 31 hits (including a shocking 14 home runs) in 23 2/3 innings in this series.

It all began in Game 2, when the Series turned, bringing the Dodgers to the brink of elimination Tuesday night.

Roberts aggressively went to his bullpen – as he had so many times during the regular season and during last October’s run to within two games of the World Series. That toppled the first domino in a chain that would bring closer Kenley Jansen into the game with no outs in the eighth inning.

Still, when Jansen took the mound for the ninth, the Dodgers had a one-run lead and visions of a 2-0 series […]    

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