2013 NLDS Game 2: Dodgers @ Braves

October 4, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Posted in 2013 NLDS, Game Threads | Leave a comment

turner

As expected, the Dodgers roll out the exact same lineup as they did in Game 1, other than swapping out Clayton Kershaw for Zack Greinke. The Braves do as well, so I guess we get more Evan Gattis in left field, so that’s pretty fun. No Scott Van Slyke against lefty Mike Minor, but I don’t think any of us really expected otherwise.

Not to shortchange Greinke, but I’m still not entirely over what Kershaw did last night. As I wrote at FanGraphs this afternoon, he not only blew away the Braves by abandoning his fastball after the third inning last night, he did so with the help of A.J. Ellis:

Dodgers
Braves
LF
Crawford
CF
Heyward
2B
M.Ellis
RF
J.Upton
SS
Ramirez
1B
Freeman
1B
Gonzalez
LF
Gattis
RF
Puig
C
McCann
3B
Uribe
3B
C.Johnson
CF
Schumaker
SS
Simmons
C
A.Ellis
2B
E.Johnson
P
Greinke
P
Minor

While all appropriate credit is due to Kershaw here, it’s important to remember the role the catcher has in this situation; in this case, Ellis and Kershaw are close friends (and occasional parody television show hosts), and it was the backstop who made the call to change the game plan:

**Ellis said the light bulb went on when Andrelton Simmons was handcuffed by a slider to strike out with runners on the corners to put down a fourth-inning rally.

“It was an unhittable 3-2 slider and it set the tone for the rest of the game,” Ellis said. “It reminded me how good his slider is and we had to use it more. That’s him right there. The pitcher he’s become, not just the thrower.”**

Of course, Greinke comes into this game on a streak that’s worthy of Kershaw, allowing two earned runs or fewer in 15 of his last 16 starts. Minor’s very good, but for the second game in a row, the Dodgers have the definite advantage on the mound. A win tonight would send them back home up 2-0, with a chance to clinch behind Hyun-jin Ryu on Sunday.

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Dodgers tickets

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