2:36 AM ET
ARLINGTON, Texas — The settings change, the circumstances evolve, and yet it always seems to come down to Clayton Kershaw getting stretched a little too far, a promising bullpen failing to pick him up, a high-powered offense coming up small, a well-oiled machine breaking down at the worst possible time.
The backdrop for the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ latest collapse was Game 4 of the 2020 National League Championship Series, played under howling winds at a neutral stadium that was only a quarter full. It was, more specifically, Thursday’s bottom of the sixth, when the Atlanta Braves‘ high-powered offense suddenly came to life and the star-studded Dodgers collectively unraveled.
The Braves tallied six runs in that half inning, more than enough to cruise to the 10-2 victory that provided a commanding 3-1 series lead and, based on the history of seven-game postseason series, gave them an 85% chance of advancing to the World Series. The Dodgers, 43-17 with a plus-136 run differential during the shortened regular season, are one loss away from a stunning elimination.
The blame should not be singular.
You can point to their prestigious offense, which managed nothing but a solo home run through the first six innings against 22-year-old Bryse Wilson, and three hits for the entire game. You can point to their supposedly deep bullpen, which has given up 15 runs in 15⅔ innings. You can point to Kershaw, who once again did not do