first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco LOS ANGELES — Commissioner Rob Manfred has made it one of his priorities to rein in the length of games. But he was at Dodger Stadium for all 7 hours and 20 minutes of Game 3.The longest game in World Series history began at 5:10 p.m. Friday and ended at 12:30 a.m. Saturday. If the intervening hours catalyzed his opinions about baseball’s lengthening game times, Manfred refrained from sharing them with reporters Saturday.The commissioner floated one idea – a separate set of end-of-game rules for baseball’s regular season and postseason. That would be similar to the National Hockey League – regular-season games end with a shootout, playoff games with as many overtimes as necessary. Manfred said he’s amenable to beginning extra innings with a runner on second base in the regular season only.“I think that rule worked well in the minor leagues,” Manfred said. “It’s something we’d have to work through with the players. I don’t think we’re quite ready for it yet, but it’s something I’d be open to.” Minor League Baseball this year mandated that all extra innings begin with a runner on second base. The league and the MLB Players’ Association have not discussed implementing the rule in the major leagues.“We’re not thinking about doing anything about changing the way games are played, either regular-season or postseason,” Manfred said. “It’s out there, it’s used in the minor leagues. I’m obviously aware of it, but it is not under active consideration.”PITCHER POKERThe Dodgers essentially told the Boston Red Sox – show me yours and I’ll show you mine.Rich Hill had been lined up to start Game 4 from the start of the World Series and left Dodger Stadium after the late conclusion of Game 3 preparing to pitch Saturday. But shortly after, a release from the Dodgers changed the scheduled starter for Game 4 from Hill to “TBD.”The Dodgers never really intended to start anyone other than Hill and were just trying to mess with the Red Sox who didn’t announce a Game 4 starter until Saturday morning – right, Dave?center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season “Maybe,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said with a weak attempt at a poker face.When asked about the Game 4 decision in the interview room, Roberts tried to explain it as “vetting all our options.”“We were just kind of potentially toying with the idea of an ‘opener,’ and just kind of wanted to leave it open-ended,” Roberts said, referring to the tactic of starting a reliever with the intention of replacing him with a more conventional starter after an inning or so. “After more conversation and thought, we just feel great about Rich starting and going through his normal routine.“It was just something we were thinking about. We were just trying to think about all scenarios, and what would give us the best chance today.”The Game 4 smokescreen was just the latest subterfuge involving starting pitchers this postseason. During the NLCS, the Milwaukee Brewers used their starting pitchers as shells in a shell game, even pulling Wade Miley after one batter in Game 5.SHORT STROKECody Bellinger went 1 for 7 in Game 3, his only hit a single in the ninth inning against David Price.It was the latest example of success for Bellinger’s shortened two-strike swing, which he said he implemented in the second half of this season. The left-handed Price got ahead of Bellinger 1-and-2 before throwing him a 96-mph fastball over the outer half of the plate. Bellinger poked an opposite-field line drive to left field.Related Articles Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error “I’ve learned a lot this year by myself with my swing: when to use it, when not to use it,” Bellinger said. “I’m just trying my best to get on base right now.”The short stroke was unseen a year ago when Bellinger set a National League rookie record with 39 home runs. But Bellinger set a postseason record with 28 strikeouts last fall and more pitchers challenged him with four-seam fastballs up in the zone, particularly in the playoffs, making Bellinger’s long uppercut swing less useful.This year, Bellinger saw 109 two-strike fastballs 96 mph or faster during the regular season. Only six fell for hits – two home runs, three singles and a triple.“Even when you know it’s coming, it’s still hard to hit sometimes,” Bellinger said. “I’m just trying to incorporate what I’ve used all year. That’s helped me in some important games this year.”Staff writer Bill Plunkett contributed to this notebook.last_img

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