The Dodgers lost a frustrating one last night. Here are my takeaways.
If the Dodgers end up losing this series, everyone will likely remember the decision to pitch Julio Urias in the eighth inning. With a two-run lead, LA opted to have their Game 4 starter come out of the bullpen, as opposed to using a traditional reliever.
It backfired, as Urias allowed two runs to tie the game at four. He just simply didn’t have it.
Looking back at it, I’m still questioning the move. If the Dodgers had a 1-0 series lead, I might be able to understand it a little more. Do whatever it takes to leave Atlanta up 2-0. But the Dodgers weren’t leading the series, they were trailing.
There were a number of different options Dave Roberts could have gone with. After an eight-pitch seventh inning from Blake Treinen, he could have given him the eighth with Kenley Jansen ready to go when needed. Or, he could have turned to other options out of the bullpen, such as Justin Bruihl or Brusdar Graterol, among others.
Another option could have been Graterol getting the seventh against the bottom of the order, with Treinen in for the eighth inning. Either way, there were a number of combinations and the Dodgers ended up going with the wrong one.
If it works, great. But it didn’t, and it cost the Dodgers.
The Urias decision certainly hurt the Dodgers, but it’s not entirely what cost them the game. For the second straight game, and frankly yet again this postseason, the Dodgers offense was nowhere to be found.
Corey Seager hit a two-run home run in the first inning. After six pitches, LA had a 2-0 lead. I was thinking it was going to be one of those 10-run games again. Instead, the Dodgers scored only two more runs over their final 27 outs.
For the game, the Dodgers had only four hits. That won’t win you a whole lot of games. They had two hits after their first two batters. Following the Seager homer, the bats went 2-for-29 the rest of the way.
With runners in scoring position, the Dodgers were 1-for-10. They stranded 10 runners on base. Just one or two hits with runners on and LA wins this game. Luckily Chris Taylor delivered in the seventh inning, but the Dodgers shot themselves in the foot with all their blown opportunities.
Trea Turner went 0-for-5 and had three strikeouts. I will give him credit, he just missed a homer in the ninth, but he continues to look lost at the plate this postseason. AJ Pollock went 0-for-4 and had two strikeouts, including failing to deliver in some key moments.
It’s super late and I don’t have the exact numbers right in front of me, but if you take out Game 2 of the NLDS, the Dodgers are about 6-for-56 with runners in scoring position this postseason. Just embarrassing.
Key moments just didn’t go their way
Again, you can nitpick all the different ways the Dodgers blew this game. There were a number of plays in the field that ended up hurting them as well.
- Seager’s error in the ninth inning to lose the game. If he just keeps the ball in front of him, the Dodgers have another chance.
- In the eight inning, Pollock tried throwing Eddie Rosario out at second while he was tagging from first. He had the strength to get it there on time, but it was about 10 feet from the bag. If that throw is on the line, we likely don’t see what happens next....
- Steven Souza Jr.’s throw home the next at bat. If Souza Jr. has a somewhat decent throw, the runner is out at home and there are two outs. Instead, Souza Jr. plays it horribly and his throw was just as bad. Yet, they missed the tag by less than a second.
- The next at bat when Austin Riley doubled to left-center, Mookie Betts bobbled the ball when trying to pick it up. If he makes a clean move, the Dodgers likely throw out the tying run.
This is just me nitpicking, but if the Dodgers have just one of these plays go their way, they likely win the ballgame.
It’s a seven-game series, not five. The Dodgers only have one more loss they can afford. The next three are at Dodger Stadium, a place they thrived all season.
Oh, in case you forget, the Dodgers trailed the Braves 2-0 last postseason. We all know how that turned out. Keep your heads up, Dodgers fans. They’ll be alright.