The Dodgers fell to the Braves in Game 1 of the NLCS. Here are my three takeaways.
Offense continues to be streaky
The Dodgers have now played seven games this postseason, with their offense really showing up in only two of the games. LA scored nine runs in San Francisco and then seven runs at home. Aside from that, the Dodgers have scored a combined seven runs in their other five games.
That is simply not going to cut it.
Here is a look at the offensive production so far in October.
- 3 runs
- 0 runs
- 9 runs
- 0 runs
- 7 runs
- 2 runs
- 2 runs
With how good the pitching has been, it seems like all the Dodgers have to do to win the game is score four runs, but that is a struggle for them at the moment.
This game was there for the taking, but LA was only able to string together two runs. They out-hit Atlanta 10-6, but that doesn’t matter at all. For the game, LA was 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners on base. There were countless opportunities for the Dodgers to drive in runs, and they failed to do so.
The biggest opportunity was in the seventh inning. With the game tied at two with one out, the Dodgers had a runner on third base. Mookie Betts and Trea Turner failed to bring in the go-ahead run. The two guys you wanted at the plate couldn’t even hit it out of the infield.
It was a frustrating night for the offense, and frankly it’s been a frustrating postseason. We’ve seen all season how boom-or-bust this offense is, and it’s on full display. I get that they are having good at bats and putting the ball in play, but this offense is too good to be scoring less than three runs on a consistent basis.
The offense certainly didn’t help, but there were some costly mistakes that hurt the Dodgers as well.
In the first inning, Corey Seager failed to hold the tag on Eddie Rosario who was attempting to steal. He slid off the base, but since Seager took his glove off, Rosario was able to get back to the bag. This ended up costing the Dodgers, as Rosario ended up scoring on a wild pitch with two outs.
Between the failed tag and wild pitch, Atlanta was gifted a run that could have been prevented by LA.
The biggest mistake came in the ninth inning from Chris Taylor. With two outs, Cody Bellinger singled to right field. Taylor was about 1⁄3 of the way to third base, when he turned around and tried going back to second base. He was caught in a rundown and was tagged out, ending the inning.
Chris Taylor with a massive blunder on the bases pic.twitter.com/Cfk6mwqObf— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) October 17, 2021
By the looks of the throw from Joc Pederson, I think Taylor would have made it to third base had he kept his head down and kept running. Following the game, he said he should have stayed at second base. If he does that, the Dodgers have two runners on with Betts coming up to the plate.
Obviously, anything could have happened there. Betts could have gotten out and the Taylor error wouldn’t have made a difference. With that being said, Betts also could have given the Dodgers the lead and LA might have won the game.
It’s a baffle that you rarely see Taylor make on the field. It happens. But in the biggest moment of the game, it’s a mistake that cost the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will be just fine
Luckily, it’s no longer a five-game series. It’s a seven-game series. This was a game the Braves were expected to win. LA had to travel all the way from San Francisco and had to have a bullpen game. The fact the Dodgers had a chance to win this game was a win in itself.
They have Max Scherzer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urias lined up for the next three games, which is a major advantage for the Dodgers.
Plus, we’ve seen this Dodgers team fall behind the Braves before in the playoffs. Last season they fell behind 2-0 and 3-1 in the NLCS. I have plenty of faith in this team.
Just please.... score more than two runs.