The Day Boston Won The World Series And Total Reliance On Analytics Died In Dodger Town
So if you believe the story the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox announcer Joe Buck are selling about Rich Hill pulling himself out of World Series Game 4, I have a bridge to sell you.
After manager Dave Roberts marched to the mound with a 4-0 lead over the Red Sox and took the ball from Hill, the Dodgers relievers wet themselves and proceeded to give up eight runs.
The Spitter was not alone in condemning the pitching change.
After the game, the manager said Hill pulled himself and Roberts was only on his way to the mound to talk to his starter.
Of course, anybody who has seen even one Dodger game knows Roberts doesn’t talk to pitchers. Roberts struts on to the field all cock and walk to pull pitchers. Period.
So what does Roberts do in Game 5? He leaves Clayton Kershaw in the game even after the starter had just given up his second homer of the game tocpit the Dodgers down 4-1 and had put two men on base.
My first thought was, “Roberts is managing based on public opinion.”
But then I thought about it and the reality is, I think, Roberts finally realized analytics suck in these circumstances. Roberts has pulled and switched and moved based on numbers all series but hasn’t on feel.
He finally figured it out. Nobody in that bullpen was going to come in and out pitch Clayton Freaking Kershaw.
So he kept him in. And Kershaw got out of the inning.
That said, analytics have their place in lineups and game plans. But a manager had to read people and the situation as it’s happening and react.
This was Roberts’ failing and that’s why the Dodgers got thumped as badly as they did. Which is not to say LA would have won anyway. Boston was too good in too many areas. A 4-1 series win was as it should have been.
They earned it.