Dodgers 2017 X-factors

Dodgers Win NLDS

The Dodgers knocked off the Dbacks on Monday night in game 3 of the NLDS, beating the snakes 3-1 sweeping their way into the NLCS. Many of the pundits including the entire TBS broadcast team thought the Dodgers would have trouble with the Snakes in the NLDS. The Dbacks have long been a thorn in the Dodger’s side. Thankfully the Dodgers spit in the face of those naysayers completing their first NLDS sweep since 2009.

The Dbacks are a good team. I can see them being competitive and giving the Dodgers trouble again in 2018. They have a powerful lineup and a strong pitching staff. But the Dodgers are just a better club. The Dodgers finished 11 games ahead of the Snakes for a reason. The boys in blue were the better team during the regular season (winning 104 games), and they proved that on the field with a resounding sweep over the Arizona club.

Embed from Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

No disrespect to the Diamondbacks because they’re a tough opponent. This proves without a doubt that winning your division is super important in this current postseason format. The Dbacks have a strong pitching staff as well, but they were no match for the Dodgers. They burnt their best pitchers (Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Archie Bradley etc.) in their wild card win over Colorado which played a big part in their 2017 demise in the NLDS. The Dodgers would have beaten them anyways, but the Dback’s depleted pitching staff certainly helped.

In case you were wondering, the Dodgers did not jump in the pool. The Dbacks made sure of this by guarding the pool with a contingent of horse drawn security. Talk about sore losers. Enjoy your offseason Arizona and have fun on the golf course!

The Dodgers are a better team in 2017 because they have several X-factors that they didn’t have last season. Once of those x-factors was on the mound on Monday night. Game 3 starting pitcher Yu Darvish is one of those x-factors. Darvish was fantastic in game 3 dominating the Dbacks lineup with five innings of one-run ball. Darvish allowed just two hits, while striking out seven over 5+ innings. Darvish did not walk anyone and the only blemish on his night was a solo home run to Daniel Descalso. The Japanese right hander used a plethora of nasty cutters and 90+ MPH heaters to stymie the Arizona hitters. Darvish’s control was spot on and if he continues to pitch like he did in Arizona then the Dodgers will have a great chance of winning the pennant.

Another x-factor for the Dodgers was of course first baseman Cody Bellinger. The rookie smashed his first career postseason home run off of Zack Greinke and made a terrific catch falling over the railing into the Dodger dugout while catching a foul pop. The Dodgers didn’t have Bellinger last season and with veteran Adrian Gonzalez out with a bad back, he’s been their top home run hitter, run producer and has played sterling defense at first base.

Yet another x-factor for the Dodgers is center fielder Chris Taylor. The Dodger’s lead-off hitter for most of the season doubled in the first inning and scored on Bellinger’s grounder to plate the Dodger’s first tune of the game. That set the tone for the boys in blue. Taylor has been a revelation for the Dodgers slugging 21 home runs and posting an .850 OPS. Taylor collected three hits in the NLDS and scored three runs in the series.

One more x-factor for the Dodgers was right handed reliever Brandon Morrow. He came into the game in the seventh inning and got four huge outs to setup Kenta Maeda and Kenley Jansen. His 1.1 innings of scoreless relief extended the lead into the late innings. If not for Morrow the Dodgers could have had trouble getting the ball to Kenley.

The Dodgers didn’t have these guys last year. The addition of these Key players is a huge reason why the Dodgers are headed to the NLCS for the second consecutive season.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda’s Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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10 thoughts on “Dodgers 2017 X-factors

  1. Since I posted under Ed Dinger, my post is in moderation, and will not be posted for a few days, so I’ll post it here:

    Ah how sweet it is!

    My new moniker is in honor of the return of EdDinger, good karma restored, as predicted.

    EdDinger’s bat came back to life and what about the defense of old Ed, damn, highlight reel stuff all over the place.

    Turner had a most excellent defensive came as well, that guy is a vacuum cleaner. BTW, he looks more and more like a little leprechaun as that ginger bread and mop grows. Don’t touch that thing Lil’ Leprechaun until you have won the WS.

    Thank you God for not letting Grandmal even touch the grass last night. Barnes HAS TO stay in that lineup and Grandmal must stay on the bench, period, I don’t a give a damn what Kershaw thinks. Barnes in the game makes life easier for everyone on the team. Nice job Barnes, clutch clutch clutch!

    Now for a few days off while we wait for the next victim.

    EdDinger EDDINGER Ed Dinger ED DINGER no matter how you write it you got to accept the magic karma. Don’t fight the karma, infidels!

  2. I am so glad that Roberts finally realized that his best option at catcher is Barnes. Grandal and Granderson are about the closest things you can find to automatic outs. They both are strikeout machines in the worst way. I know Granderson has had success against Arietta and Scherzer, but please Dave, do not subject us to his weak ass game any more. As for Grandal, a late inning LH pinch hitter when a HR is needed maybe, but we all know this guy is the best RALLY KILLLER on the team. Rosters can be tweaked for the next round. Do they put on more bullpen guys, or tweak the bench? I think they stay close to what they have. You need 4 starters in a 7 game series. We all know Kersh will be #1, but who is the 2 in this round? Darvish looked like a 2 last night, and had he not plunked Walker in his coconut, I think he would have went at least 6. But that little accident looked like it really un nerved him for a few. I feel comfortable with Wood pitching in Wrigley. Although he gave up more homers in the second half, he gave up less than any other starter on the team, including Kershaw. I think they need to jump on either opponent right away. Put them back on their heels. With Turner and Puig being hot, and Cody heating up some, they have an offense that seems like it is ready to break out. They did a lot better with RISP at home than they did at Chase last night. To me that was a good sign because they were manufacturing runs and did not rely on HR’s to get runs, except for game 3 where the HR’s were the margin of victory. If they end up playing DC, which means they have to play 2 more games to get past the Cubs, it really puts the Dodgers in the drivers seat because both of those teams have to burn their best pitchers to get into the NLCS. So I am hoping for a 5 game series for those two……no matter who gets in, I really believe this team is ready.

  3. I don’t understand why the Dbacks make such a big fuss, about our guys, swiming in there pool.

    The reason our guys went in there pool, was because the Dbacks, didn’t want them celebrating on there field.

    So the guys didn’t go on the field to celebrate, they went in the pool, then went in the club house.

    1. Bad losers is the reason. They have always been that way. I went to a game at Chase when I lived there and was wearing my Robinson jersey out in LF. I was loudly booed and they booed even louder when the Dodgers hammered 4 homers, including one by the pitcher, Randy Wolf, and beat them 10-3.

    2. Word got out that they actually pissed in their pool. So I guess you could say they were truly pissed off. I think it is hilarious, I would have left them something else in the pool as well.

  4. A Dodgers fan jumped in the pool immediately after Jansen struck out Goldschmidt to end the game. That might have something to do with the mounted police, although way excessive. Just put up a big sign and post a rookie cop there.

    The Cubs game rained out, but it does not help the Nationals as Strasburg is still slated for game 5 as he fights off illness. I think Game 1 is now pushed off to Sunday if it goes 5 games, which gives Seager and Turner another day of rest and could possibly line up Darvish to pitch in Game 2. I think I like Hill for Game 3 at Wrigley Field or at Nationals Park, but I also think the Cubs end the series at 4 games even though I believe the Nationals to be the better team.

    1. Word got out that they actually pissed in their pool. So I guess you could say they were truly pissed off. I think it is hilarious, I would have left them something else in the pool as well.

      I hope that fan did a cannon ball into the pool to signify what the Dodgers did to the Snakes in those three games.

      EDDINGEREDDINGEREDDINGEREDDINGEREDDINGEREDDINGER

  5. Cubs-Nats, I think the Dodgers match up well with both of them. Nats have better starters I think, and their BP is solid. The Cubs are playing well, but Hendricks is the only pitcher that really impresses me at all. Lester and Arietta are effective, but can be hit. And I think the payback thing factors in against the Cubbies. I also think the Nats push it to 5 games and tee off on Arietta tomorrow. I also think the Tribe beats the Yankees at home. Kluber is a much better pitcher than Sabathia right now. Although the Yankees power is impressive, I think Kluber shuts them down. Especially in his home ball park. Home teams have won all the games in that series. Looks like Farrell might lose his job with the Sox.

  6. when it all comes down, I don’t think it matters who the Dodgers face, both NLCS or WS. What does matter is if the Dodgers play like they are capable of playing, like they did during the Nifty 50 streak. They have the talent, they are the most talented on paper, top to bottom, it really has to do with Roberts not putting together stupid line-ups (like Grandal and Granderson in them, pulling Puig for some insane reason, etc.) and the players playing up to or near their capabilities. Oh yeah, not putting Baez or Watson into games would also be beneficial.

    Did I mention Ed Dinger karma? just checking.

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