The Dodgers lost 2 out of 3 in Atlanta this past weekend. Overall there were a lot of concerned Dodger fans in the Dodger ether. Not this one, though. I would’ve liked to see them win these games, for sure. It was certainly frustrating to see the Dodgers fail with RISP, but alas. I also recognized a profound difference between this series, and what a playoff series would look like. A handful of other Dodger fans also noticed.
The #Dodgers managed the series like they're looking ahead.
The Braves managed the series like they needed to win it.
That's what is take for a team to take 2 of 3 from LA.
— Frank Martinez?? (@FrankTalkLA) August 18, 2019
The Braves Threw The Kitchen Sink At LA
In that 3 game series, we saw all the Braves had to offer. They started their rookie phenom Mike Soroka. They used Sean Newcomb in relief against the Dodgers for past history reasons. Shane Greene closed the Dodgers out, as well. For the Dodgers, Kenta Maeda and Tony Gonsolin started games 1 and 3 of the series, respectively. In an NLDS/NLCS there’s little to no way we see Maeda or Gonsolin start a game, at least to start. Dustin May came out of the bullpen for the first time in his life, and because of that he struggled. Names like Yimi Garcia, Kristopher Negron, they’re not likely to be seen in a playoff scenario. The Dodgers used some unconventional names and unconventional strategies as test balloons in a series where the Braves (playing at home) played their very best all 3 days. The other interesting part of the series is that the part of the Dodgers ordinarily decried for being their weakest link, performed quite well.
‘Pen Is Mightier
Other than the massive bomb that Dustin May gave up, the bullpen performed well during the 3 game series.
Outside of May’s grand slam the bullpen didn’t surrender a run the entire series against Atlanta. Braves are the second best team in the NL and the bullpen completely shut them down.
— Randi ?? (@dodgers_randi) August 19, 2019
Only Dustin May’s home run sticks out. Otherwise, the bullpen allowed not a single run to the mighty Atlanta Braves. This is obviously surprising, but encouraging. Kenley Jansen had a clean inning, Joe Kelly worked out of trouble. Adam Kolarek was effective, as was Pedro Baez. Julio Urias (who we’re still likely to see out of the bullpen in the playoffs) was also efficient.
A Few Things To Work Out
Granted, there were some concerns. On Saturday the Dodgers only managed 2 runs, while going 1 for 7 with RISP, and they left 10 runners on base. Not ideal. Hyun-Jin Ryu also had the rare tough outing, but that’s not something I think is likely to repeat. The lineups are (hopefully) more likely to be a bit more cohesive, resulting in fewer innings ending with a lot of men on base.
This Braves team is better than the Braves team the Dodgers saw in 2018. That said, this Dodgers team is way better than the Dodgers team who beat the Braves in the 2018 NLDS. I came away with a better sense of the two teams. The Dodgers pitching staff is better than the Braves. The Braves offense is formidable to be sure, but even the Dodgers offense is statistically better than the Braves. Should the Braves and Dodgers meet in the 2019 playoffs, bring it on!