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Dodgers vs. Braves: Four reasons why Los Angeles is on the brink of eliminating NLCS

A serious recurring theme for the Dodgers and their fans became a posteason failure. This season took place in their eighth consecutive NL West title, but they have been famously unsuccessful in the World Series since 1988. The combination of sufferings is that the Dodgers have been a regular juggernaut season in the last three four years, including this one. In 2017, the Dodgers won 104 games but fell to the Astros in seven games in the World Series. Last year, they won 106 games but were frustrated by the Nationals winner in the NLDS.

The Dodgers are currently the author of the best regular season record in baseball and, scaled to a 1

62-game season, played at a 116-win pace. Still, LA finds itself on the verge of relegation against the Braves in the NLCS.

The Braves defeated the Dodgers in Game 4 on Thursday and led the series 3-1. Previously, teams fell 3-1 in a best-of-seven series returning to win that series with just 14.9 percent of the time. In other words, the mighty Dodgers are likely to be tied to a failure in October.

In this particular example, it is worth exploring how they got to this inexplicable position – that is, the Braves had to win three games before one could win. This is not a single thing, as you might expect. Here’s a quick look at how the Dodgers found themselves on the brink of October.

1. One of the best MLB pitch staff has but

During the regular season, the Dodgers’ pit corps are among the best in baseball. They led the majors in ERA and ERA + and ranked second in the runs allowed per game and K / BB ratio. However, in the NLCS, they have not yet met the advanced charging on the pitching front. Going into Game 5, the Braves for the series are batting .275 / .362 / .514, and in related matters, the Dodgers for the series have an ERA of 6.17. To top it off, LA’s rotation in the NLCS has an ERA of 5.12, and the bullpen has an ERA of 6.98. Yes, the Braves have a strong offense, but the Dodgers ’pitch staff can be said to be stronger on a regular basis. Right now, the Braves ’offense dominates the unexpected excess.

2. The Dodgers’ scoring has become too clustered

The Dodgers fell 3-1, but the Braves outscored them with just one run. It was a ritual function of killing the Dodgers in Atlanta in Game 3, which they won 15-3. Take a look at the Dodgers ’overall slash line for the .236 / .341 / .479 series, and it suggests efficiency. Overall, that is true, but here’s the problem:

That explosion in the middle covers their close return in Game 2 and Game 3 where they put 14 runs on the board in the first three innings. Outside of the isolated storm, Dodger bats are quite tame.

In a strange way, that clustering benefited the Braves to another degree. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker after being buried early was able to churn out low-leverage innings in Game 3, with Huascar Ynoa making the most of the lifting. Across the aisle, Dave Roberts, for good reason on his own, let Julio Urias work five innings and throw a career-high 101 pitches – all after being tied for an 11-0 lead. he picked up the pile for his first pitch. If Roberts pulled Urias after the required first three batters, then he would be available for Game 5. These things matter, the Dodgers have no specific pitching alignment for the thing that should win.

Betts and Smith are two of the Dodgers ’best hitters in the regular season. Betts in his first season with LA bathed .292 / .366 / .562 with 16 homers in 55 games. Throw in his standout defense and base-running, and Betts is fair in the discussion with the NL MVP. Meanwhile, catcher Smith, in 37 games put a line of .289 / .401 / .579, which by positional standards can be described as “especially special.”

However, in the NLCS, Betts had an OPS of only .437, and Smith checked in with a worse score of .313. Smith came from a strong NLDS against the Padres, and Betts made a fairly high level by the first two rounds. However, against Atlanta, these two major bats have not yet helped.

4. Dave Roberts’ slow hook in Game 4

Since the Dodgers lost in Game 4 of eight runs, it may seem like no end. However, determining how to play a game has a critical point lost in the other way is an egg that is impossible to unscramble. All we know is that in the sixth inning of Game 4, Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw – he of complex playoff history – allowed the hits to return to start the frame. The second of those hits, a Freddie Freeman double, gave the Braves a 2-1 lead.

It was brought to Marcell Ozuna on the plate. Ozuna was one of the game’s best hitters in the regular season, and he had previously homered in Game 4. He had a platoon advantage against Kershaw, and he faced him for the third time in the game. Since Kershaw only gave up two hits and the run continued, it seemed like a clear time to summon a right hand from the bullpen. Roberts, however, stuck to his starter. Here is what happened:

From there, the game was resolved in favor of the Braves. If Roberts had made the pretty obvious decision to lift Kershaw and injected into the game a variety of matchups and pitch orders and numbers and everything else, things would have opened up differently. Nobody knows that, but despite the final margin of success it is fair to view that decision as a pivot point.

Simple enough, right? All the Dodgers need to do to overcome their current shortfall and the history that comes with it is to get better build, more consistent pressure, better tactical decisions from the dugout, and better luck. . Yes, it will take a lot for the Dodgers to flip the postseason script they read from too long.

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