Red Sox @ Dodgers October 27, 2018: World Series Game 4, Rodriguez vs. Hill

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

After 7 hours and 20 minutes of excruciating baseball over 18 innings, you’re back for more. The Dodgers (1-2) have played their best when their backs are against the wall, and last night their backs were against the wall for what seemed like an eternity. Max Muncy put us all out of our misery with an epic walk-off home run in the bottom of the 18th to give the Dodgers their first victory of the World Series.

Things got bananas.

The marathon of a game was very #onbrand for the Dodgers. While the Red Sox (2-1) may have had a home field advantage at Fenway Park with the cold weather and quirky old stadium dimensions, the Dodgers will torture you for hours at Chavez Ravine. Pace-of-play rhetoric is completely thrown out the window as you try to figure out which position player is going to pitch in the 20th frame.

Red Sox
Dodgers
5:09 PM
Los Angeles
CF
Betts
1B
Freese
LF
Benintendi
2B
Muncy
1B
Pearce
3B
Turner
RF
Martinez
SS
Machado
SS
Bogaerts
CF
Bellinger
3B
Nuñez
RF
Puig
2B
Holt LF Taylor
C
Vazquez
C
Barnes
P
Rodriguez (L)
P
Hill (L)

If the plan was to force the Red Sox to use up their Game 4 starter Nathan Eovaldi, mission accomplished Dodgers. You have to tip your cap to old friend Eovaldi who pitched 97 pitches over 6 innings. 18 pitchers were used, and the Game 4 starters were in limbo as of Saturday morning.

The Dodgers made a cryptic announcement after the game finally concluded.

Rich Hill (11-5, 3.66 ERA, 3.97 FIP) was slated to take the ball in Game 4. Perhaps it was Dave Roberts way of keeping Alex Cora on his toes after he used Eovaldi, his scheduled Game 4 starter. Hill is really the only logical choice to toe the rubber for the Dodgers in Game 4, since he’s well-rested. Hill makes his second career World Series start and 10th postseason start with the Dodgers. He last pitched one-inning relief outing in Game 6 of the NLCS on October 19. Dick Mountain’s pitched well this postseason, allowing three runs and striking out 10 in 10 1/3 innings.

Hill, born in Milton, Massachusetts, had two stints with the Red Sox in his long career from 2010-12 and in 2015 after pitching in an independent league. He’s only made one career start and six relief appearances against his childhood team. His lone start against Boston was a nine-run disaster when he was with Baltimore back in 2009. Eduardo Nunez, the guy who can’t seem to stay on his feet, is 4-for-9 (.444) with a double and a home run vs. Hill.

The Red Sox announced this afternoon that left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (13-5, 3.82 ERA, 3.65 FIP) will start the game for Boston. He made two brief relief appearances in Games 1 and 3. He made 6 pitches in Game 3, striking out Joc Pederson to end the fifth. E-Rod’s struggled this postseason with a 5.78 ERA in six relief appearances. He made one career start against the Dodgers on August 6, 2016 and allowed three runs on eight hits with five strikeouts and a walk in 4 1/3 innings in the 3-0 Dodgers win.

Brian Dozier has two home runs off the southpaw, but he’s not in the starting lineup. Dozier, Barnes, and Chris Taylor are hitless in the series so far. The Dodgers left a dozen men on base in Game 3. They’re slashing .177/.241/.266/.507 in the series as a team with three home runs (Matt Kemp, Joc Pederson, Muncy). That’s pretty pathetic.

It’ll essentially be a bullpen game for Boston. Rodriguez has been used exclusively out of the bullpen this postseason and hasn’t made a start since September 20.

Speaking of the bullpens, the Red Sox will have most of their relief arms available except for Eovaldi. Cora could even go to David Price for back-to-back relief appearances. Price made 13 pitches and recorded two outs in Game 3. Chris Sale is available too.

Sale was the emergency position player last night.

For the Dodgers, several of their relievers including Kenley Jansen, Kenta Maeda, and Pedro Baez pitched two innings each. Dustin doesn’t want to see Jansen out there for another two-inning appearance unless absolutely necessary, and I have to agree. Julio Urias is likely unavailable after pitching in all three games this World Series, but you never know. I’m shocked that Roberts has used him as much as they have.

David Freese is at first base and leading off for the Dodgers. Last night’s hero is batting second and playing second. Austin Barnes is back behind the plate to catch Hill. Boston switched things up, and Andrew Benintendi is back in the lineup and manning left field. J.D. Martinez is in right field.

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The is the fifth straight World Series that has been 2-1 after three games. Of the 89 times a series has been 2-1, the team leading has won the series 58 times (65.2%). A Dodgers win in Game 4 would guarantee that the series return to Boston for at least one more game. Like I said before, in order to win this series, the Dodgers are going to have to figure out a way to win at least one game at Fenway. They have only won one game at the Green Monster’s den since it opened in 1912. But first, they need to win at least one at home this weekend before they can pack up their parkas again.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.