By: James “Jeep” DiCioccio
The Los Angeles Dodgers have taken the first two games in the 2017 NLDS as they head into an elimination game in Arizona.
The first game was claimed with ease, as third baseman Justin Turner continues to produce at a high level. He collected three hits and five RBI’s. Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig each contributed two hits and two RBI’s to round out the scoring effort for the Dodgers. Their pitching was sufficient, as they relinquished four earned-runs to the relentless Arizona offense, and the final ended up being 9-5. This game provided a huge turn in momentum for this Los Angeles team and its fanbase after such a terrible month of September.Embed from Getty Images
Game two presented a more all-around team effort. Chris Taylor, Corey Seager, Logan Forsythe, and Austin Barnes each chipped in one RBI in the winning effort. For the second night in a row, Yasiel Puig drove in two, as his bat has ignited this offense and propelled the Dodgers to consecutive playoffs wins to open up their postseason campaign. Kenley Jansen threw 1.2 innings of shutout relief, resuming his dominance of the regular season.Embed from Getty Images
Many writers and reporters had this ballclub written off after their 11-game losing streak during the month of September. But maybe, just maybe, this streak happened to be a good thing for this young team to experience. Players like Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor have really never endured an elongated stretch of miscues and defeats, due in large part to the sheer dominance that was put on display by the Dodgers during the first half of the regular season. Every Major League team weathers a rough patch at some point during the season, and it was probably the best thing for LA to go through, especially right before the playoffs began. It replaced the complacency that they had obtained through constant victory with a sense of urgency.
In the year 2000, the New York Yankees won just five out of 21 games in September, limping and crawling their way into the playoffs. They had the best record in baseball up until September. A positive for the Dodgers to observe is that they did not relinquish the number one seed like the Yankees did that year. And the Yankees, despite playing a much tougher postseason schedule, still ended up rolling through the ALDS and ALCS, clinching World Series berth. They swept the Mets in the “Subway Series”, capturing their 26th World Championship.
This losing streak could provide the spark which rekindles the Los Angeles Dodgers’ flame, carrying them through the postseason and crowning them the kings of the Fall Classic.Embed from Getty Images
James “Jeep” DiCioccio