Saturday afternoon brought devastating news for Dodgers fans. One of the team’s most beloved players, an incredible talent and pivotal part of the team’s success, got left off the NLCS roster. A wave of panic and consternation and teeth-gnashing ensued, because as loaded as the Dodgers are, it’s incredibly hard to recover from a loss of this magnitude.
In a postseason that’s seen teams use everyone short of the mascot in relief, the Astros drew first blood in the ALCS on the strength of their starting pitcher. And while velocity rules the craft of pitching more now than ever before, it was a soft-tossing left-hander who turned in one of the best performances of these playoffs.