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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Inside the historic first inning that saved the Los Angeles Dodgers’ season

This outburst started at 5:07 p.m. local time with Mookie Betts chopping a ball down the third-base line and legging out a ball that a replay review turned into a single. Seager scored him with a double. Following groundouts by Justin Turner and Muncy, the Dodgers went double, walk, homer, homer, walk, pitching change, walk, single, hit by pitch, grand slam. In the inning, they hit five balls at 105-plus mph. They feasted on fastballs, with six of their seven hits coming off heaters. By the time 5:39 p.m. rolled around and Dayton struck out Will Smith, the Dodgers had turned those among the crowd of 10,664 at Globe Life Field wearing Braves jerseys into human mute buttons.

There was, as Atlanta learned last year, no answer for an inning like that: The Braves had experienced it in the first inning of their win-or-go-home Game 5 in the division series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Because this one came with a far better cushion—one more time, just in case you forgot, Atlanta still leads this series—it wasn’t nearly as painful. But one wouldn’t deem it pleasant, either.

“Quite honestly, we’re in better shape than if we grinded out a 7-5 loss,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “We wanted to win the game and all, but when you look, I can say the last four hours were not a lot of fun. If we had to lose the game, that probably was the best possible way.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 15, 2020 at 10:10 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, nlcs

Monday, October 12, 2020

Dodgers vs. Braves: Why first pitches could be X-factor that decides NLCS

MLB teams hit .353 with a .597 slugging percentage on the first pitch this season. There is some selection bias here though, because when a player swings at the first pitch, it’s usually because he gets something good to hit. If everyone started swinging at the first pitch all the time, the league wouldn’t hit .353 on the first pitch much longer.

The Braves had the third-highest batting average (.399) and the highest slugging percentage (.788) on the first pitch during the regular season. Their 26 first-pitch homers led baseball and some of the individual numbers are incredible:....

These are two excellent offensive teams and it is not a coincidence they are two excellent first-pitch hitting teams. Walks are great, but the Braves and Dodgers go up to the plate ready to hit. When they get something hittable in the zone, they pounce. Working the count is a secondary concern. They’re up there to do damage.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 12, 2020 at 10:09 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, nlcs

 

 

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