For a team that prides itself on being an all-around club, the Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t get out of their own way in a loss to the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Dodgers became the first team in MLB postseason history with four errors and two passed balls in the same game. Within that was Yasmani Grandal becoming the first catcher in postseason history with two passed balls and two errors in one game.
Grandal’s first passed ball allowed Lorenzo Cain to move into scoring position after he led off the bottom of the first inning with a single. Clayton Kershaw labored but stranded Cain to keep the game locked in an early scoreless tie.
Cain and Christian Yelich each moved into scoring position on the second passed ball. Following the Dodgers’ loss, Grandal said he reviewed the plays and made necessary adjustments, per Alanna Rizzo of SportsNet LA:
Grandal said postgame the two passed balls were a product of him being “flat footed” behind the plate. Watched video in between innings, made the adjustment & isn’t concerned moving forward.
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) October 13, 2018
Further compounding the second passed ball was one of Grandal’s errors — catcher’s interference — negated a terrific diving catch by David Freese on a line drive. Jesus Aguilar was put on board, loading the bases. A sacrifice fly followed, giving the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
While Grandal excels at pitching framing, he’s endured multiple instances this season where he was unable to locate a pitch in the dirt, or maintain possession of the ball when attempting to tag a runner out.
He wasn’t solely to blame for the Dodgers losing the NLCS opener, but the club will need improvement from him if they’re to reach the World Series a second consecutive year.
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