For the Dodgers, the road back to redemption has to start where the whole season started, on the mound. Their pitching staff are as good as anything in baseball. They begin to relieve pitcher Joe Kelly, signaling their intention to make full use of this stellar reliever pen. Expect high rotation and situational pitch changes tonight, ‘Cause there’s no point in saving anyone for tomorrow if you can’t get through tonight. It’s all to play, the pot is all-in and there will be nothing left in the tank by the end of the ninth round.
There have been more substantial roster changes for the Dodgers than they perhaps would have liked, with their $ 34 million all-star third baseman Justin Turner succumbing to a lingering hamstring injury in Game 4. Utility player Chris Taylor was moved from left to third and Albert Pujols, perhaps the greatest first baseman to ever play that position, will return to his old familiar place. The 41-year-old has acted more as a coach, mentor and father figure this season, and his legs are definitely gone, but that’s not what the Dodgers need from him. What they need is his bat, his solid punching ability, a steady hand that can get into a clutch situation and can be relied on to clear the bases.
On these basic paths, they have the advantage over Atlanta by far. in the regular season, Trea Turner had 32 stolen goals, and in the playoffs Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor lit the paths at the base.