Bad news for the Rockies: shortstop Trevor Story left last night’s game against the Dodgers game with an elbow injury.
Story hurt his elbow on a throw in the first inning, but stayed in the game as it didn’t seem serious. He aggravated it in the fourth inning, however, swinging and missing on pitch from Hyun-Jin Ryu. After doing so he walked a few steps up the third base line, crouched down and leaned on his bat, after which he was removed from the game. Story, describing it afterwards:
“I just kind of felt something on a throw when I dove for the ball and then my elbow was a little tight. I just tried to play through it and when I swung through that pitch, kind of extended my arm, I felt it a little more.
He said coming out of the game was “just being cautious,” but he’ll have tests today to determine the severity of his injury.
Story is hitting .288/.343/.550 with 33 home runs, 40 doubles and 25 stolen bases. Along with Nolan Arenado, he has provided the “2” in the Rockies’ 1-2 offensive punch. Him missing time over the season’s final two weeks, as the Rockies sit just behind the Dodgers in the NL West and both the Dodgers and Cardinals in the race for the second NL Wild Card, would be bad news.
The book heading into the series was that the Dodgers’ starters needed to come up big for them due to questions in the bullpen and that the Brewers’ bullpen was going to dominate Dodgers batters, so they had best do what they can to score off of Milwaukee’s starters. So, of course, the Dodgers starters turned in performances of three and four and a third innings and eight of their nine runs the Brewers have given up have come from their relievers. I dunno, man. It’s baseball. It lends itself to anticipatory analysis worse than any other sport.
All I do know for sure is that this series has been as close as it gets so far, with each game being decided by a run and the outcome being determined late. The first two games have given me a sense that the teams are just feeling each other out and that the next three, in Los Angeles, will provide a bit more coherence to all of this. Not that there isn’t something a bit fun about incoherence when it comes to a playoff series.
Your viewing guide:
NLCS Game 3
Brewers vs. Dodgers
Ballpark: Dodger Stadium
Time: 7:39 PM Eastern
Pitchers: Jhoulys Chacin vs Walker Buehler
Jhoulys Chacin had an excellent NLDS start against the Colorado Rockies, turning in five scoreless innings. If he does something approaching that tonight the Brewers will be in pretty good shape given that Josh Hader — who pitched three shutdown innings in Game one — is available again tonight. To the extent Craig Counsell needs to dig more deeply into his reliever corps, however, things could get dicey. Corbin Burnes, Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel and Joakim Soria have combined to allow seven earned runs in four innings. Brandon Woodruff, who has been dominant thus far, throwing five scoreless innings, stands a good chance of being the opener for Game 4, so Counsell will likely try to keep him off the mound tonight. That puts a decent amount of pressure on Chacin to get the game to Hader with as few innings remaining as possible.
For Los Angeles, it’s Walker Buehler who, the grand slam he gave up to Ronald Acuña in the NLDS notwithstanding, was the Dodgers’ most dominant starter down the stretch. In keeping with the somewhat flipped script so far, however, the Los Angeles bullpen has been solid, allowing just two runs over their ten and two-thirds innings in Games 1 and 2. Not that Dave Roberts wouldn’t love to see Buehler go deep tonight too.