LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Back to back defeats in Boston have chilled the Dodgers’s World Series hopes, but they’re hoping their big bats heat up under the California sun to get them back in baseball’s title chase.
Los Angeles arrived home for Friday’s game three in the best-of-seven series in a 0-2 hole.
“It’s going to be warmer and hopefully our bats will get hot too,” said Cody Bellinger, who was one of the Dodgers sluggers left out of the lineups for games one and two by manager Dave Roberts who opted to attack the Red Sox’s left-handed pitchers with right-handed hitters.
With the Red Sox sending right-hander Rick Porcello to the mound on Friday, Max Muncy, Bellinger and Joc Pederson will be back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup.
Muncy belted 35 regular-season home runs while Bellinger and Pederson had 25 apiece.
But the Dodgers, who give the ball to Walker Buehler, will still be up against it.
In World Series history, 43 of 54 teams with a 2-0 lead have won the crown.
Overall in the playoffs, 13 teams have overcome 0-2 deficits in best-of-seven series, but only one, the 2004 Red Sox against the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series, has erased an 0-3 deficit and won.
“It’s a game that we really need to win,” said Roberts, whose team will host game four on Saturday and, they hope, game five on Sunday.
The Red Sox won 108 regular-season games and their win in game two took their tally for the year to 117. That’s the fourth-most in history trailing only the 1998 Yankees (125), 2001 Mariners (120) and 1906 Cubs (118).
“This is why we play, so I guess good pressure,”Buehler said.
A strong outing by Boston starter David Price in game two was backed up by another dominant performance by the Red Sox relievers.
Roberts hopes that after repeated exposure his batters will fare better against the Boston bullpen, but a key will be getting to Porcello.
‘’We’ve got to do our best to get on the starter,’’ he said. ‘’We expect Walker to go out there and pitch well and keep us in the game, and offensively we’ve got to go out there and get a lead.’’