It’s not quite as extreme as 2020, which features no off days during any series before the World Series, because both teams were playing the in the same park, but this year’s slate presents some challenges, especially the longer each series goes.
The NLDS, there are five games in six days, including Games 3-5 on consecutive days. Going with the Game 1 starter on short rest in Game 4 — as the Dodgers did last year with Walker Buehler, and four times with Clayton Kershaw — no longer has the benefit of having Game 2’s starter available on regular rest in Game 5.
In the NLCS, it’s potentially more extreme, with Games 3-7 played over five days. In other words, a three-pitcher rotation won’t cut it, and teams with good fourth and fifth starters could be rewarded.
As Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told J.P. Hoornstra at the Daily News on Friday, “Having the starting depth is going to be paramount.”
Evan Phillips discusses his mindset in save situations and other high-leverage appearances, also per Hoornstra.
In case you missed it Friday, catcher Dalton Rushing, the Dodgers’ first draft pick this year out of Louisville, was mentioned in Baseball Prospectus’s daily minor league update for his hot start with Rancho Cucamonga.
Old friend Albert Pujols hit two home runs against Madison Bumgarner on Saturday, giving him 692 in his magnificent career. The first of his four hits in the game also moved Pujols past Stan Musial for second place all-time in total bases. Second. All. Time.
Joe Maddon told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that his affiliation with the Angels is dissolved after his firing this June. His biggest beef with the Angels — for whom he worked for three decades — and with most of MLB, is the prevalence of front offices in day-to-day decisions, creating a disconnect with the coaching staff.
“It’s at the point where some GM should really just put a uniform on and go down to the dugout, or their main analytical membrane, he should go down to the dugout,” Maddon said.