I’m not sure if enough can be said about the job Charlie Culberson did in the National League Championship Series. Faced with an impossible task for filling in for an injured Corey Seager, Culberson started three of the five games against the Cubs at shortstop, and contributed all over the field.
Culberson already had a place in Dodgers’ lore secured with his division-clinching home run in Vin Scully’s final home game in 2016. Now, he just added to his LA legacy, by channeling his inner Mickey Hatcher.
Culberson was 3-for-5 with a triple in the clincher on Thursday night, and had an extra-base hit in each of his three NLCS starts. During the regular season, Culberson had two hits in the majors, in 15 total plate appearances. In the playoffs, he is 5-for-11 (.455) with two doubles and a triple.
He scored twice, and drove in a run in Game 1 with a sacrifice fly.
But Culberson was inserted into the lineup because of his defense, and he showed it off in the second inning of Game 5.
Charlie Culberson. pic.twitter.com/iZ0eUY5R9a— Justin Russo (@FlyByKnite) October 20, 2017
Chuck Culberson invented that play— Brock Stewart (@Brock_A_Stewart) October 20, 2017
It was also fitting that Culberson snagged the last out of Game 5 as well, a line drive by Willson Contreras that clinched the Dodgers’ first trip to the World Series in 29 years.
Seager’s back sprain is expected to heal in time for the World Series, with manager Dave Roberts going so far as to say Thursday night that he expects Seager to start Game 1 on Tuesday in Los Angeles.
“We expect [Seager] back for Game 1. So obviously when you have a guy like Charlie Culberson that can fill in like that, made some spectacular defensive plays, some big hits, it was great to see from Charlie,” Roberts said. “But obviously we’re hoping to get Corey back for the World Series.”
But for now, let’s appreciate the fine job Culberson did in filling in.