That is what Hill had implied, right?
“Well, no, not necessarily,” Hill said. “I just didn’t want to end up in a situation where we end up putting the team at risk of getting us in a situation where it’s like, ‘O.K., well, one too many hitters.’”
Hill added that it was better to keep a rally from starting than to react too late to one, and he had reason to expect what would have been his first World Series win. The Dodgers had been 54-0 this season when leading by four or more runs, and their bullpen had allowed just two runs and five hits over 11 stout innings in Friday’s marathon, 18-inning Game 3.
Roberts replaced Hill with another left-hander, Scott Alexander, whom he called “a lefty in the pen that has done it all year long, getting lefties out.” Yet while Alexander did hold left-handers to a .172 average this season, he was not exactly essential; the Dodgers had left him off their roster for the National League Championship Series.
Alexander walked the left-handed Brock Holt on four pitches. With Julio Urias and Pedro Baez unavailable, Roberts then turned to Ryan Madson, who had allowed all five inherited runners to score in the first two games at Fenway Park.
Madson has made 57 career appearances in the postseason, second only to Mariano Rivera, who had presented an award before the game and watched from a suite with Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred. Madson got a pop out, but then allowed a towering three-run homer to the pinch-hitter Mitch Moreland, who pulled a first-pitch changeup 437 feet into the right field bleachers.
“It was a bad pitch out of my hand, I knew that, so I wasn’t surprised,” Madson said. “But it did go a long way. I was kind of surprised at how far it went.”
Madson smiled when shown what President Trump had said about the Dodgers’ bullpen.
“That’s amazing,” he said. “Everybody has their opinion; they don’t know what it feels like. But it’s O.K. Everybody’s entitled to their opinion. It’s fine. I’m sure there’s a lot of fans that said the same thing.”