The Arizona Diamondbacks faced Clayton Kershaw and while they had brief, fleeting moments of hope, the Los Angeles Dodgers came out victorious.
The loss was drawn out and it was rough.
Despite the Diamondbacks having four solo home runs off Clayton Kershaw, including back-to-back shots in the seventh inning, hopeful moments were few and far between.
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However, there were several takeaways the Diamondbacks (and fans) can gain from the first game of the NLDS.
And remember, it was only one loss. There are at least two more games, more if the Diamondbacks pull out some wins.
1. Torey Lovullo over-managed Game 1
There has been a nice uproar on social media when Lovullo doesn’t make changes to improve the lineup.
However, I think he was in his head about facing Clayton Kershaw and the overthinking led to some interesting decisions.
Sure, Jeff Mathis hit a home run off Kershaw eventually, but Chris Iannetta has better career numbers and that can’t be ignored. Lovullo left Jake Lamb out of the lineup and I understand why, but he could have been a wild card against Kershaw.
2. The Dodgers aren’t invincible
Clayton Kershaw is a scary man to face. Even the announcers were putting him in the same category as Sandy Koufax, which has been done before.
There’s no doubt that he’s heading to the Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible. But, his postseason form came out not once, but four times.
The Dodgers could argue that Kershaw should not have been back out for the seventh inning, but he was still under 100 pitches and that is nothing new to him.
But, A.J. Pollock, J.D. Martinez, Ketel Marte and Jeff Mathis all took him deep.
Other than that, the Diamondbacks only had one other hit and three walks. It wasn’t a great showing by the offense, but it proves that the Dodgers aren’t invincible.
The Diamondbacks won the season series against them and it is possible to still win the NLDS too.
3. Trust the depth of the roster
Four pinch-hitters came in throughout the game.
Gregor Blanco and Jake Lamb didn’t get on base, but they didn’t strikeout. It isn’t much but it’s hopeful.
But, Christian Walker got a base hit off Tony Watson and Daniel Descalso drew a walk from Kenley Jansen.
That’s a .333 batting average with a walk from the bench.
That doesn’t even begin to cover the great few innings the Diamondbacks got from Zack Godley out of the bullpen and David Hernandez striking out the side after giving up a leadoff triple to Yasiel Puig.
The Diamondbacks have the depth to win these games. They have pitchers who can shut down innings out of the bullpen and bench players who are just as dangerous as anyone else in the lineup.
It wasn’t their day in Game 1, but Game 2 is another story and then the series will come home to Chase Field.
"Arizona Diamondbacks: Much anticipated NLDS against Dodgers begins"
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