Well-Rested Dodgers Begin Preparing for Cubs in NLCS Rematch

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The baseball postseason sure is a funny thing. While the long layoff time between series could be an issue for the Dodgers in the end, I’m glad that they’ve avoided any of the drama that has been going on then the other divisional series so far.

Lots of people had the Diamondbacks poised to take out the front running Dodgers, because Arizona was hotter, and the Dodgers had had that huge losing streak. Well guess what, that’s not what happened at all. The Washington Nationals had a bunch of drama over which pitcher would be starting and when, although that particular game worked out well for them in the end.

The Cleveland Indians, they of the historic run at the end of the season, will not be advancing any further in the playoffs. They were taken out by a wildcard team in the New York Yankees that are good, and too young to care that they probably shouldn’t be taking out the best team in the American League. The Indians were arguably the hottest team in the majors, looking to repeat as AL Champs, and it’s not to be.

It’s almost as if the regular season stats and streaks and whatever else don’t matter. Arizona should’ve dismantled the Dodgers in the NLDS, or at least put up more of a fight. They dominated the last six games between themselves and Los Angeles. But they got swept right out of the playoffs. The Dodgers are built for this, and performed as such in the NLDS.

Now they move on to the NLCS to face the  Chicago Cubs, in a rematch of last year’s NLCS. This is the opposite of last year to begin with, however. The Dodgers were home awaiting the winner of a long Game 5 NLDS winner, instead of being the team that had to capture their NLDS crown at the very end.

The Cubs used a lot of pitchers in back-to-back games. Their closer, Wade Davis, threw 2-1/3 innings of relief on Thursday evening. In all, he has surrendered a homer and two earned runs in 4-1/2 innings pitched.  Carl Edwards Jr, their set up man, has had some issues finding the strike zone lately, and has a 23.14 ERA so far this postseason. The Dodgers would do well to continue their patience at the plate against the Cubs pitching.

The Cubs bats haven’t been all that hot so far, with the team batting .180. Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant are both right at the Mendoza line with one home run between them. The Cubs as a team have only hit two home runs.

Of course, that could all change dramatically in the next round. The off time could effect the Dodgers negatively. The thrilling win could galvanize the Cubs. Game 1 is going to be key, but I expect the Dodgers to win and keep the momentum going.

Dave Roberts announced yesterday that Clayton Kershaw will be the Game 1 starter, and Alex Wood will be the Game 4 starter. The order of Yu Darvish and Rich Hill has yet to be determined.

It was also announced that Corey Seager tweaked his back sliding in Game 3, and did not work out yesterday. He will be day-to-day. Both Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez took turns fielding balls at shortstop during practice. Austin Barnes took a foul tip to a tender area while catching a sim game, and had to leave the field.

Jose Quintana has been announced as the Game 1 starter for the Cubs. He threw one inning in relief in Thursday nights game, which is equivalent to some regular side work. The Cubs and Dodgers will play Game 1 at Dodgers Stadium at 5:08 PST.

(FOLLOW ANDY ON TWITTER: @DODGERSANDYINPA)

 

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