Kudos, really, to the schedule-maker today. There’s no game tonight, and I’m pretty happy about that. It’s a perfect break before what should be a celebratory three-game series against the Rockies, meaningful for absolutely nothing other than getting a few swings, a few cheers and a few laughs.
The playoff roster doesn’t need to be determined until the morning of Game 1 of the NLDS, which isn’t until next Friday, so we’ve got time for that. In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying Chad’s GIF review, and we’ve already discussed the now-official news that De Jon Watson has departed to Arizona, so with a lazy night off, I’d like to direct you to a post I wrote on FanGraphs this afternoon about Clayton Kershaw, and how batters are doing something different against him this year:
So if you’re a hitter, you know three things about Kershaw:
1) He’s very likely to throw you a fastball on the first pitch
2) More often than not, that pitch is going to be in the strike zone
3) Heaven help you if you get behind in the count and have to face that slider or curve
Basically, the point is that hitters are so desperate to not have to face a two-strike slider or curve that they’re swinging earlier than ever against Kershaw, because that’s how dominant he is. He’s forcing the hitter to change his approach entirely. It’s smart, but it still doesn’t work. He’s so, so good. I don’t think we can ever truly appreciate what we’re seeing right now.