I understand that you can’t win every game, but this is the postseason and the Dodgers turned in an absolute listless effort in game 1 of the NLCS on Monday night at Globe Life. It’s a seven game series, I know but the energy levels between the two teams was like night and day. The Braves looked excited, energized and aggressive. The Dodgers looked listless, sad and tired. The outcome was not surprising as Atlanta scored four runs in the top of the ninth and defeated the Dodgers 5-1 to take a 1-0 series lead.
The Dodgers have yet to be fully challenged this season. The Braves are a big challenge for them. Their pitching staff has been nearly unhittable this postseason. Westlake native Max Fried carved up the Dodger lineup like a Halloween pumpkin. Fried tossed six innings of one-run ball walking two and striking out nine. Opposing starter Walker Buehler did the best he could, allowing one earned run on three hits across five innings. But Buehler’s multiple blisters (he’s got two blisters!) didn’t help his command as he issued five walks. He did strike out seven. However it was poor offense and relief pitching that did the Dodgers in. The boys in blue recorded just four hits on Monday night.
NLCS Game 1
Braves 5 8 0
Dodgers 1 4 0
Freddie Freeman homered with one out in the top of the first to put Atlanta up 1-0. The score remained that way until the bottom of the fifth when the postseason Enrique Hernandez showed up by smashing a home run to tie the game at 1-1. Unfortunately that was the lone highlight of the night for the Dodgers.
The boys in blue did escape a bases loaded situation in the top of the eighth. Marcell Ozuna doubled and after a Travis d’Arnaud ground out, Ozzie Albies struck out. The Dodger and Dustin May intentionally walked Dansby Swanson and then fatso Pablo Sandoval (I can’t believe he’s still playing) was hit by a pitch. It hit his arm and not his many jelly rolls. Victor Gonzalez comes in and strikes out former Dodger Charlie Culberson and runs off the mound screaming. Kudos for Gonzalez for being one of the only Dodgers to have any kind of energy.
The top of the ninth saw the Braves plate four runs off of Blake Treinen and Jake Mcgee. Austin Riley leads-off with a two-strike home run to essentially end the game. But the Braves poured on more. Ronald Acuna doubled and one batter later scored on an Ozuna RBI single into right. With Jake Mcgee on the mound, Ozzie Albies homers overt the left center field wall to give the Braves a 5-1 lead. That was all she wrote.
The only positive thing I can say right now is that it’s a long series and the Dodgers lost the first game of the NLCS to the Brewers back in 2018 and came back to win the series. The Dodgers will have Clayton Kershaw on the mound tomorrow afternoon to try and get some kind of momentum back and tie the series. A loss could surely doom them to a huge NLCS whole so Kershaw better be on his A-game tomorrow. The bats have to wake up as well. GULP.