Sunday, October 9, 2016
Game 2 NLDS Recap=LOB City II
The bad news:In post season play, when you load the bases three times over the first five innings, you have to cash in some runs. The Dodgers continued to hit poorly in key situational spots going 0-5 with the bases loaded and 1-9 with runners in scoring position. A total of 12 men were left on base, 11 of them over the first six innings.
Despite their first place finish, the Dodgers have been extremely weak offensively with runners on base hitting a putrid .206 with runners in scoring position and two outs, and .208 with the bases loaded. In both scenarios, finishing 26th and 27th in MLB in those categories.
Squandering these offensive opportunities proved to be the Dodgers undoing as Jose Lobaton lofted a Rich Hill hanging curve into the left field stands to put Washington ahead for good 3-2 in the fourth inning. It was the second time this year Hill has given up a homer on a curve, the first being a Jose Altuve homer back in May when Hill was pitching for Oakland.
Now the good news:
Returning home tied at 1-1 is something the ball club should feel good about, as they have secured home field advantage for what now is a best two out of three series. On top of that, Kenta Maeda makes the start with 8 days of rest, and that is a good sign for a pitcher that did have difficulties adjusting to pitching every 5th day. Maeda with over six days rest has a .210 batting average and .247 OBP against him. Compare that to when he had four days rest, .247 BA, .320 OBP. Those numbers are significant.
What to watch for:
Let's watch Maeda's pitch count. He has proved to be effective in the early innings, but once he gets past 75 pitches and through the batting order twice, teams tend to start hitting him. Maeda should be on a short leash, with the hope that he gives six strong innings and that the Dodgers have spotted him a lead by then so that the bullpen can take over.
Expect Kenley Jansen to be inserted for a 2 inning save, and be very concerned if Trea Turner reaches base while he's on the mound. Jansen has been awful at keeping base runners from running on him.
Again Facing left hand pitchers:
Gio Gonzalez takes the mound against the Dodgers after a sub par year. He has only worked 4 innings this year with Pedro Severino behind the plate, and he got lit up for 6 runs that one time. Working with Lobaton, Gio has a respectable 3.81 ERA over 81 innings of work. Gonzalez beat the Dodgers earlier this year with 6 innings of 1 run ball, on July 20th in Washington. In three lifetime starts at Dodger Stadium, he is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA with 20 innings pitched.
It should be noted that this will be the first time that Kenta Maeda has ever faced the Nationals.