Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and I’m going with Ross Stripling to pitch Game 1 of the World Series after the Dodgers win Saturday and Sunday.
Game 5 thoughts
There are two ways to look at the Game 5 loss, optimistically or pessimistically. So let’s handle it both ways.
--The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw going in Game 6 and Rich Hill in Game 7, so the chances of winning those games are good.
--All the pressure is on the Cubs now, especially if they lose Game 6. Having the curse of no World Series appearances in more than 70 years is a heavy burden to bear.
--Kenley Jansen has gotten plenty of rest and can pitch a couple of innings in both games.
--The Dodgers did score four runs in Game 5. Score that many with Kershaw and Hill pitching, and they will win.
--The Cubs will be going with right-handers the next two games.
--The Dodgers scored two runs off of Aroldis Chapman in Game 5, so he’s not invincible.
--If the Dodgers lose, we won’t have to listen to Joe Buck anymore.
--World Series games at Dodger Stadium would take place next Friday, Saturday and Sunday, making it easier for those who work traditional hours to go to games.
--Why is Enrique Hernandez batting at the top of the lineup?
--The Cubs had the best record in baseball for a reason and winning two in a row from them in Wrigley Field is a monumental task.
--If you can’t get inspired and win when Vin Scully visits, what chance do you have to win in Wrigley?
--IHOP has developed a great new omelet they are calling the Pedro Baez. Put it in a pressure cooker and it folds automatically.
--Pedro Baez’s career postseason ERA is 6.52 and he has allowed 18 baserunners in 9 2/3 innings. But by all means let’s keep trotting him out there.
--How did the Dodgers win any games this season?
Sorry, I can’t go on. There’s no reason to be pessimistic. Sure, the Cubs would have to be favored to advance at this point. But I’m happy to take my chances with Kershaw and Hill. There are 13 teams in the NL who would love to be where the Dodgers are. If someone came to you before the season and told you the Dodgers would be playing in the NLCS against the Cubs and would have Kershaw and Hill pitching Games 6 and 7, everyone would be happy to hear it.
--None of my Twitter followers predicted the Game 4 final score. Follow me on Twitter (@latimeshouston) and try and predict the Game 5 score to win fabulous prizes! (Note: When I say “fabulous,” I mean get your name published in the next newsletter.) And don’t forget to follow our live coverage throughout the game on our website.
The NLCS schedule
Game 6: Saturday, Dodgers (Kershaw) at Cubs (Hendricks), 5 p.m. PT. TV: FS1
Game 7: Sunday, Dodgers (Hill) at Cubs (Arrieta), 5 p.m. PT. TV: FS1 (if necessary)
In case you missed it
What our great crew of Los Angeles Times reporters is saying about the Dodgers:
What others are saying
Vin Scully returns to Dodger Stadium to say “It’s Time for Dodger baseball.” Watch and listen here.