|BOSTON — The San Gabriel Mountains shimmering in the distance will be a welcome sight for the Los Angeles Dodgers after two chilly, failed nights at Fenway Park.
The Dodgers were cold and out of sorts during two games in Boston, falling behind 2-0 in the World Series — a deficit no team has overcome in 22 years.
Used to the warm weather and gentle breezes of the NL West, Los Angeles hadn’t started a game this year in a temperature below 58. Facing a 53-degree temperature at the start of the opener, the Dodgers lost 8-4. It was just 46 in the first inning Wednesday night, and their performance was just as cold in a 4-2 defeat.
“This is the first time we’ve played in obviously weather like this — San Francisco a little bit, but nothing like this,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Game 2. “So it’s an adjustment, and that’s part of the home-field advantage and especially being in the bullpen, where you have a little heater, but still have to kind of get hot and stay hot. It’s more of a challenge.”
Soon after the Dodgers arrived in Boston on Sunday, ace Clayton Kershaw went to Fenway for some bullpen work in shorts.
“It’s just trying to get used to it,” he said.
Ryan Madson was unusually open about how out of sorts the Dodgers were on late October nights in the northeast.
“Last night in the bullpen, we had a couple of heaters going,” he said. “It was warm out there, but to get up and move around. I didn’t feel as gummy as usual when it’s 75, 80 degrees. So I’m going to make that adjustment tonight, move around a little bit more. I’m going to tell the guys who didn’t pitch last night, just move around a little bit more than usual, move your knee joints. But maybe they’re young and they don’t feel it.”
Madson’s problem was the lack of movement on his pitches, as well as a changeup he threw for a wild pitch. Brought in to protect a one-run lead in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, he walked Steve Pearce and gave up a two-run single to J.D. Martinez before throwing a single offspeed pitch.
If Los Angeles is to recover, it will be at home. The temperature for last year’s World Series opener at Dodger Stadium was 103 degrees. A more temperate mid-80s is forecast for Friday, when rookie Walker Buehler starts in an attempt to spark a turnaround.
But even if the Dodgers win at least two of three to force the Series back to Boston, they would still have to win at least once at frigid, quirky, noisy Fenway. There is no sign they can warm to the task.