NLCS Game 1-Seager-less Dodgers Persevere To Defeat Cubs 5-2

Yasiel Puig NLCS Game 1

The Dodgers were dealt a huge blow just hours before the first game of the National League Championship Series. Corey Seager was deemed ineligible to play because of a back sprain. He was left off the postseason roster and replaced by Charlie Culberson. It’s a tough one for the Dodgers, but they persevered to defeat the Cubs in the opening game by a 5-2 score. Much to the chagrin of Keith Olberman and the TBS announcers. Culberson (Seager’s replacement) even proved himself worthy by doubling and scoring later in the game on a play that was challenged and overturned.

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NLCS Game 1-Dodgers Lead 1-0

Cubs       2 4 0

Dodgers 5 8 0

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SV-Jansen-1

HR-Almora-1-Taylor-Puig-1

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The Dodgers had to come from behind to do it. Clayton Kershaw was good, but not great as he tossed five innings allowing two earned runs on four hits and striking out four. Unfortunately one of those hits was a two-run shot from Albert Almora Jr. In the fourth inning to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead early. Kershaw was removed after five innings for a pinch-hitter, and he was not involved in the decision.

The Dodgers were stymied by left hander Jose Quintana for the first half of the game. Quintana allowed just one hit through the first four innings, flummoxing the Dodger bats. However the Dodgers would rally to score two runs in the bottom of the fifth, and another run in the sixth to knock Quintana out of the game. The Dodgers added two more runs in the seventh.

Yasiel Puig was the hero, going 2 for 3 with an RBI double and a solo home run. But Chris Taylor’s solo blast in the sixth inning put the Dodgers ahead and sent Dodger Stadium into delirium. That fifth inning started when Logan Forsythe and Austin Barnes reached on consecutive walks. Puig then doubled into the gap to score Logi Bear and the Dodgers were on the board. Then Culberson’s sacrifice fly tied the score. Chris Taylor smacked one into the pavilions in the sixth inning to put the Dodgers in the lead.

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Culberson was involved in a controversial call at the plate in the bottom of the seventh. First things first, Puig smashed one off lefty Mike Montgomery that landed just over the left field wall. That put the Dodgers up by a 4-2 score. Then Culberson doubles. After Brandon Morrow’s sacrifice bunt that didn’t move Culberson over, Taylor reached on an infield single to short. Justin Turner smoked a single into left field, as Culberson was waived in.

The throw was on target but Chicago catcher Willson Contreras’s leg was blocking the running lane. Culberson slid and was unable to get his hand in. The umpires originally called him out, but the Dodgers wisely challenged. The New York office overturned the call and Culberson was ruled safe to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. Maddon argued but to no avail. he was then thrown out of the game which made everything better.

The Dodger bullpen was fantastic, Tony Cingrani, Kenta Maeda, Brandon Morrow, Tony Watson and finally Kenley Jansen all held the Cubs scoreless. They didn’t allow a single base runner, retiring 18 consecutive Chicago hitters. This is the first time the Dodgers have won the opening game of the NLCS in 32 years.

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The Dodgers are now three wins away from the pennant. The Dodgers will give the ball to Rich Hill tomorrow in game 2. The Cubs will counter with Jon Lester. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 PM PST, and televised on TBS.

Three more wins!!! Bluetober is in full force guys. Go Blue!!!!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

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

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25 thoughts on “NLCS Game 1-Seager-less Dodgers Persevere To Defeat Cubs 5-2

    1. Idahoal

      I agree about Kenley, but he can’t be to predictable with his off speed stuff, and he better make sure he burys it, into the ground, like he did last night.

  1. Almost a picture perfect aside from the HR Kershaw gave up. The bullpen shut the Cubs down and the bats woke up. I almost didn’t miss Seager out there. This was a very satisfying win and showed us to be the better club, deeper club, and the odds on favorite to win it all, this year!!

  2. I hope we get Seager back but Culberson showed very bat control today. Puig and Turner were excellent once again and hitting Barnes after Forsythe is great at wearing out the opposing pitchers.

    Jansen has a huge swagger now. Just a palpable dominating presence.

    Kike is working the count but he needs to step up. Big game tomorrow!

  3. On Kershaw, I still think he is overthrowing his sliders. This start does not help – he will keep putting too much pressure on himself.

    1. The home run ball has plagued CK more this year than ever. But he is not alone. The new approach by hitters to try and get elevation on the ball instead of just hitting it squarely has changed a lot of things. CK’s slider is still a devastating pitch, if he puts it in the right location. He looked like he was overthrowing a little. That pitch that Almora hit out an inch lower and he is toast. Give the guy credit, he took a good down and in pitch and powered it out. Taylor took his over the right-center field wall by hitting a pitch that was about letter high on the outer part of the plate. Only Puig hit his out on a cookie that was right down Broadway. I think this start is a great thing for Kershaw. 1. It shows him they can win even when he is not his best, and 2. The manager is not futzing around. They are in it to get to the big show. 3. A little humility to a great player can be a good thing. Game 5, Chicago, CK will pitch a GEM. Bank on it. He almost always does great after a mediocre start.

    2. YF

      Jerry and Nomar said, that right hand hitters were cheating on any pitch Kershaw throws on the inside corner, or over the plate, and letting his outside corner pitches go.

      So right hand hitters, are pulling any pitches, inside or over the inside middle of the plate.

      Kershaw didn’t have very good command of his pitches last night, and as you probably know, Kershaw has never been good on extra rest, so maybe this last start, will help him to be sharper, next time he starts.

  4. I was at a jam session yesterday and did not even know that Seager was not on the roster. I got home during the 3rd inning and that’s when I found out. But when they were talking about him having a back strain earlier in the week, I knew it could not be good. Lets hope he is ready when they advance, notice I said when and not if. More confident in this team than I was last year. The game I got to watch from the 4th inning on was pretty exciting. A couple of observations. I think DR has bigger balls than CK’s prior managers because he was not afraid to pull him in the 5th after they tied the game. And to tell the truth it was the right move. The entire BP was nails the rest of the game. And remember, Kersh had 8 days between starts, so even though he was fresh, he did not have great command. And once again the home plate ump had a terrible strike zone. I also think the Cubs are a little cocky because they are defending champs. They sure were bitching about the strike zone. But their BP is the gas can brigade. Dodgers get to the BP early and have a lead, they will keep Davis out of the game. As for the play at the plate, well, it is a good rule in my estimation because it helped the Dodgers! All the color guy on TBS kept ranting was that it is a terrible rule because it takes away the athleticism of the players. Well, it might do that, but blocking the plate in any way shape or form without the baseball in hand is a no-no. Blame Buster Posey. The rule was put in place to reduce injury’s to the CATCHER. As it was, Culberson was lucky he did not fracture a finger. Puig is sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo FUN to watch. After his dinger he snuck up on Turner Ward to plant a kiss. He is so animated and into the game. You think him having a great first game is not going to ignite him again? Wow, the guy is really the Wild Horse. And finally, the TBS crew is so slanted towards the Cubs. They barely gave the Dodgers credit for anything.

    1. Michael

      What those broadcasters didn’t say, if that wasn’t the rule, Culbertson would have came barreling into the plate, with his spikes up, but Culbertson knows the rule, and that is why he was trying to touch the plate, with his hand.

      The Cubs catcher, must have got away with that before, because he knows the rule!

      If Culbertson wasn’t blocked like that, he would have got to the plate sooner, because he would have had a more direct route, to the plate.

      What makes me sick about Darling is, he was the biggest cry baby when Chase slid into second base, in that first post season, on the team.

      Also the Cubs catcher did that, before he had the ball, and it wasn’t the ball taking him into the baseline there.

      He purposely over exaggerated his stance, to block Culbertson, and he didn’t have the ball, when he first planted his foot!

      On both defense and offense, they talked about mostly the Cubs, and they would say negative things, even when the Dodgers did well.

      How many times did they say that Puig’s ball barely went out, or call it a wall scraper

      They are so unprofessional, and they are worse then even the broadcasters, that did the games against the Dbacks!

      Because there bias was much more apparent, then the guys before, and that is because of Darling!

  5. The difference between the last two years and this year is the bull pen. Our bull pen is in lock down mode. Maeda has stepped in and has done a great job. Morrow and Jansen are both using the curve ball more. Baez can be the same kinda pitcher as Jansen and Morrow if he would use his curve more. We have Cingrani locked up for a few more years.

    Everybody is just doing their job. Culbertson hits a SF when we needed it. No misstakes on defense.

    Looking ahead to next year the only two positions open may be LF and catcher. We will not sign Darvish. We will have to find a starter or two. They are there in our system.

    1. Baez does not throw a curve. He has a slider, but no curve ball. Morrow has been nails. He gave up NO HR’s in the regular season, and the one he gave up to Drury against the D-Backs only made the game close. Had Watson done his job, it never would have mattered. You forgot 2nd base there Al. I do not think they will pick up Forsythe’s option. The big fight will be starting catcher, and LF and CF. I think they will move Taylor to 2nd if Verdugo or Pederson show they can handle CF on an everyday basis, and there are plenty of good LF free agents. Utley, Ethier, Granderson, will definitely not be back and they really will have to make a decision on A-Gone. He is still under contract for 1 more year. If he is not able to overcome his back problems, I think he will retire. If he is healthy, you can slide Bellinger into the OF mix very easily. Improving the bench will be something they will look at. I personally, and this is just me, think Hernandez has overstayed his welcome. He is versatile that is true, but for the last 2 years his offense has been offensive. Again, my opinion. I also believe to win this thing, Roberts has to get over his love affair with the weakest bat on the team. Curtis Granderson has SUCKED big time for almost 2 months and shows no signs what so ever of coming out of it. Another weak assed ground out last night.

      1. Toles has a much better chance, then Joc or Verdugo.

        Joc is only on the roster, to be a back up outfielder, because Corey is hurt.

        Toles has speed and power, and he can hit, and he will be fine on defense, once he feels comfortable.

        Joc had three years to prove himself, he is lucky to even be on the roster, after what he did at AAA.

        1. Toles is not a typical power hitter. He might hit 15 a year, but not many more than that. And he will be coming off a lost year. To expect him to be at the top of his game after spring training is not realistic. And do not believe for a moment that the Dodgers are just going to give up on Pederson. Teams have kept players a lot worse than Pederson. Pederson may and may not be a Dodger next year, but I do not believe Toles would be considered for CF. He would be better suited to play LF. Especially since Verdugo is a natural CF. Everybody talks about potential and that’s what Joc has. He is still a young player and no matter what you think about the chances he has of being a regular at anytime the rest of his career, it is not for you to evaluate. You have a fans perspective and it is a narrow one. The FO and the coaching staff are the ones who make that call. We as fans can like or dislike whomever we please. You like Kike, I think he is a terrible player. He is versatile but can’t hit, oh he does ok against lefty’s, but that’s where his value ends, at least in my mind. The FO likes the guy because they traded for him. But for the last two years he has been pitiful. Of course that is my opinion with which I know you do not agree.

    2. Don’t be so sure we don’t sign Darvish, the changes that Honeybunns has made for him, make him a very attractive acquisition.

      If Hill is on, watch out cubs, you could be watching a two-hitter from Old Man Hill.

      Is Culberson our Bucky Dent? (google it kiddies)

      Puig has moved miles in his game, attitude and impact on a game. I’m so glad the Dodgers didn’t listen to the Morons and Molesters of this world and trade him. Dude just loaded with skills and talent, he just needed some quality coaching and input into him. Wild Horse, you’re damn right!

      The TBLess studio announcers are horrific and very biased. Funny how all three of them played for the Dodgers and obviously are bitter turds. In the booth, Darling knows what he is talking about but he is obviously still wearing his Mets cap first and announcers cap second.

      Ed Dinger is still a friggin horse and obviously a key to so much of the success of this team, defensively and at the plate.

  6. First, Roberts made the right decision with Kershaw, because Kershaw wasn’t sharp at all!

    Kershaw will probably be better, in his next start, because he has never been good on extra rest, so good on Roberts!

    Puig not only had a really good game, he pissed Darling and the other broadcaster off, because of some of the things he did.

    But Puig wasn’t showing anyone up, he was just having fun playing the game, and he brought energy to his teammates, and into the crowd, at Dodger stadium.

    Puig is child like, with the way he plays the game, and that is contagious!

    And if anyone tried to show up any one, it was the Cub’s centerfielder, after he hit that HR!

    Also Culbertson did a great job at the plate, by digging out that curve ball, and hitting it deep enough into the outfield, to get that runner home, from third.

    I bet Vinny was smiling, after Culbertson hit that sac fly!

    Culbertson hasn’t played for quite a while, but he was still able to get that runner home, after he had two strikes.

    Remember when both Grandal and Granderson, couldn’t get Puig home from third, with no outs and one out?

    Baseball is changing, and those all or nothing hitters, are not valued as much, as they were.

    Because strike outs are so unproductive, and Culbertson making contact, and hitting that sac fly, is just one example, on why some outs, or not the same as others outs, and especially, strike outs!

    The bullpen was nails again too!

    And Kenley continues to show why he is the best closer in the game, with the way he tries to change his game up, at times.

    And I rather have Joc in the outfield then Granderson, and that was another good move by Roberts, to put Joc out there, on defense.

  7. I just hope we get a decent umpire today, that can recognize when Hill’s curves, are breaking in the strike zone!

    I think the Cubs and there manager, were over confident, about this series, when they came to Dodger stadium last night.

    And I hope they keep that mind set, because this is not the same team, they played, last year!

    And True, I think everyone here, is aware of Bucky Dent’s big HR, but that is a very good point!

    And I agree about Darvish, with the way Darvish is pitching, maybe they can work something out, if Darvish wants to stay in LA, but I do know they are trying to get under the luxury tax.

      1. Ed

        I only remember the HR, but thanks for the other info!

        I think I remember a guy named Gene Tennis, who also came out of nowhere, for the A’s too.

  8. I think that Puig is now a combination of his rookie year enthusiasm and zany antics AND a veteran, well-coached multiple-tooled player.

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