A lot of weird things happened during Game 5 of the NLCS at Dodger Stadium Wednesday.
The Milwaukee Brewers set the tone for weirdness early by starting Wade Miley and pulling him after facing just one batter. He’ll start Game 6 now, making him the first hurler to start consecutive postseason games since some dude named George Earnshaw in 1930.
Then, there was Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He bounced back from a rough start to toss seven innings of one-run ball, allowing just three hits on two walks and nine strikeouts. This was the 106th time he’s struck out at least that many hitters in a game, but just the fourth occurrence in which all of his punchouts came on breaking pitches.
And finally, there’s the Dodgers offense. They fought back from a 2-1 series deficit by winning consecutive games at home before heading back to Miller Park Friday. They’re now just one win away from capturing the National League pennant for the second consecutive year, and how they’ve gotten to this point will make you scratch your head.
Why exactly is this significant? Well, for the obvious reasons mentioned in the above tweet, but hitting dingers and winning ballgames are what the Dodgers have done all year.
Los Angeles hit 235 home runs during the regular season, second in baseball to only the New York Yankees, who slugged 267 dingers. This number not only led the Senior Circuit, but it was the second consecutive season in which the Dodgers broke the franchise homer record. This cumulative total was reached thanks to seven different players belt 20-plus bombs, which is an NL record.
The Dodgers have clearly leaned on home runs throughout a season in which they captured their sixth consecutive NL West title. However, the exact opposite has happened in order to get them to the brink of reaching back-to-back Fall Classics in 40 years.
Baseball, man. Gotta love it.
About Matt Musico
Matt Musico currently manages Chin Music Baseball and contributes to The Sports Daily. His past work has been featured at numberFire, Yahoo! Sports and Bleacher Report. He’s also written a book about how to become a sports blogger. You can sign up for his email newsletter here.