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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.

Anthony Rendon explains why he didn’t go to the White House

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Today the Angels introduced their newest big star, Anthony Rendon, who just signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to play in Orange County.

And it is Orange County, not Los Angeles, Rendon stressed at the press conference. When asked about the Dodgers, who had also been reported to be courting him, Rendon said he preferred the Angels because, “the Hollywood lifestyle . . . didn’t seem like it would be a fit for us as a family.”

What “the Hollywood Lifestyle” means in that context could mean a lot of things I suppose. It could be about the greater media scrutiny Dodgers players are under compared to Angels players. It could mean that he’d simply prefer to live in Newport Beach than, I dunno, wherever Dodgers players live. Pasadena? Pasadena is more convenient to Dodger Stadium than the beach. Who knows. They never did let Yasiel Puig get that helicopter he wanted, so traffic could’ve been a consideration.

But maybe it’s a subtle allusion to political/cultural stuff. Orange County has trended to the left in some recent elections but it is, historically speaking, a conservative stronghold in Southern California. And, based on something else he said in his press conference, Rendon seems to be pretty conscious of geographical/political matters:

A shoutout to the notion of Texas being Trump country and an askance glance at “the Hollywood Lifestyle” of Los Angeles all in the same press conference. That’s a lot of culture war ground covered in one press conference. So much so that I can’t decide if I should warn Rendon that both Texas and Orange County are trending leftward or if I should tell him to stick to sports.