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Low on offensive flow? Why Dodgers should be concerned about hitting in NLCS Game 7

By Mike DiGiovanna, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

The Dodgers have seen offensive momentum flow from one game to the next this postseason.

They managed one run and six hits in the first 15 innings of the National League Championship Series before breaking out with seven runs and eight hits, including two homers, in the final three innings of an 8-7 Game 2 loss to the Braves.

The following night, the Dodgers pounded Atlanta starter Kyle Wright and reliever Grant Dayton for 15 runs and 13 hits, including five homers, in the first three innings of a 15-3 Game 3 victory.

But momentum can go both ways, which is why the Dodgers should be somewhat concerned about their hitters entering a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday night.

Five of their first six batters in Saturday's 3-1 Game 6 win reached base, with Corey Seager and Justin Turner hitting solo homers off Atlanta starter Max Fried. Max Muncy drew a walk, Will Smith hit a single and Cody Bellinger hit an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.

But the Dodgers managed only five singles in 27 at-bats off Fried and relievers Darren O'Day and Chris Martin the rest of the game. They went 0 for 15 with runners on base from the end of the first inning through the eighth. They went one for six with runners in scoring position.

 

Fried, the Atlanta left-hander, recovered from the rocky start to go 6 2/3 innings, throwing a career-high 109 pitches while limiting the Dodgers to three runs and eight hits, striking out five and walking four.

"Seager hit the homer on a curveball, but after the first inning he settled in," Turner said of Fried. "He threw a lot of off-speed pitches and did a pretty good job of keeping us on the ground.

"If we're nitpicking, maybe we do a little bit better of a job adjusting in the middle of the game and trying to hit some of those breaking balls the other way instead of pull-side groundballs. But we did what we have to do to force a Game 7."

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