Jansen blows save, Dodgers dominant ‘pen pummeled in Game 2
Jansen blows save, Dodgers dominant ‘pen pummeled in Game 2:- The Dodgers’ usually rock-solid bullpen was anything but in Game 2 of the World Series.
Kenley Jansen allowed a tying homer to Marwin Gonzalez in the ninth — his first ever blown save in the playoffs. Josh Fields gave up long balls to Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa in the 10th. Then Brandon McCarthy surrendered the decisive blow, a two-run shot by George Springer in the 11th.
All this from a bullpen that had thrown 28 consecutive scoreless innings.
After that streak ended in the eighth, the once-dominant Dodgers bullpen gave up six runs in its final four innings, costing Los Angeles in a 7-6 loss in 11 innings to the Houston Astros that evened the World Series at 1-1.
Manager Dave Roberts had it lined up just as he wanted. Kenta Maeda replaced starter Rich Hill after 60 pitches to begin the fifth inning, and he and Tony Watson combined to hand a 3-1 lead off to the back of the bullpen.
Roberts went to Ross Stripling to start the seventh, but pulled him after a four-pitch walk in favor of Brandon Morrow, who got through the seventh unscathed. Burning Stripling so early may have proved costly when the game went to extra innings, but Roberts had gambled Morrow and Jansen could close things out from there.
That’s where things went wrong.
The scoreless streak ended in the eighth. Morrow allowed a leadoff double to Alex Bregman, and that prompted Roberts to go to Jansen, hoping the All-Star closer could get his second career six-out postseason save — the first was against the Cubs in Game 2 of the NL Championship Series in 2016.
Jansen allowed Correa’s RBI single in the eighth, the first run allowed by a Dodgers reliever since Game 2 of the Division Series. Still, Jansen took a 3-2 lead into the ninth.
Gonzalez spoiled that, homering to give Jansen his first blown save in 13 career postseason opportunities.
After Jansen helped get the game to extras, Fields gave up consecutive homers to Altuve and Correa leading off the 10th. The right-hander had allowed just one earned run since Sept. 4, although he’d accounted for just one inning this postseason. He also gave up a double to Yuli Gurriel before being pulled. Tony Cingrani cleaned up his mess, allowing the Dodgers to rally in the bottom of the inning and send it to the 11th.
That’s where McCarthy faltered. Making his first ever playoff appearance, McCarthy gave up a two-run drive to Springer for a 7-5 Astros lead. McCarthy got three outs after that.
Roberts had been masterful in using his bullpen since a trade deadline overhaul that brought in lefties Cingrani and Watson. Morrow had been outstanding all season, and Maeda has thrived in October since moving from the rotation to the bullpen.
It was a rare bad night after an overpowering run so far in the playoffs.
In the NL Championship Series, the Dodgers’ bullpen smothered the Cubs, throwing 17 scoreless innings with 22 strikeouts and one walk. Dodgers relievers retired 52 of 58 batters they faced.