On this episode of “Dugout Blues,” Jared and I are back to recap the last two games of the NLCS and … spoiler alert … look ahead to the World Series.
Before all that, if you missed any of our other NLCS episodes, you can catch them all here.
The Dodgers had a rough go of it in Game 6, despite a timely leadoff home run from David Freese. It turned out to be a genius move by Dave Roberts, but it wouldn’t really matter because Hyun-Jin Ryu shat the bed.
I got loose a bit about Yasmani Grandal and a missed ball blocking opportunity in the sixth inning. If you follow me on Twitter, you saw how I reacted to people who were criticizing him on that play. If you want to hear it, then this episode is for you.
Game 7 went so much better. Despite getting down 1-0 on a Christian Yelich home run, the Dodgers fought back with a 2-run shot from eventual NLCS MVP Cody Bellinger. He punished a middle-middle fastball, something the Dodgers haven’t done a whole lot of this postseason.
Walker Buehler was pretty good for the most part despite not having his best stuff. The fastball velocity was there, the movement was there at times, the command wasn’t. And until the latter part of the third inning and into the fourth, he didn’t have his curveball. Once he found that, he performed a bit better.
But it was still a short outing, as he was out after 4 2/3 innings. He was relieved by Julio Urias, who was pitching in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. He got ahead of Yelich before giving up a long fly ball to left-center field that looked like it might tie the game. Then, Chris Taylor came out of nowhere to save the Dodgers season. I don’t think it’s overstating the situation to say that.
The next inning, Yasiel Puig all but cemented the Dodger victory with a 3-run home run to give the Dodgers a 5-1 lead. Ryan Madson was great in 1 2/3 innings of relief. Kenley Jansen appeared earlier than expected for four hitters, and Clayton Kershaw pitched an uneventful ninth inning to send the Dodgers back to the World Series.
They move onto face the 108-win Boston Red Sox. This might be the first time in awhile the Dodgers are the lovable underdog, as outside of Boston, there’s not a ton of love for the Red Sox.
It’s going to be a tough series to win, but if they somehow play good Dodger baseball for four of the next seven games, they might very well win it all. Or they could get destroyed. Baseball is beautiful, ain’t it?
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