Houston Astros: Five things Dodgers fans have to come to grips with

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 01: Yuli Gurriel /
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LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 01: Brad Peacock /

#5 The Bullpen

When the World Series started, you had two teams that were similar to each other. These were the two best offenses in the game that also had the best pitching rotation in the game. It seemed like nothing was going to separate these teams.

But on paper, there was a big difference and that came in the bullpen. While the Astros bullpen was good, the Dodgers bullpen was lights out during the postseason. In the first two rounds, Los Angeles gave up just three runs in the bullpen. They had posted a postseason record 23 scoreless innings. Add five more in the first two games and it was up to 28. While Kenley Jensen might not reach Mariano Rivera’s level, he was the best closer in the game.

Because of the reputation, everyone perceived the Dodgers as the favorites. If you fell behind to them, you had no chance to beat the bullpen. That was the one thing the Astros had to do. They had to beat the bullpen to win the World Series. This was something both the Diamondbacks and the Cubs failed to do.

Well of the 34 runs scored by the Astros, 14 came off a Dodger pitcher. Six runs in Game’s two and five plus one in Game’s three and four and that’s the total.

While Houston’s pitching staff didn’t do as better as the Dodgers overall (Astros – 4.64  ERA, Dodgers – 4.45), you can watch the game and think to yourself the Astros were clutch in the bullpen more so than the Dodgers. This is ironic considering there were times they couldn’t hang on to the lead.

Astros Evidence

  • Before giving up two runs in the tenth, Ken Giles kept the game tied at three, which included a fly ball from Cody Bellinger that nearly reminded us of Scott Podsednik.
  • Despite blowing a save in the ninth inning of Game five, Chris Devenski did record the save in Game two striking out Puig. He would also retire Puig to end the fifth inning of Game seven to keep the Dodgers at bay.
  • Joe Musgrove got the win in Game five by pitching the tenth inning even though he did give up key home runs in Game’s four and six.
  • In two outings, Francisco Liriano recorded two key outs including a strikeout.
  • Brad Peacock became the first pitcher since Madison Bumgarner to pick up a three-inning save in Game three of the series.
  • Charlie Morton got the win in relief in Game seven of the series.

Dodgers Evidence

  • Kenley Jensen recorded two saves in the series. But he also blew a save and lost Game five.
  • Brandon Morrow pitched all seven games but had an ERA of 8.44 following a 0.00 ERA.
  • Kenta Maeda gave up the tying home run to Jose Altuve after having a 0.00 ERA in the NLCS.
  • Following a 0.00 ERA in the NLCS, former Astro Josh Fields didn’t record an out in his only appearance while giving up back to back home runs to Altuve and Carlos Correa in Game two.
  • Dave Roberts overused his bullpen in Game two, which led to the Dodger’s defeat.

This argument might seem to be the least likely to change minds. However, the Astros did step up when needed in clutch moments. But there are four more reasons to determine the Dodgers’ fate of not being blamed.