Unmasking the Dodgers’ Vulnerabilities: NLDS Game 1 Loss Analysis

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ quest for a World Series title got off to a rocky start as they faced an 11-2 defeat in Game 1 of the National League Division Series (NLDS) against the Arizona Diamondbacks. This article delves into the vulnerabilities that were on full display during this disheartening loss.

Outman’s Missed Opportunity


The game’s early turning point came when rookie outfielder James Outman failed to secure Ketel Marte’s leadoff line drive. The ball eluded his grasp and allowed the Diamondbacks to capitalize, resulting in a demoralizing six-run first inning for the Dodgers. This misplay left fans wondering if the outcome might have been different had Outman made the catch.

Outman later expressed that the ball arrived quicker than expected, and first-time playoff jitters may have contributed to his mistake. This incident emphasized one of the Dodgers’ vulnerabilities – their defensive lapses, which can be costly in high-stakes postseason games.

> "I just kind of handcuffed myself and didn’t give myself enough time or room," Outman acknowledged. "I think I just let nerves get the best of me."

Kershaw’s Struggles

While Outman’s misplay was a glaring issue, it wasn’t the sole factor in the Dodgers’ loss. Clayton Kershaw, the veteran left-hander, who had been carefully positioned for this moment, struggled with location and velocity. Kershaw’s performance was subpar, giving up an astounding five hits and five runs before recording a single out. He left the game after surrendering six runs in just one-third of an inning, resulting in an astronomical earned-run average (ERA) of 162.00 for the game.

> "Obviously, they took a lot of good swings. It seemed like they were on everything he threw up there," commented Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "Usually Clayton does a great job of controlling, managing damage. And tonight, unfortunately, we didn’t do that."

This raises concerns about the vulnerability of the Dodgers’ starting rotation, particularly their ace, Kershaw, in crucial postseason games.

Ineffective Offensive Response

Following the disastrous first inning, the Dodgers had ample time to recover. However, their offensive response was muted. Facing a series of Arizona pitchers, led by Merrill Kelly, who had a history of struggling against the Dodgers, the team could muster little offense. Kelly, buoyed by his team’s early lead, managed to pitch 6 ⅓ innings and allowed only five baserunners, leaving the Dodgers struggling to make an impact at the plate.

The Dodgers didn’t manage to score until Will Smith’s triple in the eighth inning, which underscores their vulnerability against well-prepared pitchers.


In summary, the Dodgers’ vulnerabilities were laid bare during their NLDS Game 1 loss. Defensive lapses, an underperforming ace, and an ineffective offensive response all contributed to their 11-2 defeat. While it’s just one game in a series, this loss serves as a stark reminder that even the most dominant teams can falter when their vulnerabilities are exposed.

The question now is whether the Dodgers can bounce back and address these issues in the remainder of the NLDS. Their journey to the World Series hangs in the balance, and the team will need to regroup and strategize if they aim to overcome the vulnerabilities that were on full display in Game 1.

Dodgers’ vulnerabilities on full display in NLDS Game 1 loss. Dodgers’ vulnerabilities on full display in NLDS Game 1 loss.

Discovering Related Issues

Elliott: Ominous start puts Dodgers’ vulnerabilities on full display i…

Elliott: Ominous Start Unveils Dodgers’ Vulnerabilities in Game 1 Loss

Opinion by Helene Elliott • 1d

In Game 1 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night, Dodgers’ center fielder James Outman’s missed catch set a foreboding tone. The Dodgers’ vulnerabilities were starkly exposed as they suffered an 11-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. This article by Helene Elliott delves into the significance of the ominous start, highlighting how it illuminated the weaknesses of the Dodgers.

Key Takeaways:

  • James Outman’s first-inning mishap as a defining moment.
  • The vulnerabilities that cost the Dodgers the game.
  • The impact of this loss on the Dodgers’ postseason journey.

What happened to the Dodgers in the NLDS?

What Transpired in the Dodgers’ NLDS Series?

The Dodgers faced some notable shifts in their performance during the NLDS. Their strikeout rate surged, averaging 11 strikeouts per game compared to 8.5 in the regular season. Furthermore, their home run rate declined significantly, as they managed to hit just four home runs across their four postseason games. Unfortunately, many of the scoring opportunities they generated slipped through their grasp. This series of challenges led to a tied record with the Padres, one game apiece, in the intense matchup held at Petco Park.

What happened in Game 4 of the NLDS?

The Outcome of NLDS Game 4

In Game 4 of the NLDS, Dodgers players found themselves in a tense situation, watching from the dugout during the ninth inning of a season-ending matchup against the San Diego Padres on October 15. Throughout this pivotal game, Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts made two crucial visits to the mound in the seventh inning, with the team’s entire season hanging in the balance. The first visit took place when the Dodgers still maintained a lead.

Can James Outman catch a catch in NLDS Game 1?

During Game 1 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium on a Saturday night, Dodgers center fielder James Outman encountered a pivotal moment that left fans wondering: could he make the catch? Unfortunately, he couldn’t come up with it, as the Dodgers faced an 11-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The image, captured by Wally Skalij, encapsulates this significant event during the game.

Are the Dodgers on their way to a Second World Series?

Will the Dodgers Secure Their Second World Series?

Initially, it appeared that the Dodgers were on a promising path to their second World Series victory in three seasons. However, this vision took a disheartening turn, as the Dodgers’ season concluded with a truly disappointing finish. They suffered a 5-3 loss to the Padres in Game 4 of the National League Division Series held at Petco Park, marking a significant setback in the franchise’s storied history.

What were the key vulnerabilities in the Dodgers’ NLDS Game 1 loss?

The Dodgers’ vulnerabilities were evident in their NLDS Game 1 loss. Even though Clayton Kershaw, their carefully positioned and well-rested starter, took the mound, he grappled with issues in location and velocity. In a nightmarish start, Kershaw allowed five hits and five runs before registering an out, ultimately leaving the game after conceding six runs within a mere one-third of an inning. These struggles underline some of the primary vulnerabilities that contributed to the Dodgers’ disappointing performance.

What were the struggles experienced by Clayton Kershaw in Game 1?

Analyzing Clayton Kershaw’s Struggles in Game 1

In Game 1 of the NLDS, Clayton Kershaw experienced a nightmarish start as the Los Angeles Dodgers faced a resounding defeat at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Despite his ongoing battle with a shoulder injury, Kershaw struggled significantly. He conceded hits to the first five batters he faced, including a three-run home run. His struggles led to an early exit from the game, with Kershaw being removed after recording only one out. The result was an 11-2 loss for the Dodgers, underscoring the extent of his difficulties on that fateful day.

Can the Dodgers address their vulnerabilities for a successful NLDS comeback?

As the Dodgers earned an impressive 100 regular-season wins, their ability to secure three consecutive victories in a series was evident eight times in 2023. However, if they aspire to extend their season beyond the National League Division Series, they face the critical task of achieving this feat for a ninth time. After the initial two games of the series, the D-backs have demonstrated superiority. The question remains: can the Dodgers address their vulnerabilities and stage a comeback for success?

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