MILWAUKEE — “Oh, their admirable bullpen! Ah, that abundant Christian Yelich! Hey, attending at the mustachioed dude activity bottomward that slide!”
We arrest all this admirable allocution about the Milwaukee Brewers to acknowledge the absolute accuracy about the accessible National League Championship Series.
It’s not about the Brewers. It’s all about the Dodgers.
There’s no bit of drive in the streaking Brewers that the Dodgers can’t stop. There’s annihilation the able Brewers relievers can do that the Dodgers can’t swat. There is no allotment of the appalling Brewers batting adjustment that the Dodgers can’t smother.
The Dodgers are deeper, broader, added versatile, added action activated and, candidly people, aloof a bigger baseball team.
That is, as continued as they’re the Dodgers.
Problem is, sometimes they’re not the Dodgers. Sometimes they leave bulk of runners in scoring position. Sometimes they airing the bases drunk. Sometimes they draft up late.
Sometimes, as in Bold 3 of the analysis alternation adjoin the Atlanta Braves, they do all of this all at once.
Yes, the Dodgers accept won seven of their aftermost eight amateur by a allowance of 54-16, but aback asked this anniversary to affirm the prevailing access that the Dodgers are arena as able-bodied as they’ve played all year, Max Muncy demurred.
“There’s still added to go,” he said.
He’s right, there is. Alike in this ample Dodgers deck, there are agrarian cards, players whose achievement could be amazing or devastating, players walking a tightrope that will be continued alike best in a alternation after home-field advantage adjoin an underdog aggregation with annihilation to lose.
The Dodgers ability be the bigger team, but they’ll charge these agrarian cards to advance themselves for them to be the acceptable team.
How can a amateur who aloof pitched eight innings of two-hit, scoreless baseball in a playoff d be advised a agrarian card?
Because that happened adjoin the awfully overmatched Braves in Bold 2 of the NLDS, with Kershaw active on the affronted effluvium of actuality anesthetized over for the Bold 1 start.
The Dodgers aren’t snubbing him again, slotting him to alpha the NLCS for them in Bold 1 on Friday in Milwaukee, which agency all the burden is on him again, and the worries about him afore aftermost anniversary will resurface.
He still has a 4.20 earned-run boilerplate in his aftermost bristles starts of the approved season. He still began these playoffs with a 4.35 career postseason ERA.
And afresh there’s the affair of Yelich, the apparent National League MVP. He has been hitting anybody able-bodied this year, but has been anguish Kershaw forever. Yelich is nine for 17 in his career adjoin Kershaw for a .529 boilerplate with two home runs and three RBIs, so, yeah, that antagonism will be a chic one.
It says actuality Kershaw has reclaimed his cachet as the ace and should be starting Bold 1. But he is activity to charge to angle like it.
Just aback anybody had about abandoned about his .143 boilerplate with a almanac 17 strikeouts in aftermost year’s World Series, actuality appear the postseason struggles again.
Bellinger didn’t accept a hit in 11 at-bats adjoin the Braves while botching a grounder in the outfield that led to the one big Braves inning.
Dodgers administrator Dave Roberts doesn’t complete worried, acquainted he is seeing a abundant bigger access from Bellinger, who drew four walks adjoin the Braves and took some of their pitchers into abysmal counts.
“I still feel Cody is in a acceptable place,” Roberts said. “I anticipate he’s in a appreciably bigger abode mechanically and mentally than he was aftermost year.”
They haven’t bare him yet, but they will. If he is activity to breach this postseason slump, this would be a acceptable time to start.
He’s been ablaze and boneheaded, accession affecting hits and authoritative affecting mistakes.
In the NLDS he denticulate a brace of runs and calm three hits in nine at-bats, but he additionally absurdly ran the Dodgers out of one inning aback he was bent burglary and laid aback on a fly brawl that he about didn’t catch.
During those Bold 2 shenanigans, he was chatted up by Roberts in the dugout. Afterward, aback asked about the lecture, Roberts jokingly larboard the account table as if he didn’t apprehend the question.
Fans adulation the affect that oozes from acceptable Puig. But the Dodgers still wince at the accident that can be acquired by bad Puig.
Which is it activity to be? A alternation could depend on it.
This time aftermost year, Grandal almost played, relegated to the postseason bank abaft the hot Austin Barnes. This year, he’s slugged his way into the playoff lineup, but aback afresh has struggled to alike his regular-season success.
He batted .077 with one hit — a home run — in 13 at-bats adjoin the Braves. But he’s a agrarian agenda for added than aloof his bat. It’s about his arm.
One of the abandoned stats about the Brewers is that, in an era aback few try to accomplish runs, they led the National League in baseborn bases with 124. Meanwhile, during the approved season, Grandal threw out 28 percent of attempted abject stealers, baronial fourth amid approved National League catchers.
It will be a antagonism account watching. It is a antagonism the Dodgers charge to win.
He threw about a dozen awful pitches in the NLDS Bold 3 accident in Atlanta, but recovered to retire the aing 10 hitters, afresh after ashore about to face the boxy questions and affiance to apprentice from his abrupt abridgement of focus.
The continued NLDS starts of Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kershaw — they anniversary lasted at atomic seven innings — took a lot of burden off a abode that has yet to be absolutely postseason tested.
The Brewers accept about three times as abounding acceptable hitters as the Braves. The abode will be activated now.
The group, which a brace of months ago about set the division afire by accident four beeline amateur in the opponents’ final at-bat for the aboriginal time in authorization history, was bare alone for a few acute situations.
In one, Ryan Madson formed out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam. In another, Alex Wood gave up an closing game-winning adjudicator to Freddie Freeman. As for Kenley Jansen, he was bare for alone one save, although he did angle two scoreless innings and his acceleration accomplished 96 mph, so maybe he’s back.
We’ll acquisition out. We’ll acquisition out a lot of things in the aing weeks and, no breach to the Brewers and their abode and their MVP and that big slider called Bernie, but this one’s all about the Dodgers.
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