Nevertheless, it very much feels like the Los Angeles Dodgers are playing Alabama to the Atlanta Braves’ Nowhere Tech. It’s not just that after two games of their National League Division Series the Braves remain scoreless. It’s not that the Dodgers have outscored them 9-0 after Friday’s 3-0 victory in Game 2. It’s not that the Dodgers have hit 1,999 feet of home runs in two nights to Atlanta’s zero. No, what it feels like is that hitter for hitter and pitcher for pitcher, this series is an utter mismatch.
“You know, it’s just not one guy,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said after Game 2. “It’s a complete team thing right now, as far as the lack of offense. You can’t blame any one person. I mean it’s just our whole lineup is having a hard time, struggling offensively right now.”
This is what happens when a team doesn’t hit. It creates an illusion of a mismatch, an exaggeration that the gap between two teams is greater than it really is. Both Dodgers starting pitchers in the series — Hyun-Jin Ryu on Thursday and Clayton Kershaw on Friday — carved up Atlanta’s lineup in a fashion that looked effortless, though we know that plenty of effort was being expended.nfl cheap nike jerseys
“Like I say, collectively we’re not swinging the bats well, and on top of that we faced two guys that they just didn’t miss,” Snitker said. “They didn’t miss. They didn’t miss locations. They didn’t make any mistakes for two games, for 18 innings. It was two guys that were about as pinpoint as you could be.”
It’s a fair point, but teams have gone up against hot starters in the postseason many times over the years, even teams that had more than one hot pitcher going at once. But no team has done what the Braves have done — or not done, might be the better way to put it — the past two nights. Well one team has: According to ESPN Stats & Information research, Atlanta became the second team to start a postseason series on the wrong end of back-to-back shutouts. The other was the 1921 New York Giants.
L.A.’s domination of the Braves’ offense has been thorough. Atlanta has struck out 15 times in the series and drawn zero walks. The Braves didn’t get a batter past second base in Game 1. They at least got two baserunners to third in Game 2. Sort of — Ronald Acuna Jr. provided Atlanta’s offensive highlight of the series by doubling into the left-center-field gap on Kershaw’s first pitch of the night. cheap official nike nfl jerseys He was stranded at third when Kershaw dropped a 1-2 hook that froze Nick Markakis in his tracks.
The Braves’ other runner to reach third did so in the ninth against closer Kenley Jansen. They’ll probably leave that sequence out of the Braves’ season highlight reel. Acuna lined a sharp single to reach base, then reached third on back-to-back defensive indifference plays. You don’t see that every day. Anyway, Friday’s shutout marked the seventh straight game in which the Braves have scored zero or one run.
On the other side of the ledger, all that Dodgers home run mileage has come on five bombs. They’ve drawn 12 walks. They’ve scored first-inning runs both nights, so L.A. has had the lead at the end of all 18 innings in the series. You can see why the Alabama vs. Nowhere Tech mismatches come to mind.