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Looking ahead to NLDS Game 3: Braves-Dodgers

Oct 6, 2013, 12:38 PM EDT

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The Cardinals and Pirates will open this day of postseason baseball at 4:30 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh. As those two National League Central teams are wrapping things up at PNC Park, the Braves and Dodgers — tied at 1-1 in their best-of-five — will be preparing to get Game 3 underway in Los Angeles. Let’s preview the action-to-come at Dodger Stadium.

Julio Teheran earned a spot in Atlanta’s starting rotation with a sensational spring and kept right on rolling through the regular season, posting a 3.20 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 170/45 K/BB ratio in 185 2/3 frames. The 22-year-old righty from Colombia boasts a mid-to-low 90s fastball that he throws on over 63 percent of his deliveries and a slider, curve and changeup that carry varying degrees of effectiveness. Teheran was ranked a Top 100 prospect by Baseball America in four different preseasons and has the raw goods to put up zeroes at any time against any lineup. But he’s one of the youngest starters in this tournament and this will be his first time pitching in an October game.

Also pitching for the first time in the Major League Baseball playoffs will be Dodgers Game 3 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, a 26-year-old offseason import from South Korea. It seemed like an overpay when the Dodgers put up a $25.74 million posting fee for Ryu in November and then handed the left-hander a six-year, $36 million contract. But 11 months later that deal looks like a bargain. Ryu registered a superb 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 154/49 K/BB ratio over his first 192 major league innings this season and the conditioning concerns that arose early in spring camp never developed into anything more than baseball blog fodder.

Ryu was spotted wearing a sleeve on his left elbow last week and he threw a bullpen session Friday in front of team surgeon Neal ElAttrache, medical director Stan Conte and manager Don Mattingly. But the Dodgers are denying that there is an injury and Ryu reported feeling completely fine after his Friday workout.

The lineups should be posted at some point this afternoon. We wouldn’t expect any big surprises.

  1. apkyletexas - Oct 6, 2013 at 12:57 PM

    Are you going to mention the fact that Yasiel Puig played too shallow in the second inning on Andrelton Simmons’ 2nd inning double in Game 2, allowing the ball to get past him to the wall for a run-scoring double? In a one-run loss?

    Because it seems like a fitting topic, given HBT’s article titled “Remember when Yasiel Puig was gonna cost the Dodgers a playoff game with his recklessness?” three days ago.

    • Jon Weisman - Oct 6, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Even if you were to assume that Puig positioned himself in that spot and wasn’t put there by the Dodgers’ coaching staff – which seems like a tenuous assumption – and ignore the fact that it was Greinke who gave up a hard-hit ball to the gap, how did this cost the Dodgers the game? At worst, he contributed a small part to allowing one run out of the four the Dodgers allowed, while also later keeping a potential rally alive by hustling to beat out an infield hit. Why would the loss be on him?

      That’s what makes the argument about him costing the Dodgers games so ridiculous. Many players contribute both ways, and the idea of singling him out as the villain is preposterous. All that was pointed out during Game 1 is a reminder of that – not that he single-handedly won the game by any means, but that he provides a great many positives that more than balance his negatives. Game 2 wasn’t his best game, but really, you’re gonna hang “Puig’s outfield positioning” as the reason the Dodgers lost? More than the three double plays on offense, the caught stealing or the catastrophe of the seventh inning, which he had nothing to do with?

      This isn’t to say Puig is a non-factor, but the whole point is to have some perspective. No one said Puig won Game 1 by himself – people just noted what he did because inevitably, someone like you would take his first “mistake” (assuming that this even was one) and blow it up into something out of proportion.

      • apkyletexas - Oct 6, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        I did not say Puig’s poor defensive positioning cost the Dodgers the game.

        I am saying that in light of HBT’s article stating that his reckless play would NOT cost the Dodgers a playoff game, you have to talk about that play in that context.

        I thought it was worse when Gonzalez and Puig had back-to-back rally killing 4-pitch strikeouts against David Carpenter in the 8th, immediately after Hanley Ramirez’ 2-run HR got them back within a run. But I’ve said it since Puig joined the team – lack of plate discipline and reckless play are definitely going to hurt them at the worst times.

  2. egb234 - Oct 6, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    “Playing too shallow” in the second inning is not an example of recklessness that costs the team a win, and it does not fit the type of behavior that people were reacting to earlier in the season. Unless you are privy to how the Dodgers positioned Puig and whether he was subverting a game plan than you are just making crap up.

    Puig haters are obsessed. It’s really kind of weird.

    • apkyletexas - Oct 6, 2013 at 1:59 PM

      I was referring to a specific article in which HBT said his reckless play won’t have any adverse effect on playoff games. I think in light of his play in game 2, HBT needs to at least revisit the subject.

      • daveitsgood - Oct 6, 2013 at 2:20 PM

        except that your premise is based on him playing too shallow is considered reckless. It’s a flawed premise as many have pointed out that it’s not the same as the other points have illustrated i.e. trying to take extra bases and being thrown out by 10 feet or making ill advised throws and allowing the trail runner to move up extra bases. To say that his defensive positioning was poor in hindsight of an opposite field line drive double, sure, but that’s the benefit of hindsight, but to call it reckless? even in context that’s a stretch. That’s like calling the tigers bullpen selection and defensive positioning in the 9th inning was “reckless”

      • egb234 - Oct 6, 2013 at 2:28 PM

        You misunderstood the HBT article. It did not say that Puig’s reckless play wouldn’t hurt the Dodgers. It was mocking the series of articles written earlier in the season that all but guaranteed Puig would cost the Dodgers a game.

        You also misunderstood the articles that HBT was mocking, because they were not referring to Puig playing too shallow to catch a lined shot hit to the warning track or to striking out.

        Puig’s positioning was not reckless. Puig striking out at an inoportune time was not reckless.

        Was Paco Rodriguez reckless for failing to retire Heyward? Nope.

        It’s baseball. There’s a lot of failure involved both for people who are perceived a passive and people who play aggressively.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Oct 6, 2013 at 2:32 PM

        Don’t pass your obsession off on others.

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