Even with a 2-0 lead in the 2017 NLCS, the Los Angeles Dodgers can’t afford to let up against the defending World Series champion Cubs.
Justin Turner lived out every 10-year-old’s dream scenario Sunday night, launching a three-run walk-off home run against in the bottom of the ninth of a playoff game. Turner’s decisive shot gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a commanding 2-0 lead in the NLCS against the Cubs.
However, for the Turner and his teammates to reach the ultimate dream – celebrating a World Series championship – it’s important the club keeps its foot on the gas as the series shifts to Chicago Tuesday. As the teams travel east, we take a look at five reasons the Dodgers must keep up the pressure.
3. Missing Corey Seager
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager was a notable scratch from the Dodgers NLCS roster given his presence in the lineup over his first two full big league seasons. Seager, who is nursing a tweaked back, posted a .295/.375/.479 slash with 22 home runs and 79 RBI across 145 games during the regular season hitting primarily out of the No. 2 hole in the lineup. The 23-year-old also holds down the most important defensive position on the infield, and did it well: he ranked fifth in the majors among shortstops defensively according to FanGraphs.
It goes without saying Charlie Culberson, who was a surprising 2-for-5 with two doubles (giving him as many hits in the postseason as he had during the 2017 regular season and NLDS combined), an RBI and two runs scored in two NLCS games at short, is no Seager. Of course, few are. The All-Star has one of the sweetest left-handed swings in the game, and he’ll be missed as long as he’s sidelined.