Negative: The defense essentially lost this game
When reading an 8-4 scoreline the last thing you would think is that a defensive miscue changed the game. That is four runs we are talking about, not one.
However, the Dodgers had two huge defensive miscues that shaped the entire game. To beat the Red Sox, you have to be dang near perfect and Boston showed that by capitalizing big time on both of the Dodgers’ seemingly small mistakes.
The first came in the first inning, in the first batter, Mookie Betts. Betts popped a ball into foul territory on the right side, where David Freese could not get a good read on the ball and allowed it to fall.
Kershaw narrowly missed the strikeout call on the next pitch and Betts then singled into center field. A stolen base, Benintendi single (and overthrow by Yasiel Puig) and J.D. Martinez single later and it was 2-0.
If Betts gets out there, even if Benintendi singles, Kershaw got Steve Pearce out and now the option to walk J.D. Martinez is open.
The second miscue came in the seventh inning when Joc Pederson missed a short pop up that he probably should have caught in left field.
This led to Dave Roberts bringing Pedro Baez in, who shut it down with two big strikeouts, before going to Alex Wood. The rest is history. On his second pitch of the game, Wood allowed a three-run home run to Eduardo Nunez that essentially decided the game.
If those two catches are made, this game is completely different and Kershaw might’ve still been on the mound in the seventh.