Unconvetional Wisdom: Five things we learned from the NLDS
During the regular season L.A. played just three games with both
It was no surprise that the Phillies dispatched the Brewers in four games, although they were something shy of impressive in doing so. They scored in just five innings in the four games. They hit .171 with runners in scoring position in the series and scored just 15 runs. The Brewers bullpen, which trailed only the Mets pen in late-season agonies, held the Phillies to one run -- a solo homer late in Game 4 -- in 18 innings. Most worrisome was the absence of the Phillies¹ stars:
The idea, passed down through generations, is that to win in October you have to be able to manufacture single runs using bunts, steals, hit-and-runs and the occasional incantation. The truth is the opposite; against quality pitching the ability to generate one or more runs with one swing of the bat is key, because against good pitchers it's difficult to run long-sequence offenses that require multiple events. You need to maximize the runs you score at one time, because opportunities are rare. That means putting up a crooked number. The Phillies outhomered the Brewers 5-1. The Dodgers outhomered the Cubs 4-1. The team hitting more homers in a game was 4-0 in the NLDS. In all seven NLDS games the winning team scored more runs in one inning than the loser did in the entire game. To win in October, play for the big inning and don't give away outs.
They may miss
By winning a tight wild-card race, bringing October baseball back to Milwaukee and generating towel-waving, Thunderstick-banging excitement for a weekend, owner
They don't need to make radical changes, and in fact, should actively avoid overreacting in the wake of a second straight NLDS sweep, this on the heels of an NL-best 97-64 record. They had the misfortune of drawing a Dodgers squad that was not only better on Oct. 1 than it had been all year, but whose staff of power right-handers was a brutal matchup for the Cubs¹ righty-heavy lineup. Chad Billingsley and