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Dodgers NLCS: Costly Baserunning Blunder Lends to Game 1 Loss



The Dodgers came very close to taking Game 1 of the NLCS and having a big advantage over the Braves. With Los Angeles going with a bullpen game to start the series, pulling out a win in Game 1 would have been huge for Dave Roberts and his pitching staff. 

Instead, the offense once again failed to put up a crooked number in this one. The Dodgers mustered up 2 runs and Austin Riley walked it off in the 9th inning. But there was one crucial mistake in the game that caught the attention of everyone. 

With the Dodgers batting, Chris Taylor got caught between second and third on a base hit by Cody Bellinger. CT got caught in a pickle and the Dodgers ran themselves out of the inning. The worst part? Mookie Betts and the top of the order were coming up.

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After the game, Taylor expressed his frustration with his decision and running the Dodgers out of the inning. He went on to say that he should have just stopped at second base and let the inning play out. For what it’s worth, Doc had said before that he thought he made a good decision to go, he just did not commit to it. 

Joc Pederson’s throw from right field also went to second, not to third where CT was heading. That makes it a little tougher to swallow. Onwards and upwards. They’ll need to put this one behind them and tie up the series on Sunday. 

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Written by Brook Smith

Brook is the Senior Editor of Dodgers Nation, with several years of experience in sports journalism. He is an avid Dodgers and Lakers fan, and can be spotted fairly often at Dodger Stadium and Staples Center.

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  1. Exactly Brook, game 1 is history. No big whoop. It’s going to take a whole slew of miracles for the Braves to win this series. Turn the page and take care of business in game 2, we won’t be seeing anymore tomahawk chops IMHO.

    • They should have no problem winning this series as long as JT wakes up and some of these guys star swinging at first and second strikes pitches!!!
      LET’S GO DODGERS!!!! WAKE UP!!!!
      Muncy, you are sorely missed!!!

  2. That base running error did contribute but Mookie popping out to first in foul territory with a runner on third, one out was more costly. With the infield in a hard ground ball through, a fly ball or here’s a novel approach, a base hit easily drives in a run, so don’t hang that loss on Taylor.

    • Agreed! Why the hell would you bunt the guy over when he’s already in scoring position WITH NOBODY OUT! Bunting over from first fine to get him scoring position.

      • One thing I would have liked to have seen when Taylor was on third with one out and Mookie at the plate, who had looked lost at the plate since his first at bat, was for Roberts to call a classic squeeze drag bunt up the first base line, which would have scored Taylor. Instead we just left Taylor there when you have to get that run in with just one out.

        • Richard, excellent point! Mookie takes a 1-0 middle-middle heater? Really? I’m sorry but everything about game 1 stinks to me like high heaven of MLB directive for ratings. Who would watch a blowout series after the WS is already over?

      • Because getting a runner in from third is a lot easier than from second. With a runner on third, the runner can score on a balk, wild pitch, squeeze, sacrifice fly or host or a regular base hit.

        • Greg, ya? Well tell that to the Braves! They didn’t seem to have any problems with it. When your offense is struggling like the Dodgers has been why do you want to give up outs with a runner already in scoring position?? Give yourself every opportunity to put up a crooked number!

        • Greg, here’s an idea…give CT3 (with great speed) a couple of pitches to see if he can’t steal 3rd! Just sayin.

  3. As Taylor was running towards second he could be seen looking over his shoulder to see where the ball was. He then made the calculated error to run past second and on to third.

    It’s in little league that we learn the fundamentals of the game and it expands as players get older and move up through their baseball careers. But, the fundamentals haven’t changed since little league.

    So I ask, why was Taylor looking back for where the ball was, and why instead wasn’t he looking at his third base coach for direction?

    • That is a good question he should have picked up Dino’s stop sign and should not have been looking back over his shoulder, that was his mistake but it was Jock in right and everybody runs on Jock.

    • Paparulez, very true, but that shouldn’t even have mattered. Way too many LOB. Absolutely atrocious overall game execution! And Dodgers still almost won. This series, for all intents and purposes is over. Going to take a myriad of miracles for the Braves to pull this on off. Dodgers out-hit them 10-6, but through poor execution, somehow found a way to lose. Seriously doubt that happens 3 more times.

  4. Another one of those patented Dodger “should have, could have, would have” loses. Mental and base-running errors have cost the team all year. This was a game we should have won so such a frustrating loss, to be sure, although I can’t be too upset with Taylor since he made some great plays, both fielding and hitting, as well. After his dismal performance last night, let’s hope Mookie comes through in today’s game and Scherzer doesn’t let the Braves kill us with their home run potential.

    • 1955, as much as I like taking a trip down memory lane with Tio, I’m in complete agreement. He fooled me by his nice work vs Wood in the hurricane game.

  5. What happened to the patient at bats? What’s with JT suddenly lookin lost. I’ve never seen him chasing so many bad pitches. His last at bat he chased 3 balls the almost hit the dirt before they even reached home plate. Trea is having an equally tough time. This coming off a fabulous year as well as a killer September. Now he can’t buy anything that resembles a hit. LA needs these two to contribute, especially now with Belli looking much better.

    • Bob C, players have a certain postseason history. JT’s current struggles are out of character for him. Unfortunately Trea’s are not. The example I will forever cite is on other side of that…lifetime.240 hitter Kike “MR OCTOBER” Hernandez who is re-writing the postseason history books. Thank you Dodger FO! (Some say DR, but tough to say)

        • Paul, offense was enough to win game 2. Another game of poor execution on many players’ parts continues for two blown opportunities. Oh well. Just take it one game at a time. Clean up the sloppy play and Dodgers will still win the series.

  6. The Dodgers won the WC game, the NLDS and have an opportunity to even up the NLCS against the Braves, today.
    However, as impressive as the Dodgers’ pitching has been and it’s been consistently outstanding in the postseason, so far, the lack of run production is worrisome.
    From the WC game through last night’s game, 7 games total, the Dodgers are averaging just over 3 runs per game.
    They did a great job with the bats in 2 games against the Giants, scoring 9 runs and 7 runs, respectively, but in the other 5 games, they are averaging just 1.4 runs per game.
    Thankfully, the pitching is carrying this team and they’ve won 2 games in which they scored just 5 runs total (the WC game + Game 5 of the NLDS).

  7. Funny, the more I think about game 1, the more I say this has all the stink of MLB directive all over it! Think about it…CT3 a really smart baseball player making a serious boneheaded play like that. Mookie gets 4 hits in game 5 vs the Giants and then (hits into a double play with a hole as wide as the Grand Canyon on the right side as well as fouling out with CT3 on 3B with one out?) Just makes me go hmmm.

    Nothin in this game surprises me anymore.

  8. Don’t know why I didn’t think of this before…the Braves vs Dodgers is the talent equivalent of the 1988 Dodgers vs the Mets. Only difference, the Braves don’t have Orel (59 scoreless innings) Hershiser! Huge difference IMHO. Dodgers in 5

    • Ok, so Dodgers in 5 no longer possible, but Dodgers in 6 or 7 still not out of the question. Braves will need to keep getting lucky to win.

  9. That was one of the worst decision making by a player that I have ever seen in my life. CT3 should be ashamed of himself. Because of that, he will absolutely be gone after the season is over.

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