You know Cubs manager Joe Maddon reminds me of storage wars Barry Weiss but 20 times more irritating. He’s like that overbearing grandfather that won’t shut up about how things used to be back in his days. I’m sure he’s still talking about that call at the plate last night in the seventh inning during the Dodger’s game 1 5-2 win when Charlie Culberson’s slide into home was ruled safe despite Willson Contreras applying the tag. Of course Contreras’s leg was blocking the running lane and Culberson was unable to even touch the plate. Rules are rules Joe. Sorry.
What Maddon failed to mention or anybody for that matter was that the play was ultimately meaningless. The Dodgers would have won the game anyways. They had a two-run lead at the time Culberson’s lane was being blocked in the seventh inning. The overturned call gave the Dodgers an insurance run, a three-run lead. That was more than enough considering the Dodger bullpen tossed four scoreless frames without allowing a hit or walk.
There were so many heroes in the game 1 win; I almost can’t list them all. Of course Yasiel Puig’s heroics stand out the most. Puig has been fantastic in the postseason for the Dodgers. He drove in two of the five runs on Saturday night. With one being a double into the gap and the other a home run that just barely sailed over the left field wall, much to the annoyance of Chicago left fielder Kyle Schwarber.
Puig pranced around and danced and we loved every minute of it. Puig has now collected 7 hits in the postseason in 2017. He’s driven in 6 runs and has four extra-base hits. Not everyone likes the fun. Keith Olberman (the stick in the mud) bashed Puig on twitter. But Puig never takes it to heart. He always kills them with kindness.
— Yasiel Puig (@YasielPuig) October 15, 2017
There was also Chris Taylor’s home run in the sixth inning that sent Dodger Stadium into delirium. The blast gave the Dodgers the lead that was never relinquished. Charlie Culberson, the man involved in the most talked about play in the seventh inning, also doubled and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. The Dodger bullpen tossed four scoreless frames. The Dodgers even overcame a mediocre Clayton Kershaw start. The left handed beast only threw five innings allowing two earned runs on four hits. He struck out four and walked one, and didn’t look good.
The Dodgers did what they usually do, which is wait the other team’s starting pitcher out. They don’t swing at balls and then they pounce. The Dodgers haven’t won the opening game of the NLCS since 1985. That’s a 32-year time frame guys. Winning the opening game doesn’t guarantee you anything, but I heard that 22 teams that won game 1 go onto the World Series. It’s also a huge difference from last season, and history.
Last season it was the Dodgers who were the team that had just gotten past a grueling five game playoff series with the Washington Nationals with game five in Washington. They had to fly across country with only a day in between series. They had burned their best pitchers in that decisive game five against the Nationals. They weren’t the team that won over 100 games. They didn’t have home field advantage.
Now all of those scenarios are the Cubs. It’s the Cubs who just had the same exhausting five-game division series with the Nationals. The Cubs had to drain their entire pitching staff to move on. They had to use Kyle Hendricks, and Quintana. Closer Wade Davis made over 40 pitches in game 5. It’s the Dodgers who have won 104 games, and hold home field advantage. I think this is the year, is what I am alluding to. The Dodgers are the favorites. The Dodgers are the team of destiny. The Cubs don’t scare me, and they don’t scare the Dodgers.