LOS ANGELES -- When manager Dave Roberts reflects on the Dodgers' 5-1 loss in Game 7 of the World Series to the Astros on Wednesday, he'll remember Yu Darvish gave up five runs (four earned). And he'll remember knocking out Houston's starting pitcher Lance McCullers after just 2 1/3 innings.But
LOS ANGELES -- When manager Dave Roberts reflects on the Dodgers' 5-1 loss in Game 7 of the World Series to the Astros on Wednesday, he'll remember Yu Darvish gave up five runs (four earned). And he'll remember knocking out Houston's starting pitcher Lance McCullers after just 2 1/3 innings.
But perhaps most of all, Roberts will remember all the Dodgers' hitters jogging into the dugout at the end of innings, having been left on base. Los Angeles stranded 10 on base and was just 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
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With a chance to end their 29-year championship drought, the Dodgers managed just six hits and two walks, McCullers also plunked a World Series record four batters, but L.A. still couldn't string together anything.
Andre Ethier, the longest-tenured Dodger, drove in the Dodgers' only run of the evening, with a pinch-hit RBI single through the right side in the sixth.
"Every guy in here had one thing in mind," said Justin Turner. "We fell short tonight. [It] definitely hurts. Just to put ourselves in the position we were in to fight back, I think we're proud."
And the frustration started early.
After falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first, Los Angeles had a chance to answer in the bottom of the inning and perhaps change the tone of the game. Chris Taylor doubled to lead off and, after a strikeout by Corey Seager, Turner was hit by a pitch to put two on with one out. But Cody Bellinger struck out on a knuckle curve. Yasiel Puig was then the second hit-by-pitch victim of the inning to load the bases. But Joc Pederson grounded out to second to end the threat.
"That was probably the first game where they kind of shut the door when we did get guys on base," said Taylor. "I think the majority of the Series, we were at our best with guys in scoring position."
After the Astros put up three more in the top of the second to take a 5-0 lead, John Forsythe reached to start the bottom of the inning, but after a third hit-by-pitch put a second man on with one out, Taylor lined out to shortstop and Forsythe was doubled off to end the inning.
There was a chance again in the third after Seager singled and Turner was again hit by a pitch to put two on with none out. But a strikeout by Bellinger, a flyout to center by Puig and strikeout by Pederson left two more on base. The fifth ended with Seager and Turner left on base again after Puig lined out to Houston first baseman Yuli Gurriel.
Inside a somber clubhouse, the Dodgers expressed frustration and disappointment. This was a club, after all, that had 53 comeback wins in the regular season and postseason, but found themselves unable to come up with clutch hits in this winner-take-all game.
Turner, Bellinger and Puig went a combined 1-for-9 in Game 7, with Bellinger striking out three times. Bellinger set a postseason record for most strikeouts in a postseason (29). He said after that he didn't make the proper in-game adjustments.
"I think during the postseason everything's magnified here," Bellinger said. "So you want to make adjustments quick and you try to do that. You making the wrong adjustments and everything just kind of stockpiled over."
The Astros fed Bellinger a flurry of breaking balls down and in, and Bellinger never adjusted, striking out 17 times this Series.
"Just couldn't get that big hit," Roberts said. "And they made pitches, and we just couldn't get the hit when we needed to."
Joshua Thornton is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.