Maybe it’s the cold medicine talking, or maybe my mind has just been altered by the Braves loss and I’m willing to accept anything at the moment, but this quote from Adam Wainwright in Jesse Spector’s article previewing tomorrow’s Cards-Pirates showdown makes a lot of sense, regardless of the syntax.
Wainwright, who faces off against the rookie Garret Cole in Game 5, had this to say when asked if playoff experience matters:
“I think it can. Experience is one of those things where if you think it helps you it, does, and if you don’t think it does, it doesn’t. If you don’t have it, and you wish you had it, and you think you’re at a disadvantage because you don’t have it, then you are at a disadvantage.”
Or, as Satchel Paige said of age, experience is a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it don’t matter. And I tend to think it doesn’t matter to Gerrit Cole. If it did, he wouldn’t have shut the Cardinals the heck down in Game 2 like he did.
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.