In game four of the 2018 World Series, much was made of Dave Roberts’ decision to pull Rich Hill. Nevertheless, we know how the story ended up. The Dodgers would go from nearly tying the series to not winning another game. It’s hard to imagine a bigger turning point in the entire series.
Now, there’s more to the story. Hill told WEEI.com in a podcast that the decision for him to make that start was actually the bigger factor. Moreover, Hill didn’t know he was starting that game until the day of.
You can hear the full audio at the tweet in the link below.
Rich Hill says here he wasn't sure if he was starting Game 4 of the World Series until that day. https://t.co/3nb1OZL3n8
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 28, 2018
“There is a rhythm, there is a flow to the game that the starting pitcher gets into and I don’t know if the World Series is necessarily the time to actually … It was up in the air,” Hill explained.
To be fair – the game the night prior went 18 innings. Boston would not hurry into naming a starter, so as a counter; the Dodgers operated in the same manner.
It seems that Alex Cora and the Red Sox succeeded in getting Dave Roberts to play right into their hands.
After Hill was pulled, Scott Alexander and Ryan Madson entered and blew a 4-0 lead. The Dodgers eventually lost the game 9-6, wasting a dramatic home run from Yasiel Puig.
From there, the Dodgers were deflated in losing game five. If you followed the pulse of the team all year – that seemed to be the night the series was truly lost.
This is interesting to hear Hill come out and say so long after the fact. Still, it is very clear that a player in Roberts’ clubhouse did not agree with how things were handled from the beginning that day. On that night – I remember several members of our staff said that it would be hard to fully support all of Roberts’ in-game decisions. The more interesting point is that Roberts made a decision that deeply affected one of his players. So much that the player is still talking about it. Most interesting of all – Hill is such a gamer that he still had a sterling performance on that night anyways.
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