Through seven playoff games so far this post season, the Dodgers’ pitching staff has done an amazing job keeping opposing batters off base. The Dodgers as a team have hit ten home runs and have scored 37 runs. Opposing teams have out homered the Dodgers with a total of 13, but they have scored a total of only 18 runs in the seven games, as when the Diamondbacks and Cubs have homered, there almost always are NO runners on base. As a team, the Dodgers’ pitching staff has compiled an unheard of WHIP of 0.79 through the seven games, allowing a total of only 38 hits and 11 walks over 62 innings pitched. Combine this with the outstanding offense led by Justin Turner and Yasiel Puig, and the Dodgers sit today one victory from their first World Series appearance since 1988.
One factor overlooked by many that has been a major reason for not just the great performances from one Dodgers’ pitcher after another, but also for the team’s overall success has been the great all-around play of the new but yet unofficial starting catcher,
Austin Barnes. From the very first day that the Dodgers’ gave away far, far too much talent for an extremely overrated yasmani grandel, I have been saying what a horrifically bad trade that was. That clearly can be seen now. Tied for the major league lead in passed balls this season, the underachieving grandal is hitless throughout the post season, while the next Dodgers’ star, Barnes, is hitting a solid .278 and producing runs, while performing brilliantly behind the plate, not just in not committing passed balls, but in corralling potential wild pitches, in preventing stolen bases (the Dodgers have stolen five bases in the seven games, their opponents, one), doing the one thing that pundits agreed grandal was good at – framing pitches – and in his overall handling of the pitching staff. Do not underestimate Barnes’ significant contributions to the Dodgers’ current success. Continue reading