The Dodgers had a very fun and entertaining 11-2 victory over the Braves in Game 5 of the NLCS. Here are my three takeaways.
The bullpen was fantastic
I know that a lot of praise will be given to the offense, and rightfully so, but the bullpen was sensational. After using Tony Gonsolin on Wednesday, the Dodgers didn’t have a true “bulk option” available. Well, the Dodgers didn’t need it.
Seven different pitchers were used by LA, and with the exception of Joe Kelly they were all fantastic. Kelly allowed a two-run homer in the first inning, but the Dodgers bullpen blanked the Braves the rest of the way.
After the first inning, Atlanta was held scoreless and recorded only two hits. The bullpen completely shut them out.
Evan Phillips was excellent, as he gave LA 1 1⁄3 innings and struck out three. Brusdar Graterol might have had one of the best outings of his career, as he threw two scoreless innings with two strikeouts on only 14 pitches. Him going two innings was huge for the Dodgers.
Blake Treinen was able to give the Dodgers two innings as well, which was huge considering he threw 20 pitches in his first inning of work and wasn’t looking like he’d be able to give them six outs. Corey Knebel struck out the side in the eighth inning and Kenley Jansen pitched a 1-2-3 inning.
With the Dodgers facing elimination, the bullpen stepped up big-time when needed. Sure, it helps having a comfortable lead for a good chunk of the game, but they put the Dodgers on their back and set the tone for the rest of the game.
The offense showed up!
In case you don’t follow me on Twitter, I posted this last night. A kid a few rows in front of me was dressed as a milk carton. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to figure out why this was happening. I know, I know. I’ve failed you as a journalist.
Nevertheless, I poked some fun at it. Well, maybe this kid in the milk carton was the good luck charm.
There’s a kid wearing a milk carton costume— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) October 22, 2021
I can’t see the front, but I assume it says:
“MISSING: Dodgers offense. Last seen during the regular season. If found please return to Dodger Stadium ASAP” pic.twitter.com/06ewLjmBkK
The Dodgers offense was returned to Dodger Stadium last night. For the game, LA scored 11 runs on 17 hits. Maybe we need to get this kid to every Dodgers game.
Four different players had at least three hits, including Chris Taylor who had four hits, three of which were home runs. Cody Bellinger continued his hot postseason stretch as he added three hits. AJ Pollock hit two home runs and drove in four runs, as he continues to heat up at the plate over the last few games. Most importantly....
Welcome back Trea Turner!!!! He had himself three hits on the night and reached base four times.
We know what this offense is capable of, and they showed it to us last night. I know what you’re thinking, and I am also hoping they saved some of those runs for this weekend.
The Dodgers are in a great spot
I’d prefer to be up 3-2 in the series as opposed to trailing 3-2, but the Dodgers have to like their chances. They’ll head back to Atlanta where they’ll need to win back-to-back games in order to advance to the World Series.
The Dodgers have shown they’re more than capable of winning in Atlanta, as they arguably could have won both Game 1 and 2 there. They have momentum coming off the victory, which will hopefully get the offense going.
Oh, and they have Max Scherzer on the mound for Game 6. If there’s a need for Game 7, they’ll have Walker Buehler.
It’ll still take a lot to win this series, but I’m liking their chances.