Like, the literal stroke or swing he had before. He told Bill Shaikin yesterday about the adjustments he’s had to make since hurting his shoulder at the end of 2010 and how his efforts to go back to that old uppercut swing have not paid off for him:
“Last year, I tried to go back to the swing I had before I got hurt,” he said. “I tried it for the whole first half, with horrible results” … He said he is most effective now with a flatter swing that generates more line drives, rather than an upward swing that produces more power.
We’ll call it a reverse Palmiero, I suppose. And for what it’s worth, if he can keep his average up over .300 and hit doubles at the clip he’s hit them at these past couple of years, it’s totally doable. Even if it’s not what Boston and L.A. thought they were getting when they acquired him.
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.