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True Blue LA podcast episode 2141: Costs & benefits

Dodgers find themselves in a familiar hole, down 2-0 to the Braves

NLCS: LA Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The latest episode of the podcast has us discussing how the playoffs are sometimes decided on the margins, and the Dodgers find themselves down 2-0 in the NLCS to the Braves after a pair of walk-off losses in Atlanta.

Costs and benefits apply to all decisions, especially with how the Dodgers have aggressively used starting pitchers this postseason. That the Dodgers are playing in the NLCS is a gain from that usage, but the cost has come over the first two games of the NLCS.

The costs are magnified thanks to a struggling Dodgers offense that hasn’t been able to buy a hit with runners in scoring position, giving the pitching staff zero margin for error, akin to the 5-15 stretch in late April and early May.

Costs and benefits also apply to aggression on the bases, with the Dodgers stealing 11 bases in eight games in the postseason, a number they reached in only three of six months during a regular season that saw them steal only 65 bases in 162 games. But again with the poor hitting, only three of those 11 steals — in 11 attempts, by the way — have scored.

Now, like last year, the Dodgers find themselves in a 2-0 hole to Atlanta. They are back home, trying to avoid the even deeper hole they dug in 2020 before climbing out of it.

Kudos to producer Brian Salvatore for all his extraordinary work behind the scenes.

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Episode link (time: 43:19)