Positive Takeaways After Game 1
This Guy Gives Me Hope
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
I want to forget that game 1 ever happened the way it did. I will just act like the Dodgers lost a close game, ignore all context regarding how they got there and move on, because that’s all you can really say at this point. You don’t want to continue to hear about Clayton Kershaw, you want them to win a baseball game tonight and setup a situation where it’s a best of 3 series and Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, and Zack Greinke are pitching. The Dodgers are the best road team in baseball, this thing is far from over.
So after a flurry of “the sky is falling” posts, it’s time for one detailing that things aren’t that bad.
What can we take away after a performance like that?
1. Clayton Kershaw Won’t Be Starting For A Few Days
I’m not so sure that this is a good thing, but I am definitely sure that I do not want to think about Kershaw’s legacy right now. I don’t want to consider what these series of postseason starts mean for a least a few days. I want to see one of the top 5 pitchers in the national league will the Dodgers to a split in LA, and go from that point. I’ll go ahead and say that I predict 7 shutout innings from Clayton Kershaw the next time he pitches, but I just want to wash the feeling away and move on with this series.
2. The Dodgers Offense Was Electric Last Night
They got 9 runs off of Adam Wainwright, Randy Choate (vs a leftie!), and their closer, Trevor Rosenthal. Dee Gordon had a terrible game and they still scored 9 runs, Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez, Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford, Juan Uribe, a good AJ Ellis make for one of the best offenses I have personally ever seen. Compared to last year where they couldn’t get a hit versus Michael Wacha, I have a lot more confidence with this team facing Lance Lynn, John Lacke, and Shelby Miller in the next 3 games. The Dodgers essentially need to win 2 out of those 3 games to give them a chance back in Los Angeles, and with the way the offense is going right now, I am feeling not awful about that happening.
3. Zack Greinke Is One Of The Top 5-10 Starting Pitchers In The National League
Greinke is the best number 2 starter in the game. He is coming off of arguably his best season since his Cy Young award winning 2009 season, and oh by the way, his elbow has been getting continually better since he initially had the issue.
4. The Dodgers Still Have The Advantage In Pitching Matchups For The Remainder Of The Series
Zack Greinke vs Lance Lynn? Give me Greinke
Hyun-Jin Ryu vs John Lackey? Ryu has pitched in these situations before, he’s pitched in huge games in Korea, in the WBC, and he completely shut down the Cardinals last season hurling 7 shutout innings in game 3 of the NLCS with the Dodgers down 2 games to 0. This came after a bunch of questions about his NLDS start versus the Braves in regards to the health of his arm. If he feels physically okay, then I think he will come up big again.
Dan Haren (Clayton Kershaw?) vs Shelby Miller? I think the offense can tee off of Miller, a pitcher with control problems, doesn’t get any whiffs, and is prone to the home run. Dan Haren’s most recent success makes me think he can pitch okayly. Okay enough to beat a Cardinals offense that is still not all that impressive.
Kershaw? (Greinke?) vs Wainwright? The Dodgers offense can carry the team in this series, and the Cardinals will be hard pressed to get 10 runs again off of any Dodger pitcher let alone Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke. Same thing could be said for the Dodgers offense versus Wainwright, but the Dodgers offense has the edge even if you adjust the expected runs off of Kershaw and Wainwright accordingly. I think Kershaw puts up an all time type performance next time he goes out there, and the Dodgers offense is too good to not score runs in the remainder of the series
5. The Dodgers Have Taken 3/4 Against This Team Earlier This Year
It was in Los Angeles, sure, but the fact that they have done before this year makes me feel better about the possibility of that happening again. Sure it was without Yadier Molina, but the 2nd half Matt Kemp was missing also in that series. Mix this with the fact that the Dodgers are the best road team in baseball and I am not as down as I was last night.
Today will be fascinating