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Dodgers wasted plenty of opportunities in the World Series

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The Dodgers fought long and hard against the Astros but ultimately came up just short of winning their first championship since 1988. Instead, the Astros ended their own championship drought of 55 years.

In Game 7, the Dodgers had six runners reach base via hit, two via walk, and four via hit-by-pitch. But only once did they get a hit with a runner in scoring position despite 13 opportunities. That one hit was Andre Ethier‘s lightly-hit, but well-placed ground ball single to right field in the sixth inning. 1-for-13 works out to a .077 average.

But it wasn’t just Game 7. Across all seven games, the Dodgers hit an even .200, going 11-for-55 with runners in scoring position. The Astros, on the other hand, had five fewer opportunities but came through two more times, batting .260 with RISP.

No doubt one has to assign a large amount of credit to Astros pitchers for that, but if you ask any Dodger hitters, they’ll tell you they wasted some golden opportunities. Cody Bellinger had a couple of good games, racking up a pair of doubles in Game 4 and a home run with four RBI in Game 5. But he also struck out four times  in Games 3 and 6, and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in Game 7.

Yasiel Puig went 4-for-27 (.148) overall in the World Series. Corey Seager, 6-for-27 (.222). Justin Turner, 4-for-25 (.160). Chris Taylor, 6-for-27 (.222). Chase Utley went hitless in 19 plate appearances across the entire postseason, including seven in the World Series. About the only players who consistently hit in the World Series were Joc Pederson (6-for-18, .333) and Charlie Culberson, who had five at-bats.

Of course, the pitching deserves some blame as well. Yu Darvish got absolutely hammered in both of his starts. A gassed Brandon Morrow was on the hook for four runs without recording an out in Game 5. Clayton Kershaw wasn’t very effective in his Game 5 start, failing to get through the fifth inning.

The Dodgers will now have three months to second-guess themselves before spring training comes calling in February 2018. Those are going to be three very long months.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.