Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2021
For the entire 2021 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers have had an inconsistent offense, and they have demonstrated that during the NLDS. Winning Wednesday, the Dodgers forced a Game 5 in San Francisco.
Many so-called Dodger fans viewed the 2021 season as a failure when the Dodgers won 106 games, the most wins by a team who earned a world championship the previous year during the divisional era. They could have won 110 games easily if the Dodgers could score regularly. In their two losses during the NLDS, they did not score any runs. They have been too reliant on the home run to score, and during the postseason, the Dodgers have won every game they have homered.
Without having Max Muncy in the lineup because of a massive elbow , the Dodgers have decreased power. However, Chris Taylor and Cody Bellinger reappeared as offensive forces in the Dodger lineup. While Bellinger has not hit a home run during the 2021 postseason, he has had important hits and walks in every victory this postseason. His offensive production during both National League Wild Card and NLDS has been a pleasant surprise after he hit .165 with 10 home runs. Perhaps this time is only time that Bellinger is healthy.
Manager Dave Roberts have a choice of sacrificing the outfield defense and adding to the by playing Gavin Lux or going with a better defense with playing Taylor in the outfield. Before September, Lux did not play in the outfield ever, and his offensive production was sketchy., like many Dodger fans, was disappointed President Andrew Friedman did not trade Lux at the deadline since Lux had not performed well in the Major Leagues.
Lux was promoted in the middle of September to play outfield. On many fly balls, Lux made them an adventure, including when he ran into Bellinger and cracked his rib and then he injured himself when he ran into the wall at Dodger Stadium. If the Dodger offense was working well, Roberts would never consider starting Lux, but the Dodgers need his offense. In September, Lux hit. .367 with one home run.
Coming off his best season as a Dodger, AJ Pollock has had trouble with the slider during the postseason. Because of this, no one will criticize Roberts for sitting Pollock to play inexperienced Lux.
To win Game 5, the Dodgers must adjust to Logan Webb’s pitching. I think they can if they will understand they can help their chances for going to the NLCS. They led the National League in walks during 2021. Pitching in the first elimination game of his career, Webb should be nervous, and it will be difficult to duplicate his magnificent first start of the NLDS. During this important series, the Dodgers have demonstrated they have a much better bullpen than the Giants. If they can score at least three runs, the Dodgers will advance to the NLCS. Over the past year, the Dodgers have played at least four elimination games, and the Giants have never played an elimination game. During the NLDS, the Dodgers have not committed an error whereas the Giants have committed three errors.
Julio Urìas has vast experience pitching in high pressure and succeeded. If the Dodgers play a clean game, their pitchers perform the way they have during the regular season, and their offense can produce, baseball will have a rematch of the Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves.