Dodgers’ offensive struggles allowing Braves to play without pressure is dooming LA

Thomas Carannante
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 13: Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning in Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 13, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - OCTOBER 13: Will Smith #16 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single against the Atlanta Braves during the sixth inning in Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Globe Life Field on October 13, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /
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The Dodgers offense can’t be found in the postseason. What a surprise.

It’s that time of the year again, folks. You know, when the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ offense disappears at some point in the postseason to either force an early exit or keep them from taking home the Commissioner’s Trophy in the World Series.

This year it’s happening right on time for the NLCS. Though the offense woke up and scored seven runs in the final three innings on Tuesday night, it was too little, too late in the 8-7 Game 2 loss. The struggles through the first 15 innings of this series have done enough damage. One run on six hits.

They allowed the Braves’ young starting pitchers to get off easy and helped their lineup play carefree. That’s been the biggest reason for their dominant start.

Typically, a team like the Braves would be coming into this series flat. On top of being a historically futile team in the postseason, they opened their run this year against the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins, both of whom probably wouldn’t have made it to the playoffs in a full 162-game season.

Plus, their offense was hardly humming. Through six postseason games, the Braves ranked ninth out of the 16 teams in this year’s playoffs, batting just .230. That was accompanied by a .740 OPS and 29 runs scored — 16 of which came in two games against Miami. That’s nothing intimidating for a Dodgers pitching staff that led the MLB with a 3.02 ERA, right?

Well, the offense is going to have to do something when Walker Buehler is fighting through each of his outings with blister issues and Clayton Kershaw gets scratched in Game 2 due to back spasms. You can’t put up one run through the first 15 innings of the series even if you put up seven in the last three. That explosion didn’t result in a comeback.

Though this could be a sign of good things to come for Game 3, the Dodgers find themselves in a hole and need Julio Urias to save them on Wednesday night. Everyone’s hoping Clayton Kershaw can go in Game 4, but if he can’t, then the offense will really need to carry the Dodgers the rest of the way.

More potential good news? They won’t be facing Max Fried or Ian Anderson again for the next three games, and if they do, it’ll be on short rest. Now’s the time to knock around Kyle Wright and whoever else manager Brian Snitker decides to throw out there in Games 3, 4 and potentially 5.

Game 3 is a must-win and the offense has no choice but to build upon the last three innings, or else the Dodgers 2020 season will be over.

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