While the lack of offense from the Dodgers came as no surprise to some Los Angeles fans, there were others who hoped that the bats would get in gear for the beginning of the NLDS against the Giants.
Unfortunately, that never happened.
I know we have been using a lot of different words to describe the Los Angeles offense this year, and sluggish probably isn’t the ideal term, since many of the players were chasing and a bit more aggressive than usual in the opener. Homeplate umpire Carlos Torres didn’t help much with an inconsistent strike zone, but the bottom line is that the Dodgers didn’t deliver when it mattered most — in Game 1, anyway.
I’ve been watching Dodger baseball for a lot of years, and never have I seen an offense so inconsistent. People not familiar with the team feel like Los Angeles fans are overreacting when they discuss these inconsistencies, but when you see the team performing from one extreme to the next on a daily basis, you can’t help but try to seek some answers.
The good news is that the NLDS is a five-game series, so there’s plenty of time for the team to rebound.
Before Game 1, there were some fan conversations about Chris Taylor not getting the opportunity to start. Skipper Dave Roberts has stated previously that he values Cody Bellinger’s defense, but there could come a time when Taylor’s bat is more valuable than Bellinger’s glove, even when considering how dismal Taylor closed out the regular season offensively.
To make matters worse, AJ Pollock’s offense in the playoffs is not getting any better. Heading into Saturday’s Game 2, Pollock has a career postseason slash line of .162/.225/.270 over 80 plate appearances spanning nine different series. Additionally, Matt Beaty has posted a career playoff average of .214 over four playoff series of his own.
Obviously, Albert Pujols is far removed from his best years, but the future Hall-of-Famer has a career postseason average of .321 with a 1.026 OPS, leaving many fans wondering if he’d be able to at least provide a spark if the offense finds itself slumbering in Game 2.
Roberts stated in the postgame on Friday that Taylor would start in center field and Bellinger at first base in Game 2. That adjustment could be beneficial; but, in a sense, it says that the skipper prefers Bellinger’s potential output over Beaty’s.
The other good news is that Julio Urias led the entire major leagues this year with a whopping 7.17 run support per nine innings, which was certainly a factor in his monumental 20-win season.
Let’s see if that trend continues in NLDS Game 2 when the Dodgers face righty Kevin Gausman, who looks to make his first-ever postseason start and his first playoff appearance since a 2018 relief spot with the Braves.
9 thoughts on “After Sluggish NLDS Game 1, Dodgers Hope Offense Shows Up for Game 2”
They were outplayed in every facet of the game. Big guns fizzled at the worst times. The Turner boys did nothing, Pollock and Bellinger struck out twice apiece, on pitches a snake could not hit. Smith and Betts had 2 hits apiece and were the only ones who hit the ball hard. Bellinger is moving to first for tonight’s game and Taylor will be in the starting lineup. Lets hope they get to Gausman early and take the home crowd out of the game.
I thought the idea of playing Bellinger every day was to have him patrol center field in SF’s spacious outfield. He obviously can’t do that while playing first base. I suppose AJ starts in left tonight, but one more game like the last two from him and he needs to sit against right handers the rest of the way.
One of the two games here in LA will be pitched by Wood but the other should be DeSclafani. Time to give Lux a shot in left when that happens, unless AJ finds his batting eye tonight. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised.
And if Belli’s at bats for game 2 look like those he had last night, maybe he needs to be benched in favor of Beaty for DeSclafani’s start and Pujols for Wood’s start.
Sometimes these guys just need to be made to look foolish in order to wake up at the plate. Let’s hope that’s the case tonight. Coming back to LA with the series at 1-1 would present a much brighter outlook. As a matter of fact, I will flat out guarantee we score at least 5 runs tonight. However, I have no idea what to expect from Julio.
My prediction: Final score 5-3 Good Guys.
Disclaimer: Not all of my past predictions have proven to be accurate.
Oh, and one more thing. Urias should bat higher in the order than Belli. He has an RBI for every 6.6 at bats this year while Cody has an RBI for every 8.8 at bats.
Line up is out, Taylor in CF and Pollock in left. Bellinger still hitting 7th and Pollock 8th. Taylor is in the 6 hole. DeSclafani will probably pitch 3 or 4.
Whenever you hear maybe Bellinger should be benched for Beaty you know your offense has issues.
Turners cannot go 0fer again in this series. We already have too many holes in this lineup. 3 & 4 gotta rake.
The only reason we’re talking about benching Belli for Beaty is because we don’t have Max Fried and can’t start him at first base. Cody’s OPS this year was .542. Fried’s was .649.
Maybe Pollock needs a rest day.
He needs to rest against every right hander that Kapler starts.