Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and now the Nationals have home-field advantage.
Breaking down Game 2
--Before we blame various Dodgers for the Game 2 loss, sometimes you just have to tip your cap to the opponent. The Nationals are a good team and this was never going to be easy. Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer pitched like the aces they are.
--That being said, the Dodgers made it a little easier by swinging at pitches they normally take. There were several bad at-bats, and 17 of the Dodgers 27 outs came by strikeout.
--Sometimes the team comes out and looks flat. I can’t explain it, and I’m sure they aren’t doing it on purpose of course, but it’s like they sleepwalk through some games. It has happened for a couple of seasons now.
--Clayton Kershaw had a 5.79 ERA in the first inning this season, and I thought things looked good when he escaped by only giving up one run. Then the second inning happened.
--Let’s face it, Kershaw will never challenge Sandy Koufax, or even Don Drysdale, as the best pitcher in Dodgers history until he has a dominant postseason. He hasn’t had one. Sure, he has had the occasional great outing, but there’s something about the postseason that makes him just another pitcher. Let’s take a look at the postseason numbers for pitchers who have won more than one Cy Young Award, ranked in order of ERA.
Sandy Koufax, 4-3, 0.95 ERA
Bob Gibson, 7-2, 1.89 ERA
Roy Halladay, 3-2, 2.37 ERA
Tim Lincecum, 5-2, 2.40 ERA
Jim Palmer, 8-3, 2.61 ERA
Tom Seaver, 3-3, 2.77 ERA
Denny McLain, 1-2, 3.24 ERA
Steve Carlton, 6-6, 3.26 ERA
Greg Maddux, 11-14, 3.27 ERA
Tom Glavine, 14-16, 3.30 ERA
Pedro Martinez, 6-4, 3.46 ERA
Randy Johnson, 7-9, 3.50 ERA
Roger Clemens, 12-8, 3.75 ERA
Max Scherzer, 4-5, 3.78 ERA
Corey Kluber, 4-3, 3.97 ERA
Johan Santana, 1-3, 3.97 ERA
Clayton Kershaw, 9-11, 4.33 ERA
Bret Saberhagen, 2-4, 4.67 ERA
Gaylord Perry, 1-1, 6.14 ERA
The greatest pitchers rise to the occasion. And that’s all I have to say about that.
--It was interesting that they pitched to Cody Bellinger but walked Max Muncy. I know some of that is because Will Smith was hitting behind Muncy, but it’s still an interesting choice.
--Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the ball for Game 3, probably against Scherzer. The Dodgers need to return to their patient ways and try to get Scherzer out of there by the end of the sixth inning.
The Cody Bellinger postseason tracker
Game 2: 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts
NLDS: 0 for 6, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 1 run scored
Career postseason: .164 (20 for 122), 5 doubles, 4 homers, 13 RBIs, 10 walks, 49 strikeouts
Bullpen postseason tracker
Game 2: 3 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
NLDS: 1.50 ERA, 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 ER, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
Clayton Kershaw postseason tracker
Game 2: 0-1, 4.50 ERA 6 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
NLDS: 0-1, 4.50 ERA, 6 IP, 6 hits, 3 ER, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Career postseason: 9-11, 4.33 ERA, 158 IP, 128 hits, 76 ER, 45 walks, 169 strikeouts
All times Pacific
Game 1: at Dodgers 6, Washington 0
Game 2: Washington 4, at Dodgers 2
Game 3: Sunday at Washington, 4:45 p.m., TBS, AM 570
Game 4: Monday at Washington, 3:40 p.m.
Game 5*: Wednesday at Dodgers, 5 p.m. or 5:30 p.m., TBS, AM 570
In case you missed it
Read all our coverage and sign up for our Dodgers newsletter for even more analysis:
Highlights from Game 2. Watch it here.
Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston. Subscribe to this newsletter by clicking here.