Dodgers Dugout: Now it’s a best-of-five and Dodgers have home-field advantage
Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and the Dodgers are seven wins away from … let’s not jinx it.
Wow, a lot happened in two games. Let’s recap.
--I was bummed about the Game 1 loss until I realized the Dodgers played a horrible game and still almost won.
--Here’s what I like about Justin Turner. He has a bad night at the plate, striking out four times in a game for the first time in the majors. He doesn’t whine or complain. He faces the media, watches video of himself, then comes out the next night and hits the game-winning homer.
--You know who else that can be said about? Pedro Baez. For two years I was ripping him, the crowd was booing him. But did he yell at the fans? No. He just kept working at his craft and has made himself a valuable member of the bullpen. You have to respect that. And he got the win in Game 2.
--I have a lengthy newsletter about Clayton Kershaw ready, examining his entire postseason career. I was going to run it today, but today is not a day to look negatively at anyone. We’ll save it for a more appropriate time. I get a lot of emails asking about him opting out. When the season ends, we’ll look at all of that. Now is not the time. I do want to point out one thing though: Each start by Kershaw could be his final start as a Dodger, so maybe we should appreciate it a little.
--In Game 1, the Brewers fans didn’t seem to realize it was a playoff game. They were so quiet, it was as if they thought they were at church. An easy mistake to make. After all, the first words of the Bible are “In the big inning, God created the heavens and the earth…”
--The vaunted Brewers bullpen has given up eight runs in 10 1/3 innings. The only guy who worries me is Josh Hader. The other worry I have: Brewers manager Craig Counsell could do the same thing later in this series he did in Game 1: Start a left-hander, making Dave Roberts put David Freese in the lineup, then, the Brewers switch to a right-hander after two innings, putting Freese out of the game for Max Muncy. Then when he brings in Hader, Freese is no longer a factor. I want David Freese available to hit against Hader.
--They say if you don’t have anything nice to say about someone, don’t say anything at all. Which brings me to my comment on Yasmani Grandal:
--There was a huge problem that would have come up if the Brewers had tied Game 2 in the ninth: The Dodgers were already out of position players. It’s hard to have a platoon heavy lineup with only a five-man bench.
--But here we are, waiting for Game 3 just where the Dodgers needed to be: Tied in the series. It’s now a best-of-five, with three games at Dodger Stadium.
--The Dodgers turn to Walker Buehler today. I feel confident whenever he is on the mound.
--I said Dodgers in seven when the series began. I’m sticking with it. They are showing that won’t-give-up spirit that made them so good last year.
Brewers vs. Walker Buehler
Mike Moustakas, .667 (2 for 3)
Christian Yelich, .667 (2 for 3)
Lorenzo Cain, .333 (1 for 3), 1 double
Jesus Aguilar, .000 (0 for 3)
Erik Kratz, .000 (0 for 3)
Travis Shaw, .000 (0 for 3)
Eric Thames, .000 (0 for 3)
Orlando Arcia, .000 (0 for 2)
Pitchers, .000 (0 for 2)
Team, .200 (5 for 25), 1 double
Dodgers vs. Jhoulys Chacin
David Freese, .500 (1 for 2)
Cody Bellinger, .415 (5 for 12), 1 triple, 2 homers
Yasiel Puig, .333 (8 for 24), 1 double, 1 homer
Chris Taylor, .333 (2 for 6), 1 homer
Alex Verdugo, .333 (1 for 3)
Justin Turner, .316 (6 for 19), 3 doubles
Chase Utley, .278 (5 for 18), 1 double
Joc Pederson, .231 (3 for 13), 2 homers
Matt Kemp, .214 (9 for 42), 2 doubles, 3 homers)
Andrew Toles, .167 (1 for 6)
Brian Dozier, .143 (1 for 7)
Manny Machado, .143 (1 for 7)
Yasmani Grandal, .105 (2 for 19), 1 homer
Max Muncy, .000 (0 for 6)
Kyle Farmer, .000 (0 for 1)
Pitchers, .222 (4 for 18)
Team, .243 (49 for 202), 7 doubles, 1 triple, 10 homers
Game 3 — Monday, 4:30 p.m.: Milwaukee (Jhoulys Chacin, 15-8, 3.50 ERA) at Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 8-5, 2.62 ERA). TV: FS1
Game 4 — Tuesday, 6 p.m.: Milwaukee (TBA) at Dodgers (Rich Hill, 11-5, 3.66 ERA). TV: FS1
Game 5 — Wednesday, 2 p.m.: Milwaukee (TBA) at Dodgers (TBA). TV: FS1
Game 6* — Friday, 5:30 p.m.: Dodgers (TBA) at Milwaukee (TBA). TV: FS1
Game 7* — Saturday, 6 p.m.: Dodgers (TBA) at Milwaukee (TBA): TV: FS1
* — if necessary. All times Pacific.
We have five top reporters covering every Dodgers playoff game for The Times: Andy McCullough, Jorge Castillo, Bill Plaschke, Dylan Hernandez and Bill Shaikin. If you are not checking out our website and reading their stories, you are missing out on some great stuff. So, what are you waiting for? Click here and start reading.
And if you aren’t near a TV or radio to monitor each game, I’m doing live updates for The Times every game. You can find it during the game at the above link.
Relive the magic of Justin Turner’s Game 2 homer. Watch it here.
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