Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Euphoria and Now Back to Business

(AP Photo)
Winning a post season series is complete elation.   It was a wonderful thing, but the excitement of that tense and pressure packed game five is now in the rear view mirror.  Now as things have settled, the team is in Chicago and the short two days comes to a close this evening.  The Dodgers are back to the business at hand of winning the pennant.

With a well rested Chicago Cubs team awaiting their opponent, Los Angeles starts the National League Championship Series a notable disadvantage.  They are a team that should be exhausted and spent with a pitching staff handicapped with a closer just having thrown 51 pitches a mere forty-four hours before game time. Their number one and two starting pitchers each have already pitched on short rest and they need time off, at least another 24 hours. The rest requirement probably can be argued for the beleaguered bullpen, that racked up a little over 28 innings of work out of a possible 45 during the series.

A rainout would seriously help this team out, but as much as the forecast is saying it is possible, don't count on MLB postponing the game anytime soon due to the prime time schedule broadcast and the logistical problems of rescheduling the rest of the series that a rainout would cause.  Nevertheless, the weather forecast is as follows at game time:

Cloudy this evening. Scattered thunderstorms developing after midnight. Low 63F. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 50%.

Experts are starting to make the lineup comparisons and predictions.  As can be expected, the lovable Cubs, a team "destined" to win it all after so many years of despair in Chicago, is favored by nearly all to win this series going away.  They certainly could do that, but this Dodger team has somehow clawed and scratched its was through the season with a tenaciousness that few Dodger teams have possessed in the past.

They enter into the next phase with another formidable challenge in their hands.  Walking away from these first two games with a split should be the goal.

A few positives to note:

  • John Lester is the only Cub lefty in their rotation
  • The Cubs bullpen is not as strong as the Nationals, (with the exception of their closer-Chapman). This means that pitch counts should be worked and getting the Cub starters out of games will be extremely important
  • Some Dodger hitters seem to be heating up.  Most notably Pedersen and Reddick
  • Dave Roberts has proved that he's willing to manage unconventionally, so expect the unexpected
  • It's the Cubs, and they haven't been to a World Series in 76 years, so there's an pressure factor that they must overcome
  • Kershaw says that his appearance on Thursday night was his "side session" and that he feels good.  Translation:  Expect him to pitch game 2, game 6 and be available to relieve in game 7
  • Hill should be rested for a game 3 start at Dodger Stadium, followed by game 7
  • The Dodgers were not overwhelmed by the Cubs in the regular season, and know they can compete
Strap on your seat belts.  This is going to be an exciting week of Dodger baseball.

No comments:

Post a Comment