NLDS Games Five, 2019

FYI, the 630 comments on the Dodgers’ Game Three post was the fourth-highest ever on this blog. The three higher all occurred during the 2017 World Series: Game Five — 1,022; Game Seven, — 691; and Game Three — 638.

On this date in baseball history Woodrow Wilson became the first President to attend a World Series game in 1915, rumors circulated about a fix of the 1919 World Series, Frank Robinson homered off Don Drysdale in the 1966 World Series to complete the sweep, 1-0, and Jeffrey Maier gave Derek Jeter and the Yankees a victory in Game One of the 1996 World Series.

The early game: Cardinals at Braves, 2:02 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Cards’ RHP Jack Flaherty faces the Braves’ RHP Mike Foltynewicz in a rematch of Game Two pitchers. The Braves got three runs off Flaherty and won 3-0 in that game behind Foltynewicz’s seven scoreless innings.

Cardinals lineup:

Braves lineup:

The late game: Nationals at Dodgers, 5:37 PM PDT, TV: TBS

The Nats send RHP Stephen Strasburg to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Walker Buehler. In Game Two Strasburg gave up one run in six innings while striking out ten. Buehler gave up one hit and no runs in six innings in Game One.

Nationals lineup:

Dodgers lineup:

Hmm. I guess the idea is to hold Freese in reserve for pinch-hitting duties. I can’t see any other reason to start Beaty there.

590 thoughts on “NLDS Games Five, 2019

  1. Joe Posnanski on Game Five:

    Kershaw whiffed Washington’s Adam Eaton on three pitches to end the threat, and the roar was the sort of thing only the Michael Jordans and Tom Bradys and Tiger Woods and Roger Federers can inspire.

    It was wonderful. But let’s be practical, too. It was Adam Eaton at the plate.

    Then came the eighth inning, and there was Kershaw on the mound again. But this time it wasn’t Eaton. It was the Great Rendon.

    This was Roberts managing with the heart.

    Kershaw is not Kershaw anymore. He still holds his own through guile and boldness and sleight-of-hand and duct tape, but the Kershaw who dominated the game is in the history books with Sandy Koufax.

    There was no reason, other than his name, to have him out there to face Rendon and Juan Soto with a two-run lead.

  2. Been busy with teaching (both Monday and Wednesday nights), so I missed the “pleasure” of watching this week’s debacles live. This is three seasons in a row that Robert’s bullpen mismanagement has killed the team. People used to get on Mattingly for his bullpen usage, but Doc has been as bad. Washington had no choice but to change their bullpen usage and go with their starters because their bullpen was terrible all year. The Dodgers’ bullpen was actually pretty good, especially if you remove Yimi and Floro, which they did. There was no need to resort to alternative usage, even given Kenley’s inconsistency.

    Of course, it’s not Doc’s fault that the presumptive MVP has been terrible in the post-season for three straight years now (178/.234/.326, comparatively far worse than Kershaw’s woes). I have no idea how you fix that.

    • Also, it’s been raining and chilly here for a couple of days straight now, so no danger of wildfires back east. Hope all of you are safe and have power.

      • I agree. There are many worse managers, and his people skills are first-rate by all accounts. Maybe he needs to talk to Geren more during games for the in-game stuff.

  3. What I think shoujld have happened: Kershaw gets Eaton in the seventh. Maybe he comes back out to face Rendon as the first hitter in the eighth. After the HR, though, Kolarek should have been brought in to face Soto, since he’d gotten him out the other three times he’d faced him.

    Then, since Kolarek is a LOOGY, whether he got Soto out or just limited him to a base hit other than an HR, Maeda should have come in to face the righties after Soto with the game still 3-2. If he was successful, then Jansen could have come in to save the game in the 9th. Granted he’s not the Jansen he once was either, he still had a whole lot of saves this season.

    • Makes total sense. Or let Kolarek pitch to both Rendon and Soto. Then Maeda. And KJ in the ninth, for sure.

    • Friedman’s the one who didn’t get any competent relief help. Doc mismanaged the bullpen last night, I think, but he didn’t have the wipeout reliever like Andrew Miller was with the Indians three years ago. Joe Kelly was a poor alternative.

  4. The Dodgers’ offense managed two hits after the second inning. Along with Roberts’ going with Kershaw, arguably his third or fourth best option, that did them in.

    There was a graphic on SportsCenter last night which showed the top five pitchers with the highest postseason ERAs, minimum 20 innings. Kershaw was second highest, but also on the list were Clemens and Pedro Martinez. One of the ESPN guys said that showed managers were using their hearts and not their heads. I think that’s true of last night. Kershaw is not the Kershaw of five years ago and never will be again.

    • I agree about the offense. I thought we had it twice in the ninth. Will Smith came within a foot or two of winning this.

    • In this series alone, Dave Martinez did the same thing with Patrick Corbin. The belief that all starters can flip the switch to reliever seems overly aggressive.

  5. I woke up this morning and don’t have any anguish. It seems like only a short while ago that we were eagerly awaiting game one of the 2019 season. Now we have an off season. Who knows what will happen then. Hopefully we will have Link graciously hosting us again next year. Thanks to everybody who together make this place fun, friendly, and family.

    • I was doing okay last night, but woke up mad at Doc, and then reading about the game made it worse. His post season decisions regarding pitchers are truly inexplicable. It’s as if he just tosses everything he knows out the window. But next year will be another year. Or something like that. I’m pretty low right now.

      • I’m trying to not blame anybody. If the Dodgers score one run after the second inning there would be no need for a 10th inning.

        Maybe could have taken Kershaw out after the first home run and taken Kelly out after he walked a batter to lead off his second inning. We know what happened so tempting to use hindsight to judge Doc but you were concerned with Doc’s decisions before they didn’t work out so it isn’t just hindsight that make us unhappy with his choices.

        • Exactly. After the Darvish fiasco I am gun-shy about Doc and pitchers. I now get the Athletic and reading Molly Knight, etc., this morning didn’t help. But the concerns are valid. And as she said, bringing Kershaw back out for the heart of the lineup when Maeda was waiting in the pen (after announcing he would be doing so the day before, so that the Nats batters could really dig into their homework) was setting Clay up for failure. And where was Kenley? And Kolarek? Anyway, doesn’t take away from the joy I experienced all season, but today it stings a little more than last night. I tend to do that – have delayed responses to emotional events. When I think about how terrible Clayton must feel my eyes fill.

      • Jimmy Rollins postulating that Jansen may asked to be traded since Doc seemed hesitant to use him. At this point, I don’t see a better alternative, so I hope he doesn’t ask.

      • HIs bullpen decisions were questionable, but today I feel a sense of indifferent resignation because the NL’s two best teams will not be playing the rest of October.

  6. I have been watching my two grandsons all week (3 and 7) so I went to bed early. I got up around three and saw Kershaw’s anguished face on the web site so went back to bed. It has been a great year and I am glad Link does this for all of us as many of you said below.
    Thank you everyone for your company this year.

  7. Would seem a natural place for Klayton to come in with the lefty coming up, but guess they prefer him to start the inning.

  8. I tuned in late and haven’t read all the comments but interesting Roberts chose Kike” over Lux and Pollock. Good decision as it turns out.

  9. The Cards won today 13-1, but they were on the wrong end of an elimination game by a huge score back in 1985. 11-0, as the Royals smashed ’em behind Saberhagen. I seem to remember Andujar going crazy angry in that game.

  10. The only undecided Division Series is Rays v. Astros to be determined at 4:07 PM PDT Thursday on FS1. I don’t think I’ll bother with a game thread.

      • Yep, he nailed it.
        Always thought Jon was too young to remember ’74 though. And I still hate the Yankees (especially Nettles) from ’77 and ’78.
        This isn’t the first or last big game I’ll see the Dodgers will lose though.

  11. Link is a link to our emotions, our ups and downs, the friendships that have been created here, and our love and fanaticism for the Dodgers. Losing this site would be worse that losing this or any other game. Thank you so much, Link.

  12. Well, couldn’t have happened to a nicer team than the Nats, though their fans have been calling for Dave Martinez’ head ever since he started managing there.

  13. At the moment, the bright side is that the Budweisers will have to stay up until midnight to learn where they’re going – ideally, a cross-country flight from Atlanta to LA.

  14. A big thanks once again to Link for keeping this mismatched band of misfits together in this one place. We are in this together, sink or swim

  15. Simply too much emotional involvement over something I have absolutely no control over….I spent most of the day today, Yom Kippur, in synagogue. I atoned, but perhaps I should have prayed more.

  16. My favourite moment(s) of Dodgers 2019 was definitely the Walk-off Weekend with the HR’s from the rookies.

  17. Thanks everybody for all your posts all season long. I appreciate you as friends and sympaticos. See you all . . . in 2021. I am too old for this. Be well and peace.

  18. Given a change to resuscitate his post-season career, Kershaw completedly failed. Given a chance to resuscitate his season, Kelly did the same….It wouldn’t be fair, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Roberts take the fall.

  19. What can the Dodgers do to get through the playoffs? Do they need different players? Do they need different approach? Different coaching?

  20. Top of the order for the Dodgers in the bottom of the 10th. Let’s keep this tied right here.

  21. Just saw- Matt Beaty at first? Wasn’t he terrible there? Or am I thinking about Joc..?

    • SSS – he doesn’t look terrible, but he had committed 3 errors in 21 starts at first.

  22. 5 k’s out of the last 7 Nat batters. It’s just that the other 2 were killers.

  23. The Maier incident was the first game of the 1996 ALCS Yanks-O’s. I remember it well (O’s being my secondary team at that time. Living in DC. FD: they are now my tertiary team, Nats being secondary at this point).

      • If we send a 4th batter to the place here, I suspect he will be pitching the 9th

    • Feeds on itself a bit. Strasburg’s, gutty keeping his team in it tonight mirrored Klayton’s game 2, when people complained about his performance. Six innings both left behind 3-1.

  24. I wonder what the plan is now, Kershaw for as long as possible. I wonder if/ when Kenley will be up

    • Soto has his own designated pitcher and maybe Maeda for Rendon. Will be interesting to see which way Doc goes. tough for him to keep Klayton off the mound however.

  25. Are they planning on using Walker again this postseason? It’s Game 5 of the DS not the WS.

  26. Meant to say Link – thanks for the stats update re: number of comments. We were so close to moving into third place!

  27. Still not sure if Bellinger’s at bat was positive or not in terms of his hitting.

  28. Joined a Film Noir Facebook group a few weeks ago and they have been having some watch parties. Hope it’s not meaningful that I switched over to watch this game after watching Nightmare Alley.

  29. Overture, curtains, lights,
    This is it, the night of nights
    No more rehearsing and nursing a part
    We know every part by heart

    Overture, curtains, lights
    This is it, you’ll hit the heights
    And oh what heights we’ll hit
    On with the show this is it.

  30. I’m still knocked out by that defensive play to get Altuve yesterday. Kiermaier read the carom perfectly and made a great throw to Adames, who made a near-perfect relay to D’Arnaud for the putout (a tad to d’Arnaud’s right, but in plenty of time). Optimum defensive execution.

    In retrospect, easy to say the Minute Maids should’ve held Altuve at third with just one out.

    • Not to take anything away from that play – especially the throw from Adames – but on repeated viewings it looked like even if Altuve had arrived before the throw (rather than a micro-second after), he missed the plate with his hand on the slide.
      Regardless – one heck of a play.

  31. I’ve been glancing at Gameday, and it seems odd that the Budweisers are letting their No. 1 starter struggle in one-sided game. 90-plus pitches probably takes him out of the running until Game 3 of the NLCS,

    Still, it looks as if walking the dog will be a more productive use of my time.

  32. Wow. Cardinals just massacring the Braves. 9-0, one out in the first. Three doubles and three walks.