Los Angeles- The Los Angeles Dodgers has respectively concluded their 162nd regular season baseball game. But baseball isn’t officially over for the boys in blue; they earned a spot in the playoffs and will be taking their talents to Turner Field to face Atlanta in the National League Division series on Thursday night.
After owning the National League West, the Dodgers are primed to compete for a World Series. The Braves are a tough team, but the Dodgers are tougher because they have pitching aces Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke taking the mound in the first two games. There is no reason why the Dodgers should not be confident with the ball in their hands.
“We’ve got Clayton and Zack going the first two days,” Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. “Anything can happen.”
Kershaw finished the regular season with a 16-9 record, striking out 232 batters and a 1.83 ERA. Greinke, Kershaw’s partner in crime, finished the year 15-4 with 148 strikeouts and a 2.63 ERA.
Can the Braves handle the dynamic duo in Game 1 and Game 2?
If you have followed the Braves this year you are aware that they are (40-41), and just one game over .500 on the road. If the Dodgers can steal one or two games on their field, it’ll give them a huge advantage to win the NLDS.
“It’s not going to be easy,” Hanley Ramirez said. “We’ve got to do the little things and try to win Game 1. I think that’s the key. Not try to do too much.”
And if the Dodgers bats are wide-awake, they can be a very alarming team.
Not to take anything away from the Braves, but the Dodgers have proven to overcome challenges. When they faced the Mets last month, they came from behind to win every single night in a three-game series.
The Dodgers have experienced fairytales and nightmares throughout the entire season. They learned on Sunday afternoon that their star player would be unavailable for the playoffs. Matt Kemp was compelled to shutdown all physical activity when it comes to baseball. He suffered an ankle sprain July 21st in Washington D.C., and has yet to fully recover.
After being scratched from the lineup on Saturday due to stiffness, Kemp consulted with the team’s doctor. His x-rays came back negative, but the MRI showed swelling around the talus bone in his left ankle.
Mattingly still have high hopes in his squad and believe they have enough talent to win the prize.
“I don’t think anybody out there in that room is willing to give this thing up because Matt is hurt. Without saying this in a bad way, we played all year long without Matt. We went 42-8 without Matt,” Mattingly said. “We’re capable of winning. We’re not going to rollover. Obviously if you don’t have Andre and you don’t have Matt you’re not as good as you could be. But we’re still good enough to win.”
The Dodgers have a killer instinct and they find ways to win games. They’re grinders. Of course, not having Kemp inserted in the lineup is a bit concern, but don’t think about it too much. They have the attitude and heart of a champion.