There is Clayton Kershaw who is hungry to show the nation that he can dominate on the national stage in games for all the marbles. The same can be said for Zack Greinke who has an immeasurable competitive drive. Hyun-Jin Ryu will be starting at home where he is a much stronger pitcher than on the road. Hanley Ramirez finally gets to show his stuff in post-season play and there is no player more eager to produce in the playoffs. There are some that may have soured on Puig, who has slumped of late, but this is the type of player that loves the spotlight. Look for Yasiel to make some spectacular highlight reel types of plays and make an impact. Carl Crawford has shown signs this week that his stroke is back and he's healthy. Adrian Gonzalez is consistent and he'll have his knocks.
It's easy to dwell on the negativity of the past week, but the Dodgers will turn on the switch once Thursday's 5:07 PM first pitch is thrown. Bet on it. There is too much talent on this team. There's a reason that neither the Cardinals or Braves wanted to face them. Both teams know that the toughest road to the next road is facing the Dodgers. The Braves took 5 of 7 from the Dodgers in the early part of the season, but they haven't yet faced the team they will compete against in these playoffs. Two of those games were with Matt Magill taking the mound for heaven's sake. They never even faced Kershaw and Greinke shut them out 5-0.
The Dodgers are the team to fear in this post-season and Matt Kemp's absence is definitely a loss, but not a back-breaking one. Not with this team that was gritty enough to win consistently without him.