When the Dodgers returned home from their ten game road trip they were a half game behind the Colorado Rockies in the National League West race. The three game series with the Rockies at Dodger Stadium from Monday through Wednesday appeared daunting. There was no doubt that the three game set was a crucial one for both clubs. These were the games that would decide the NL West race. Or at the least put one of the two clubs in the driver’s seat.
Once the series was over, the Dodgers had swept in convincing fashion. The Dodgers scored 16 runs in the series, and walked-off in the second game when Chris Taylor hit a clutch extra-inning home run. The Dodgers are now 2.5 games ahead in the NL West and barring a calamity appear to be a lock to qualify for the postseason. The Rockies on the other hand are mired in a late season slump. With nine games left to play, the Rockies will have to battle for the Wild Card.
3 for 19 5 K 7 LOB RBI
1 for 13 5 LOB 3 K RBI
3 for 10 HR 2 BB 2K
Strategy and approaches play such a huge part in critical late season series such as this one. One of those key strategies is to mitigate the opposing team’s biggest offensive threats. For Colorado that would of course be Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and DJ LeMahieu. The Rockies were shorthanded, playing without shortstop Trevor Story. The Colorado slugger was battling a sore elbow and only played in one game in the series.
With Story on the shelf, the Dodger pitching staff focused on silencing Arenado, Blackmon and LeMahieu. They did just that. The Rockies only scored 6 runs in the series and hit one home run (Blackmon in the second game). The Dodger arms quieted the Colorado bats with impressive pitch sequences. Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Hyun-jin Ryu were all successful. The Dodger bullpen was pretty good too.
The slumping Nolan Arenado was only 3 for 19 in the series with no extra-base hits, 5 strikeouts and seven runners left on base. Arenado drove in just one run in the entire series. He was 0 for 5 in the Dodger’s 3-2 win on Saturday night. Second baseman DJ LeMahieu was 1 for 13 (.070) with five left on base and three strikeouts. Blackmon while hitting the Rockie’s lone long ball of the series was limited to just three hits in the series, ( 3 for 10) with two walks. All total the three Rocky mountain hitters were a combined 7 for 36 (.194) with 10 strikeouts, 12 runners left on base, one home run and three runs batted in.
You could say that the Rockies were slumping, and the Dodgers got lucky. But you have to give the Dodger pitching staff some credit. They stifled the Rockies and kept their big bats quiet. They kept the Colorado hitters in the ball park. That’s exactly what you have to do during a hugely important series like that one.