Dodgers: Early Postseason Success Belongs to Bottom of the Lineup
The Dodgers are off to a great start through the first two games of the postseason. What is most encouraging about this club’s performance so far is the production of the role players on this team.
There’s no doubt there was a fair amount of concern from Dodger fans when the team was slumping in September. However, just as they’ve shown this season, this team is resilient and was able to flip the switch when it matters the most. The team is now in prime position to advance to the NLCS for the second consecutive season and in large part due to the role players.
The Dodgers have scored 17 runs through the first two games. They have been led by Yasiel Puig, Justin Turner, and * surprisingly* Logan Forsythe. Let’s start with the biggest surprise in Logan Forsythe.
Forsythe got the surprise start in game one against a right-hander simply because Roberts didn’t want Forsythe to have any playoff jitters in game two. The move to start Forsythe in both games have rewarded Roberts handsomely. Forsythe is hitting .500/.556/.500 in 8 at-bats with one stolen base. Logan hit 8th in game one vs. Taijuan Walker and hit 6th against Robbie Ray. The fact that he has been able to produce at the bottom of the lineup has been key to the Dodgers offensive run production.
More from Dodgers Way
- Dodgers’ rumored contract for Aaron Judge definitely isn’t true
- 4 free agents Dodgers fans better hope don’t land in the NL West
- Dodgers must do better than Kevin Kiermaier in center field search
- 3 teams that could lure Justin Turner away from Dodgers
- Andrew Friedman’s response to Cody Bellinger non-tender provides nothing for Dodgers fans
Moving on to Yasiel Puig. Puig has put together his most complete season of his career. After hitting a career-high 28 home runs during the regular season, Puig has carried over his regular season success to October. Puig is leading the team in hitting with a .556 average and .889 slugging percentage through the first two games. Puig is second on the team in RBI with four but leads the team in total bases with 8, including one triple. Puig looks fantastic at the plate right now. He’s not chasing balls off the plate and has yet to strikeout in the NLDS. I understand that there
Puig looks fantastic at the plate right now. He’s not chasing balls off the plate and has yet to strikeout in the NLDS. I understand that there have only been two games, but Puig has been the difference maker in this series. Difference maker especially when you consider where he’s hitting in the lineup. In game one he hit 5th, and despite a 2 for 5 performance, he was dropped to his familiar 8th spot during game 2. No matter where Puig is hitting, he’s giving the Dodgers quality at-bats, which helps keep Dodger rallies going.
Justin Turner, as usual, has played a big role in getting Dodger rallies started. With Cody Bellinger in the middle of a slump right now, Turner has really picked up the slack. Turner is hitting .500/.500/.875 in eight at-bats with a home run and 5 RBI.
The key to the Dodgers success these first two games is that they continue to have quality at-bats. The worst part about this Dbacks team is their bullpen, and with every hitter in the Dodgers lineup contributing good at-bats, it allows the Dodgers to get into their bullpen early.
Next: Facing Your Division in the Postseason
The fact that the bottom of the order is doing this well has to be scary for the entire MLB. The Dodgers are producing these runs with their best run producer struggling to make contact. Bellinger has six strikeouts in 10 at-bats to go along with only one hit. If Bellinger can live up to the moment these next few games, the Dodgers will have to be favorites to run the table this October. Let’s go out tonight and finish these Dbacks!