Sunday, October 10, 2021

Post-2021 NLDS Game 2 Thread: Offense Erupts, Dodgers Even Series At One

DODGERS 9, GIANTS 2

The line favored the Dodgers in this NLDS Game 2, but I didn't believe it. Not after getting shut down by Logan Webb in Game 1, where we went scoreless in the 4-0 defeat. It reminded me that, with the exception of a solo shot by Justin Turner and a game-winning walkoff HR by Chris Taylor, the Dodgers hadn't had much of an offensive show for this 2021 postseason.

Many Dodgers were to blame for this power outage, but none received more criticism than Cody Bellinger, who struggled through multiple injuries and could never get that corkscrew swing to be back into place this season. He looked thoroughly lost all year, especially on the high fastballs in which he was inevitably late. But in Game 2, with the Dodgers nursing a tight 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning and one out, Bellinger met Giants reliever Dominic Leone and came through:

AJ Pollock followed Bellinger with another two-run-scoring double down the left field line. Pollock had also been maligned for his poor postseason performance as a Dodger (though unlike Bellinger, Pollock almost hit .300 this year during the regular season). Suddenly, it's 6-1 LA in the sixth, and the pressure was lifted.

But that wasn't all. In the eighth inning, Will Smith hit a first-pitch solo shot off of Zack Littell for a 7-2 lead.. After a Chris Taylor single, a Bellinger K, and a AJ Pollock single, Dodgers bench reserve Matt Beaty had an RBI single to left.

I couldn't be more happy for Beaty, who was the one Dodgers player not to get any appearances in the 2020 World Series. He wasn't great in Game 1 starting in place of the injured Max Muncy at first, but it was great to see him contribute here in a pinch (he replaced Corey Knebel). When Corey Seager added a two-out single to score Pollock and make the score 9-2, it was more than over.

Of course, the Dodgers were only in this spot thanks to Julio Urias' five innings of three-hit, 5 K ball that yielded only one run despite a couple of jams and leadoff Giants on the basepaths. The Giants ended up 1-for-8 with RISP; the Dodgers were 6-for-15. Urias also stroked a RBI single in the second inning to help the cause and open up a 2-0 lead early.

Also of note: Although Joe Kelly gave up a run in the sixth inning (and Alex Vesia gave up a run in Game 1), our bullpen has still been pretty strong in these two games. The Dodgers got to both Leone and Littell for multiple runs on Saturday. Both the Dodgers and Giants have strong bullpens. I hope this is a portent of things to come for this series.

Meanwhile, Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen have yet to make an appearance in the NLDS.

Mookie Betts also had a momentum-saving pirouette move in right field on an RBI single by Brandon Crawford. When Wilmer Flores tried to stretch from first to third on the same play, Mookie gunned his butt out at third by a sweet throw to Justin Turner:

Flores nailed. Rally over. Good prevails over evil in Game 2.

Now we're back to Los Angeles for two home games. I'm feeling a lot better now that it's a best-of-three series with two games at home; some of the sleeping bats woke up in a tense affair on enemy territory; and we've got Max Scherzer going on Monday.

Clench up, Dodgers fans.

1 comments:

karen said...

Joctober hit a pinch hit 3 run homer for the Bravos and they are ahead 3-0 in the eighth.