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Home > NLDS Previews/Recaps > NLCS Game 1: Dumb Pitching Strategies, Base-Running Blunder, Poor Hitting, Dodgers Lose Game 1

NLCS Game 1: Dumb Pitching Strategies, Base-Running Blunder, Poor Hitting, Dodgers Lose Game 1

Picard wearing Dodger hat

The Dodgers flew into Atlanta to start the NLCS after narrowly knocking off the Giants in the NLDS. There was sure to be some jet lag and exhaustion after that tiring series with the Giants, but the Dodgers seem to have problems with the first games of a series after an off-day. Even though the Braves don’t have Ronald Acuna Jr. and have lost Jorge Soler due to Covid, they are still a formidable opponent. The NLCS rematch started in similar fashion as last year with a Dodger thud. The Dodgers lost game 1 of the NLCS.

There were several reasons the Dodgers lost on Saturday night in Atlanta. Poor pitching strategies was one part of it. I understand the reasoning for wanting to hold Max Scherzer back for game 2, but to use another bullpen game and not have David Price on the roster seemed foolish. The Dodgers had to use their entire pitching staff, opening with Corey Knebel again. Knebel was fine, but it didn’t work. The Dodgers had to turn to Tony Gonsolin, who has an 8.68 career ERA in the postseason (he allowed 9 earned runs and 9 walks in last year’s NLCS) and he was unsurprisingly terrible again. With the Dodgers ahead 2-1 he allowed a no-doubter home run to game hero Austin Riley that tied the score at 2-2 in the fifth.

Much will be said about Chris Taylor‘s tootblan in the top of the ninth. With the game tied at 2-2 and closer Will Smith on the mound Taylor drew a walk. Cody Bellinger pinch-hitting roped a single into right, but Taylor got confused and rounded second base too far, stopping halfway in between. Former Dodger Joc Pederson‘s throw was online to second and Taylor was tagged out for the third out of the frame. It was even stupider that my description.

Throughout the game the Dodgers put traffic on the bases, but could only muster two runs off Atlanta starter Max Fried. AJ Pollock doubled and Taylor singled him home in the top of the second to tie the game at 1-1. The Braves had scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first. Will Smith’s solo home run in the fourth gave the Dodgers a short lived lead. The Dodgers were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.

Riley drove in two of the three Atlanta runs. In the bottom of the ninth with Blake Treinen on the mound (The Dodgers only had Brusdar Graterol and Even Phillips left if the game went into extras) Ozzie Albies flared a single to center and then stole second. Riley immediately singled him home to end the game. On a funny note, Freddie Freeman struck out four times on the night. The series continues tomorrow as the Dodgers try to get a split. Max Scherzer gets the ball for the Dodgers while the Braves will counter with Ian Anderson. Can we not fall behind 3-1 again this year?


Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

4 thoughts on “NLCS Game 1: Dumb Pitching Strategies, Base-Running Blunder, Poor Hitting, Dodgers Lose Game 1

  1. Scott, come on bro. Dodgers were tired, on the road, with a BP game against their Ace. And still, lost by one run in the ninth! This was as close to a gimme game for the Braves as they’ll ever get. Now our 3 Cy Young candidates take the mound. No worries here.

  2. Well, after escaping with a game 5 win in NLDS, DR’s luck went to his head and he went with opener Knebel AGAIN, in back to back games, and the all important Game 1 of NLCS. Bad move, if you ask me, and Knebel delivered, giving up a quick 1 run lead… BTW was that really a wild pitch or just another passed ball by Smith? They ruled it a WP, but I think a good catcher would have stopped it. Then, the designated bulk innings man, Gonsolin, could only muster up 1.2 innings before relinquishing the lead with a two- out dinger.

    Once again, the offense basically flatlined, going 1-8 with RISP. Many blown scoring opportunities, and big running blunder by CT3. All with the Game 5 hero’s Lux and Belli warming up the bench.

    The relievers (except Gonsolin and opener Knebel) kept the game in check, except with DR’s strange decision to go with Kenley in the eighth, and Treinen in the ninth. Like always said, DR sometimes think he is smarter than the game.

    The Dodgers outhit the Braves, but the lineup that DR set up did not deliver. Playing the supposed matchups, instead of riding the hot bats once again proved to be his downfall.

    I still have a good feeling about this series. More so than the 5-gamer with the Gnats. They can still win today, and gain Home Field Advantage, but once again starting out a championship series on their heels is not a comfortable position to be in.

    Go Blue! Take game Two!

  3. What just happened in NLCS Game 2?
    Another total managing blunder and offensive meltdown in Atlanta, that’s all. Two embarrassing back-to-back walk off victories.

    DR tried to pull another rabbit out of his Dodger cap, and surprisingly brought in their Game 4 starter for a surprise hold situation…. “What the ….?” That backfired miserably. The Anal-itic Manager is only managing to send the Dodgers on a much needed early vacation.

    Scherzer came up short, unable to give some length in his starting role, petering out after 4.1 innings with a “dead arm”… maybe he should have used his left arm when chugging down those NLDS victory brews. To add insult, Scherzer got “Joctober’d” big time, as the former Dodger took Max yard for a two run game tying jack. The relief corps were holding down the fort until DR decided to bring in starter Urias to try and hold the 4-2 lead. Once again, I question Will Smith’s pitch calling abilities. I thought for sure that Barnes would be signal calling for Scherzer. Pitch and location produced nothing but scrumptious cookies to the hungry Braves offense, and maybe the better defensive catcher would have snagged that relay from Seager, and tagged out Albies.

    DR forced his own hand. All the pitching changes and subsequent pinch hit situations crippled the Dodger offense and defense. The moving of Betts to CF and placing Souza in RF, replacing Lux proved to be the most costly. A better move would have been to put Belli in CF, leave Betts in RF, and remove Trea Turner, move Lux to 2B and insert Souza at 1B, since Beaty was wasted in a matchup snafu. The defensive alignment that DR chose backfired miserably, as the Braves took advantage of the defensive switches and scored 2 runs on Urias, the key blunder was the weak throw from RF’r Souza to the plate. If Betts was still in RF, the Braves probably would not have run and scored, or Rosarios would be out at the plate. Then a walk off victory courtesy of Kenley Jansen…just one juicy meatball is all it took, and the game over.

    The real key to the loss was again, due to struggling offense. 1-10 with runners in scoring position to go with 10 strikeouts. Dodgers were gifted 9 walks, and could not take advantage. RISP has been the Dodger’ Achilles heel all season, and will be their downfall in October. DR has had dead bats in crucial spots with his Ouija Board lineups. NL batting champ Trea Turner is a no show, as is JT, who is apparently now fighting a neck injury, and Pollock and Betts continue to struggle.

    The Braves are running the base paths aggressively, and are just putting the bat on the ball with simple contact. Something the Dodgers hitters just cannot seem to do.

    Trea and Scherzer are ready to be declared an “X”-National disaster.

    So, now they are down two in the best of seven. They just about have to sweep at home, and then take game six. If it goes seven, their goose is cooked. Not impossible, but with this disoriented pitching staff, piss poor offense and defense, and DR’s reckless managing tactics, it does not look good for the Boys in Blue.

    Too much chaos. Starting pitchers are relievers…relievers are starters/openers. Players randomly shuffled around, playing out of position either by defensive changes or exaggerated shifts. Sort of the Dodgers’ version of Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First”, or a Keystone Cops routine. Not a pretty picture…pathetic and embarrassing to put it bluntly.

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