I’m sure this stuff happens in every close elimination game, but it’s still the kind of thing that causes your brain to bend a bit and to reflect at just how unpredictable a crazy baseball game can be. From the Post-Dispatch:
La Russa at one point phoned the bullpen to remind his relievers they were to participate in a postgame thanks to the fans barring a late turnaround. The Rangers had shepherded friends and family into a lobby during the eighth inning in anticipation of a celebration.
I think the last job I would ever want to have would be logistics planning for a championship celebration. You have to be ready for the stuff to go down as expected, but there is so much freaking pressure to not have one of those hubris moments in which the team that looks like it’s going to win is preparing early in such a way that could become bulletin board material.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.