The Los Angeles Dodgers, through two games of the World Series, are cold.
No, like, they’re literally cold. Freezing. Chilly.
California, here they come, and no one is happier than the Dodgers that the Fall Classic is shifting back to Hollywood, where it always feels like summer, after the Boston Red Sox and the New England weather has the National League champions suffering from shrinkage.
You could see it in Game 1. As the FOX cameras panned to the Dodgers dugout, Los Angeles starters could be seen reaching for the warm embrace of winter jackets and ski caps as they awaited their turn at bat.
Then, prior to Game 2, reliever Ryan Madson — a native of Long Beach, Calif. — maligned the mid-40s temps.
“It’s definitely an element, yeah,” Madson said, presumably between shivers. “(Game 1) in the bullpen we had a couple of heaters going. 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 (in Game 2), move around a little bit more. I’m going to tell the guys who didn’t pitch (Tuesday), just move around a little bit more than usual, move your knee joints. But maybe they’re young and they don’t feel it.
“So that’s all the adjustment I’ll make (for Game 2).”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts called on Madson in the fifth inning, bringing the veteran reliever into a bases-loaded situation to face Steve Pearce. After almost drilling Pearce in the head to begin the at-bat, Madson ultimately walked in a run before giving up an RBI single to J.D. Martinez.
After the game, more of the same from the Ice King.
“Just go back home, warm up a little bit, thaw out, and hopefully have our bats thaw out as well,” Madson told reporters after the game, per WEEI.com. “(The cold) definitely makes it tougher, but everybody else deals with it just the same.”
The problem for the Dodgers, of course, is the Red Sox — who are now 17-4 this season when the game-time temperature is 55 degrees or colder — haven’t let it bother them at all.
The nippy weather is something the Dodgers haven’t had to deal with much this season. They play their home games in the comfort of Chavez-Ravine, and when you get to play another 18 games in the comfort of San Diego and Arizona, you get used to being comfortable when you take the field.
Also, consider this: The Dodgers opened the playoffs against the Atlanta Braves in the League Division Series before taking on the Milwaukee Brewers in the League Championship Series. It’s warm in Atlanta, and there’s a dome in Milwaukee, so this is the first taste of cold for the Dodgers maybe all year.
It doesn’t help that manager Dave Roberts essentially allowed the weather to be used as an excuse in his Game 2 pregame press conference.
“It’s difficult,” Roberts, who grew up in Southern California, went to UCLA and spent much of his professional career playing for the Dodgers and Padres, said Wednesday. “I mean, I think every person responds differently. But for us, this is the first time we’ve played in obviously weather like this. San Francisco a little bit, but nothing like this. 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.”
Whether it’s a challenge or (another) excuse for the Dodgers at this point, one thing is clear: L.A. hasn’t answered the bell.
Friday calls for highs of 84 in L.A., and the Dodgers need more than some warm weather to get back into the series. Scottsdale, Ariz., native Cody Bellinger hopes there will be some correlation between the weather and their performance.
“It’s going to be warmer, and hopefully our bats get hot, too,” he said, per The New York Times.
Now, the California dream becomes a reality as the chilly Dodgers retreat to the SoCal, where they hope they’ll be safe and warm. Even if the Dodgers find comfort in the shadows of palm trees, the biting autumn cold awaits them for Games 6 and 7 where the only thing chillier than their reception from the Fenway Faithful will be the weather.
Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images