It would be foolish to expect to win a game where you go 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position (RISP) and 0-for-5 with the bases loaded. Winning teams don’t waste so many opportunities. With Sunday’s 5-2 loss the Dodgers missed a great chance to take a strangle-hold on their first round NLDS series against the Nationals.
After Corey Seager’s first inning solo home run the opportunities were a-plenty for the Dodgers. The Dodgers would load the bases in the second inning and come up empty as Rich Hill would strike out and Chase Utley would ground out.
Josh Reddick would single home a run in the third giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. With the bases loaded and one out Yasmani Grandal would ground into a double-play.
In the 5th the Dodgers would load the bases again only to see Grandal strike out and Howie Kendrick line out to left. The Dodgers had another great chance in the 6th with runners at first and second and two outs only to have Adrian Gonzalez fly out to left.
Mistakes are magnified in the post-season. One mistake, one bad approach at the plate could end your season. For the Dodgers, these at-bats in run-scoring situations need to get better. I do give the Nationals a ton of credit for making quality pitches in big spots, but if you want to advance the approach needs to be better.
Today’s Game 3 has high stakes for both clubs. The Dodgers need to solve a left-handed pitcher in Gio Gonzalez. It’s no surprise lefties are the Dodgers kryptonite, hitting a league worst against south-paws with the lowest on base and slugging percentages as well.
The Nationals know a win today puts them a win away from advancing to the League Championship Series for the first time since they were playing in Montreal.
As I said before the series, the team who hits better with runners on base and gets better work out of the bullpen will win this series. So far it has proven to be true.
Bleeding Dodger Blue….enjoy the game !