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October 17, 2013

Playoff Prospectus

NLCS Game Five Recap: Dodgers 6, Cardinals 4

by Ben Lindbergh


“An element that was big in the first series against the Braves has finally returned here in the NLCS: the long ball,” Ernie Johnson said to Don Mattingly during the between-innings interview segment managers must love.

“I thought you were talking about runs,” Mattingly answered.

The Dodgers combined for seven runs in the first four games of this series, and they nearly equaled that total with a six-spot on Wednesday. It helped that they remembered how to hit homers. After not hitting any in the first four games of the series, they hit one for each game without one, including two that went farther than the shot Matt Holliday hit on Tuesday. Adrian Gonzalez’s third-inning bomb, which gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead that they would lengthen and then cling to for the rest of the game, was both the first and the longest:

At an estimated distance of 450 feet, according to Home Run Tracker, that was the longest homer hit this postseason, and the longest Gonzalez has hit since 2009. He added another in the eighth, after Carl Crawford and A.J. Ellis had contributed solo shots of their own.

Zack Greinke’s command wasn’t quite as precise as it was in Game One, but he made the homers hold up. The right-hander gave up a single, a walk, and another single to load the bases with nobody out in the top of the first, but he got out of the jam unscathed, striking out Matt Adams and getting Yadier Molina to ground into the first of his two double plays on the day. Greinke also drove in a run with a single in the second.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/17)
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