Los Angeles celebrated throughout the day and into the evening after the Dodgers defeated the Colorado Rockies 5-2 in the National League West tiebreaker on Monday afternoon to clinch their sixth consecutive NL West title. The boys in blue rode the red-hot arm of rookie sensation Walker Buehler all the way to the finish line. Buehler tossed 6.2 innings of shutout ball to lead the Dodgers to win game 163. It was a historically unprecedented day in baseball on Monday with two tiebreakers deciding the NL West and NL Central division titles.
It was a true team effort that emphasized the Dodgers superior organizational depth and talent. Everyone stepped up and contributed. The Dodgers advance to the NLDS, opening the five game series against Atlanta on Thursday from Dodger Stadium. Colorado will travel to Wrigley Field to battle the Cubs in the NL wild card game after the Milwaukee Brewers dethroned the Chicago club with an eighth inning rally.
While we shed no tears for Colorado or the Cubs, we learned something very valuable after watching the two tiebreaker games. When playing in a one-game tiebreaker or one-game playoff it is super important to not make any mistakes. One little mistake can not only turn the tide of momentum, but can also cost you the game. The Cubs and Rockies learned this the hard way. For example, in the bottom of the fourth inning…..
The two clubs were deadlocked in a scoreless tie. German Marquez had struck out Max Muncy, but Colorado backstop Tony Wolters couldn’t hold onto the ball or keep it in front of him. The high fastball bounced off his glove and bounced to the façade wall behind home plate. This allowed Muncy to reach first base on the third strike passed ball. That extended the inning. It became utterly vital. That’s because after Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal both struck out, Cody Bellinger did this…..
Then in the following inning, Muncy did this……
Then Yasiel Puig did this……..
To the victor go the spoils. Party on Dodgers!
2 thoughts on “Dodgers NL West Tiebreaker: Pivotal Moment”
So right Scott,
What it all boils down to are mistakes. Mistakes are amplified three to four times over in the playoffs. Especially one game tiebreakers. Also the ability to take advantage of the other teams mistakes are key. So many times we see teams fail to capitalize, and they trip over their own feet.
One pivotal moment that sticks with me, was when Buehler walked Blackmon in the third. Buehler had hit Desmond, then later walked Blackmon to make it two on and two out. Most would say, “Oh No!”. I truely believe Buehler pitched around Blackmon (always a threat), because he knew he could get LeMahieu. Thet was a very key moment that changed the game.
Great game. Bring on the Braves!
Outside of the Dodgers and Red Sox I am most excited to watch the A’s.
They do very interesting things with pitching that may be indicative of what we will see over the next few years.
What teams and tactics are others interested in?