Dodgers Playoffs: Some Good, Bad And Ugly From NLCS Game One

Right after the Dodgers lost to the Brewers 6-5 in the NLDS game one, I threw this tweet out:

This is a quick look at the game in a little more detail.

The Ugly

  • In the third inning, the Brewers took out their starting pitcher, Gio Gonzales, for reliever Brandon Woodruff. After Woodruff got the Dodgers out in order he was the first batter up. The announcers mentioned he was a good hitter, and, on the 6th pitch, Clayton Kershaw put a 92 MPH fastball right down the middle. The result was the lefty-hitting relief pitcher hit a leadoff homer to centerfield. That was ugly.
  • After the home run by Woodruff, Lorenzo Cain hit a single and Christian Yelich walked. After Ryan Braun popped out for the first out, Jesus Aguilar was up. During his at-bat there was a passed ball on Yasmani Grandal that sent the runners to second and third. Aguilar seemingly lined out on a great play by David Freese, but Grandal was called for catchers’ interference. That’s an error and now the bases are loaded, instead of two outs with runners on first and second (remember, the runners advanced on a passed ball). The next batter hit a sacrifice fly to center field. Cody Bellinger tried to get Cain at home (no way he was getting him) and Grandal missed that ball. The runners advanced to second and third but no further damage was done. In that third inning, a relief pitcher hit a home run and the catcher had a nightmare inning to allow another run to score. Instead of still being 1-0 Dodgers, it was 2-1 Brewers.
  • They made 4 errors!
  • In the 7th inning with one out and runners on first and second Justin Turner was battling in his at-bat. He’d already been 0 for 3 and was fouling off some pitches. Some were out of the strike zone but he was protecting. On the sixth pitch, home plate umpire Scott Barry called Turner out on strikes on a pitch clearly outside the strike zone (see pitch number 6 on the right). Later on, the Dodgers got a rally going and scored two runs to make the score 6-3. It is horrible that these umpires have such major assignments and blow so many calls. I’ve become a huge fan of using more technology to make sure calls are correct. Scott Barry was pretty bad all night. Sadly, the following tweet is true:

The Bad

  • I’m a big fan of Clayton Kershaw but his performance in game one was atrocious. Yes, Grandal was terrible, but Kershaw’s line of 3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K and 1 HR on 74 pitches while not getting an out in the 4th is not what should happen. Next time Hyun-Jin Ryu or Walker Buehler is given a game 1 assignment over Kershaw there should not be one iota of a complaint from him. On batters in which he threw the curveball at least once in the at-bat, he seemed to have better success. He cannot get away with just a fastball/slider combination and also cannot get away with consistent first-pitch fastballs. Kersh seemed to adjust when facing the Braves but the Brewers are a better hitting team.
  • David Freese has been one of the better stories for the Dodgers since they acquired him on August 31. In September he slashed .489/.641/1.130 and in the post-season he has 3 RBI in 3 ABs. To start him and have him removed from the game in the third inning, to have Max Muncy pinch hit to lead off the inning, was a waste of Freese. Either start him and let him play until Hader is out or just start Muncy against all pitching and use Freese to pinch hit when there is a good RBI situation.
  • Justin Turner was 0 for 5 with 4 strikeouts and an error. Not his day.
  • Yasiel Puig’s pinch-hitting appearance was bad as he swung at 2 balls outside the strike zone. He had no chance. Literally, Austin Barnes would have had a better chance.
  • In the first inning, the Dodger hitters swung at 5 balls outside the strike zone for the total of 8 strikes from Gio Gonzalez. They seemed over anxious.

The Good

  • Manny Machado had a homer and 3 RBI. Chris Taylor was 3 for 5. Matt Kemp was 2 for 4. Joc Pederson had an excellent at-bat to work a walk in the 9th. 5 innings of relief with only one run. The run was a homer that Julio Urías gave up to Aguilar but at least he’s a legitimate home run hitter and not a flipping’ relief pitcher.
  • The team did not quit and almost overcame a 5 run deficit. They had the tying run on third when Turner struck out to end the game.
  • This is a seven game series and the Dodgers have Hyun-Jin Ryu going tomorrow and Josh Hader is not available. The Dodgers were also able to get to most of their other relievers. Brandon Woodruff threw 27 pitches. There is a tomorrow.


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Tim Rogers

A fan of the Dodgers since 1973 since I got my first baseball cards while living in Long Beach. I came to San Diego for college and never left nor did I ever switch my Dodgers' allegiance. Some know me as the "sweater guy". #ProspectHugger

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