Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
Where’s the Dodger offense? According to a baseball adage, pitching wins championships, but a team must outscore its opposition to win a game. Twice during the NLDS, the San Francisco Giants have shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Dodgers have no more losses if they want to defend their World Series title.
Monday, Max Scherzer pitched brilliantly for seven innings even though he allowed a solo home run to Evan Longoria. Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen also were impressive.
The Giants held the Dodgers to five hits, and two of them belonged to Albert Pujols, who left the game in the fifth inning for a pinch runner Billy McKinney. While Cody Bellinger had the biggest hit on Saturday, he never came to bat Monday.
Entering the NLDS, the Dodgers should have known runs would be at a premium. The Giants have a fantastic pitching staff, but the Dodgers could have competed with them. However, on the last Sunday of the regular season, a Brewer runner collided with Max Muncy and dislocated his right elbow. Muncy cannot play during the NLDS.
Although Muncy’s batting average of .250 is not impressive, his 36 home runs and a .395 on-base percentage are impossible to replace. He always demonstrates patience at the plate and is a good example for his teammates. During the NLDS, the Dodgers, unusual for them, have been chasing balls out of the strike zone, and this has been making retiring Dodgers easier for the Giant pitching staff than it should be.
During the regular season, many baseball-knowledgeable people worried the Dodgers were too reliant on home runs to score. Only in Game #2, the Dodgers hit a home run, a solo shot by Will Smith whereas the Giants have homered in their two victories.
To win the series, the Dodgers must have several run-producing rallies while keeping the Giants silent.