Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts played the percentages Tuesday night with his team down by one run to the Boston Red Sox in the seventh inning of the opening game of this year's Major League Baseball World Series.
He saw two runners on base, a right-handed pitcher on the mound and the Red Sox sending one of the hottest hitters in the playoffs, lefty-batting Dominican third baseman Rafael Devers, to the plate with two outs.
Roberts made a call to his bullpen, preferring to let Alex Wood try to take advantage of a lefty-lefty matchup to stamp out the brewing Red Sox rally and get his team to the eighth inning trailing only 5-4.
Red Sox Manager Alex Cora waited for Wood to enter the game, then countered with a move of his own, sending right-handed Dominican second baseman Eduardo Nuñez to hit for Devers.
It took two pitches for Nuñez to send a ball screaming into the cool Boston night, clearing the famed Green Monster wall in left field for a three-run home run that gave the Red Sox an 8-4 lead.
The Dodgers failed to mount any comeback as the Red Sox bullpen allowed no runners to reach base in the final two innings.
In a game started by two of the best pitchers in all of Major League Baseball, the teams combined for 19 hits and neither Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw nor Red Sox starter Chris Sale made it through the fifth inning before being replaced.
Game two of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday in Boston before the series shifts to Los Angeles on Friday.
The 2018 World Series marks the first time in more than a century the two franchises, both with rich histories, have squared off against each other in a championship. In 1916, the Boston Red Sox featured a young left-handed power hitter named Babe Ruth. Boston won that series against the Brooklyn Robins, as the Dodgers was known then, in five games.