It is only one game into the National League playoffs, but the Los Angeles Dodgers look to be the clear favorite to reach their third straight World Series. On Thursday, the Dodgers had a complete performance offensively, defensively and pitching in a 6-0 win in game one of the National League Divisional Series.
When it came to pitching, Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler of Lexington, KY was extremely solid. Buehler pitched six innings and only gave up one hit and three walks in 100 pitches of work. He was also able to record eight strikeouts.
Then, when Buehler left after six innings, the Dodgers bullpen shut the Nationals down again. Kenta Maeda and Adam Kolarek of Baltimore, MD each picked up a hold before Joe Kelly of Anaheim, CA pitched a scoreless ninth inning where he had two strikeouts and gave up a double to Trea Turner, who had Washington’s only extra base hit during the evening.
Offensively, the Dodgers got home runs from Joc Pederson of Palo Alto, CA and Gavin Lux of Kenosha, WI. Both Pederson and Lux recorded their blasts as pinch hitters. This was just another example of the remarkable depth the Dodgers have when they are attempting to score runs. Pederson came into the game for first baseman David Freese and Lux came into the pitcher’s spot in the lineup and provided the Dodgers a solo shot which at the time put the Dodgers up 5-0.
One area where the Nationals matchup relatively well with the Dodgers is starting pitching. Max Scherzer of Chesterfield, MO and Stephen Strasburg of San Diego, CA provide the Nationals with a marvelous 1-2 punch. However the Dodgers have four quality starters they can march out at any time. Buehler is joined by Clayton Kershaw of Dallas, TX, Rich Hill of Boston, MA and Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Dodgers look great right now. However one must realize. Anything can happen in the postseason, especially when series are best out of five.