It wasn’t the best showing for Clayton Kershaw or the Dodgers in Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday. The Dodgers’ ace gave up five runs on seven hits in four innings in Boston and Los Angeles dropped the first game of the series by a score of 8-4. (To be fair, Chris Sale wasn’t his best on the other side, either.)
After the game, Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt didn’t seem thrilled about the bullpen situation at Fenway Park. Honeycutt discussed how close the bullpen is to the outfield bleachers and may have indirectly suggested that Kershaw’s lackluster performance in Game 1 could have been affected by a tense pregame warmup session in the pen.
From Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci:
Kershaw felt the full-on Fenway effect the minute he took to the bullpen mound to warm up for World Series Game 1 Tuesday night.
“Brutal. Pretty brutal,” said Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, making his first trip to the Fens since 2010. Not much has changed. The rubber of the pitching mound in the visitors’ bullpen is but three feet from the bleacher seats. “What I don’t understand is why baseball allows it. You’ve got the rubber right there and people literally standing over you.”
Honeycutt’s not wrong in that both of Fenway’s bullpens are located in very close proximity to the right field stands, and that provides plenty of access for fans to heckle members of the opposing team. And he’s also not wrong that it can be pretty brutal at times.
But that’s also just the way it goes. One of the beautiful things about baseball is that all the ballparks have their own little quirks and sometimes they find a way to provide a little home field advantage. (The visitor’s clubhouse at Fenway Park is also laughably small and dingy.) Boston certainly isn’t the only place that presents these unwelcoming challenges, and every opposing pitcher who has ventured into Fenway over the years has had to deal with the “brutal” nature of Sox fans being right in their kitchen as they warm up in the pen. It’s just part of the deal.
Complaining and suggesting that Major League Baseball should make the Red Sox change it seems like a little much. And, if we’re being honest, doing so after Game 1 of the World Series is probably not what you want to see if you’re a Dodgers fan. That just oozes loser’s mentality.
Luckily, if we know anything about Red Sox fans, they will undoubtedly be much quieter and more polite during Game 2 on Wednesday now that they know they’re bothering the opponent.
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