LOS ANGELES — It is travel day in the NLDS, so let’s look back at some things from the first two games of the series, in which the Dodgers have a 2-0 lead for the first time in eight years.
Offense comes alive
After averaging 3.8 runs per game in September, the Dodgers offense has carried them to the first two wins in the series, with 17 runs in the first two games. This is just the second time in Dodgers franchise history the club has scored eight or more runs in consecutive postseason games.
The other time was in Games 3-4 of the 1955 World Series.
The Dodgers are hitting .333 so far in the series, with nine walks in two games. They have seen 355 pitches in 16 innings.
“We were just grinding through our at-bats,” said Austin Barnes, who is 3-for-4 with a double and a walk in the NLDS. “When we’re doing that as a unit, it’s pretty special.
The homer gap
The Diamondbacks out-homered the Dodgers 32-18 in their 19 meetings this season, winning 11 times during the regular season. That included 13 home runs to the Dodgers’ four in the two Arizona sweeps in a nine-game span from the end of August through the first week of September.
So far in this series that has continued. Manager Dave Roberts was asked if told the Diamondbacks would have six home runs to the Dodgers’ one before the series how he thought the series might stand at this point.
“Maybe not up 2-0,” he said.
“It’s trying to use the big part of the playing field, get that hit or take the walk if you need to,” Roberts added. “We’ll homer when a pitcher makes a mistake. But I think to spoil pitches and to grind, that’s when I think we’re at our best.”
The Dodgers had to get 15 outs from their bullpen in Game 2, using six different relievers to finish out the game. Kenley Jansen got the final five outs to record the save.
“We had to mix and match today, but credit to the entire team,” Roberts said after Game 2.
It was Jansen’s fourth save longer than one inning in the postseason, the most in franchise history. In those four games, Jansen has allowed one hit and one walk in 6⅔ scoreless innings, with 11 strikeouts.
Jansen has pitched in both games of the NLDS so far, but has been relatively efficient. He threw just 18 pitches to record his five outs in Game 2, after 16 pitches in Game 1.
Remember two weeks ago when Yasiel Puig was benched for showing up late? That seems like ages ago now. I wrote about his impact on this series at SB Nation.
Puig is 5-for-9 with a triple, a double, and four RBI in the series.
“He’s full of energy and emotion,” Roberts said. “I was talking to the coaches, and this is as good as we’ve seen him focus on every single pitch in the game.”
The Dodgers will fly to Phoenix on Sunday afternoon, but won’t have an on-field workout at Chase Field.
Chase Utley will start at second base in Game 3 against right-hander Zack Greinke.
If both the Indians and Astros win on Sunday to finish off their American League Division Series, the Dodgers-Diamondbacks Game 3 will start at 6:08 p.m. PT on Monday night. Otherwise, Game 3 starts at 7:08 p.m.