After Jonathan Papelbon blew his second save of the season (his second in three days, actually), he criticized his team’s lack of fundamentals when speaking to the media. In particular, Papelbon said first baseman Ryan Howard was not positioned properly when Denard Span reached on an infield single to the right side.
Here’s what was said, via CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury:
“I was thinking on a 3-1 count our infield would be back and I was expecting to turn around and run to first base and catch a underhand throw,” Papelbon said.
So he was surprised Howard was even with the bag?
“Yeah,” he said.
Salisbury followed up with Manuel, who disagreed with Papelbon, saying, “Howard was in the right spot.”
“Although the count is 3-1, Span can bunt,” Manuel said. “Howard was up in the right spot. But it’s just like everything — everyone wants to voice their opinion. Howard was in the right place.”
Manuel said he would speak to Papelbon.
“I will,” he said. “I’m not afraid to.”
Manuel didn’t have a problem with Papelbon’s overall observations about fundamentals.
We’re still in the third inning of NLCS Game 5 but the Dodgers are walloping the Cubs thus far, leading 7-0. Outfielder Enrique Hernandez has driven in five of those runs on a solo home run in the second inning and a grand slam in the third.
The other runs came on Cody Bellinger‘s RBI double in the first and Justin Turner‘s RBI single in the second.
The Dodgers loaded the bases on three consecutive singles to start the third inning, chasing starter Jose Quintana from the game. Hector Rondon entered in relief and struck out Logan Forsythe, revealing some light at the end of the tunnel. But his first-pitch slider to Hernandez caught too much of the plate and Hernandez drove it out to right-center field for a grand slam.
Hernandez has had two two-homer games in the regular season, on July 17 this year and April 15 last year. He has never had a five-RBI game. Hernandez’s home run in the second marked his first career postseason home run and RBI as well.
FanGraphs has the Dodgers’ win probability for this game at 96 percent. Clayton Kershaw is on the hill. It’s looking like they’re going to clinch the National League pennant tonight, but there’s still six innings left. We’ve seen big leads evaporate this postseason.