The Dodgers Lose Game 2 Despite a Late-Inning Offensive Explosion

Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

The Los Angeles Dodgers came back from a 7-run deficit to lose to the Atlanta Braves 8-to-7. In a possible 7-game series, the Dodgers are down 0-2.

If a person reads Twitter, he will think the Dodgers were a last-place team with a lousy manager. This is nonsense. I have been a Dodger fan since 1977. I have always observed a person cannot too high or too low in baseball. Yes, the Dodgers have a mountain to climb to advance to the World Series, but they can do it.

In 1981, the Dodgers had lost the first two games in the World Series, and then, the Dodgers became world champions. Tommy Lasorda like Dave Roberts was extroverted and positive. Like this year, the 1981 Dodgers played an extra round in the playoffs against the divisional-rival Houston Astros. Unlike in 2020 Dodgers, the 1981 Dodgers lost the first 2 games in the Astros’ series, but they won three straight.

Before Tuesday’s game, the Dodgers scratched left-handed starter Clayton Kershaw who had back spasms during his bullpen session on Sunday. Since 2011, Kershaw has been considered the best pitcher in the Major Leagues, including winning three Cy Young Awards. However, since 2016, Kershaw’s back has been troublesome.

Having a team’s ace scratched before an NLCS game is depressing. Despite an awful line score, rookie right-hander Tony Gonsolin pitched as well as anyone could expect from any pitcher who had not pitched competitively in 17 days.

Roberts had been criticized unmercifully for his handling of the Dodger bullpen during this postseason. Roberts has tried to keep his relievers fresh. Tuesday, except for Jake McGee, Roberts did not use any relievers who performed Monday. Roberts did not use any reliever for too long so that Roberts can use them Wednesday, a must-win for the Dodgers.

Arm-chair managers are know-it-alls who do not have pressure on them. They do not know if a pitcher has a sore arm. In any area in life, it is easier to criticize than to praise. In his five-year tenure as Dodger manager, Roberts has taken his team to the postseason every year. He might not lead the Dodgers to a world championship yet. Dodger fans should know it is extremely difficult to win a world championship.

For the first six innings of Game 2, the Dodger offense looked sleepy. The 22-year-old right-hander Ian Anderson is having the postseason of a pitcher’s dream life since he has not allowed a run during the postseason. While he walked five Dodgers in his 4 innings, Anderson had the same release point for all his pitches, making his pitches difficult to distinguish.

In the seventh inning, the Dodger offense woke up. Corey Seager had a three-run homer and a run-producing double. Mookie Betts finally got a hit, a single. Max Muncy hit a two-run homer. After Will Smith’s single, Cody Bellinger tripled scoring Smith.

The Dodger 4-run inning should curtail the Braves’ cockiness. The Dodgers’ hopes for Game 3 rest on a left arm of a young Mexican pitcher like the 1981 Dodgers relied on a rookie Mexican-native left-hander named Fernando Valenzuela. Julio Urias performed brilliantly last Thursday against the San Diego Padres. His team needs him to pitch well for at minimum five innings. The Dodgers must score early and frequently.

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