I used to own www.kershawshankredemption.com, and it may mean more to me than it does to you… or not, but Game #5 was a real redemption for one Clayton Kershaw from his previous bad outing. He’s now 9-8 with a 4.11 ERA in the postseason.IFhe can keep that up, he can get his cumulative postseason ERA to below 4.00. This year, Clayton’s playoff ERA is 2.50 with a .83 WHIP. That’s more like it!
While Clayton looked very much like his old self, the Dodgers were barely recogonizable, with no home runs and just two extra base hits (both doubles) to go with three stolen bases. None of the teams left in the playoffs are carring a high batting average:
- Boston – .235
- Houston – .234
- Los Angeles – .220
- Milwaukee .219
The Dodgers lead all the remaining teams in ERA with 2.81 while Milwaukee is at 2.83. The Dodger relievers continue to shine with a 1.25 ERA while the Brewers bullpen ERA is 3.48. ON the verge of elimination at 3-1, the Astros team ERA is 5.91, while the Red Sox tem ERA is 4.75! Good pitching stops good hitting and both Milwaukee and LA are pitching very well. The Dodgers have held Christain Yelich who has been on fire, to a .150 BA. The Dodgers have six relievers, who combined, have not given up a run in the playoffs and a 7th (Madson) who has given up one.
Pedro Baez, formerly el Gasolino, has emerged as a lockdown reliever. Chris Taylor and Yasiel Puig are both hitting over .300 in the post season and are the only Dodgers with that average, while Machado, Taylor and Puig are all hitting over .300 in the NLCS. Doc’s patience with Cody Bellinger is paying off as he is just looking to get a hit, not hit Mars!
Overall, this has been a pitching dominated series and Game 5 should be more of the same. Ryu will start the game on Friday in Milwaukee, but will have a short leash. I would imagine that Rich Hill would also be available, along with the rest of the rested bullpen. Hopefully, the Dodgers can end it in six, but this Brewer team is very tough and deeper than you may think. They won’t lay down and die.
I would see no reason to not start Austin Barnes again at Catcher. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Cody Bellinger said “Our approach was to single them to death” and he was only half joking! Of the teams left in the Playoffs, the Dodgers have the fewest home runs (2). That could mean that in Game Six, they will bring out about 5 big flies in Milwaukee… or not! I am stuck in San Antonio until Sunday night, but I will be watching the games. This should be fun!
Craig Counsell tried to trick Dave Roberts by taking out Miley after 5 pitches, but it didn’t work. Milwaukee fans are castigating him today. When you win, you are a genius and when you lose, you are an idiot! You need to realize how difficult it is to get to the World Series two years in a row. You have to be lucky and good. Right about now, it looks like the Astros won’t make it back (although I admit that can change).
In a season where the Dodger’s Pythagorean W-L Recordwas 102-61, with 804 Runs Scored and 610 Runs Allowed, they certainly were not lucky as they won 10 games less than that. Maybe they will be a little luckier in the playoffs and I truly believe that this team is built for the playoffs. It’s really showing up with the re-made bullpen. Young Julio has been a factor and could be an even bigger one yet!
The last time the Dodgers were in two consecutive World Series was 1977 and 1978 and they lost both time 4-2. They shold have fired that bum manager they had! But, I don’t remember the fans calling for Tommy’s head, however I guess that was before the internet…
Bill Plaschke of The LA Timeshas a great piece today (he is capable of surprising me sometimes). In part he wrote:
On an old-fashioned autumnal Wednesday afternoon at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers moved to within one win of reaching their second consecutive World Series by taking the most nostalgic of paths.
They traveled Route 1988.
Did you recognize it? It certainly felt like it. For one game, anyway, Clayton Kershaw was Orel Hershiser, Chris Taylor was John Shelby, Austin Barnes was Steve Sax, Max Muncy was Mike Marshall and Yasiel Puig was, of course, Mickey Hatcher.
It was a day of bulldogs and stuntmen and a 5-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers in a pivotal Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.
Finally, a picture is worth a thousand words as to how the Dodgers played Game 5. Junkyard Dogism is alive and well!