LOS ANGELES — Too many words were spent and too many breaths were wasted in the last week about Dave Roberts and his bullpen. But the Dodgers lost a second World Series in a row because they didn’t hit a lick.
The Red Sox finished off the Dodgers 5-1 on Sunday night, putting the final nail in the coffin, making Dodger Stadium the site of a championship celebration for a second consecutive year. The last time that happened was in 1976-77 at Yankee Stadium.
Sixteen runs was all the Dodgers could muster in five games in the Fall Classic, hitting a paltry .180/.249/.302.
They were 0 for their last 20 to finish Game 5, mustering only an eighth-inning walk over the final six innings. The Dodgers also ended 0 for their last 16 in Game 2, the other game David Price started, and won, for the Red Sox.
In their lone win of the series, in Game 3, the Dodgers needed 18 innings to score three runs. It was rough sledding on offense for the Dodgers, who were held scoreless in 35 of their last 41 innings.
During the regular season the Dodgers scored in 30.3% of their innings, and led the National League with 4.93 runs per game. MLB teams as a whole scored in 27.2%. In the World Series they scored in 20.4% of their innings, while averaging 3.2 runs per game.
The Dodgers were just 4-for-20 (.200) with runners in scoring position during the World Series, which is bad, but more worrisome was only averaging five such plate appearances per game. Boston was 12-for-34 (.353) with runners in scoring position.
“When we gave [the Red Sox] opportunities they got big hits and we didn’t,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That’s baseball.”
Manny Machado came to bat 24 times during the World Series, and 14 of those plate appearances were with at least one runner on base. After three RBI in Game 1, Machado didn’t drive in another run in the series. He wasn’t alone.
Machado, Justin Turner, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, David Freese, Joc Pederson, Kike Hernandez and Austin Barnes combined for eight RBI in the World Series, in a collective 157 plate appearances.
Steve Pearce, who homered twice in the clinching win for the Red Sox and was named World Series MVP, matched that eight RBI in 16 PA.
Turner is the Dodgers’ best and most reliable hitter, and he was 8-for-24 (.333) with two doubles and a pair of walks during the World Series. But he never even had a chance to bat with runners in scoring position until the third inning of Game 5, when Freese was on third with just one out. The Dodgers were down a run with the tying run 90 feet away with the hitter they wanted at the plate, but Turner grounded out to shortstop on the first pitch.
The tying run never came, and the Dodgers never scored again.
So the Dodgers were the last team eliminated for a second straight year, with the sting of the defeat overwhelming the accomplishment of actually reaching the World Series, something 28 other teams did not do.
“I’m proud of everyone in here. I’m proud of the guys and everything we accomplished,” Turner said. “But this is a shitty feeling.”