The Morning Column: October 18, 2021

For the second consecutive season, the Dodgers are facing the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS and for the second consecutive season they find themselves in a 2-0 series hole after two games.

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1. ⚾️ Dodgers in familiar 2-0 NLCS hole  

Los Angeles Dodgers relief pitcher Kenley Jansen walks off the field after allowing a walk-off single to Atlanta Braves' Eddie Rosario to end game two in the 2021 NLCS. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

For the second consecutive season, the Dodgers are facing the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS and for the second consecutive season they find themselves in a 2-0 series hole after two games.

The difference this year, of course, is the Dodgers will play the next three games in front of a capacity crowd at Dodger Stadium instead of a socially distanced crowd of 11,000 at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. They also now have to win a potential game six or seven on the road in Atlanta if they hope to play in the World Series for a second consecutive season and for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

Should the Dodgers be worried?


I’m not saying the Dodgers like being in a 2-0 series hole, especially after losing back-to-back games in walk-off fashion, but they certainly have shown they rise to the occasion when their backs are against the wall. They came back from 2-0 and 3-1 series deficits against Atlanta last year in the NLCS and this year won a do-or-die Wild Card Game against the St. Louis Cardinals with a walk-off Chris Taylor home run and advanced to the NLCS by beating the San Francisco Giants in Game 4 and 5 after being down 2-1 in the NLDS.

The Dodgers return home and will go with Cy Young candidate Walker Buehler in Game 3 and will start 20-game winner Julio Urias in Game 4. The Dodgers, by the way, have beaten the Braves in 12 of their last 13 matchups at Dodger Stadium. If they tie up the series, Game 5 will likely be a bullpen game, which isn’t as bad as it sounds considering the Dodgers nearly won Game 1 with a similar strategy with their pitchers striking out 14 and giving up just three runs on six hits. The problem in the NLCS so far through two games was the problem for the Dodgers in the NLDS — they need their bats to wake up. The Dodgers lost two games in the NLDS because they scored zero runs and have lost the first two games of the NLCS after scoring a combined six runs. That’s just not going to cut it if the Dodgers hope to come back in this series and advance to the World Series.

2. 🏈 Ed Orgeron out at LSU; unlikely to land at USC

Less than two years after leading LSU to a national championship and coaching transfer quarterback Joe Burrow to a Heisman Trophy, Ed Orgeron and LSU have negotiated a separation agreement that will see Orgeron leave the school at the end of this season and get paid the remainder of the $16.95 million left on his contract.

Orgeron has a 49-17 record as LSU’s head coach but is just 9-8 over the last two seasons after the national championship win and Burrow leaving to became the first overall pick in the NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. The program also hasn’t been the same since passing game coordinator Joe Brady left for the Carolina Panthers and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda left to become Baylor’s head coach.

News of Orgeron’s exit at LSU had some USC fans thinking about a potential reunion with the popular former coach but multiple sources within USC’s athletic department say Orgeron isn’t a candidate at this time.

3. 🎶 Song of the Day

4. 📸 Photo of the Day

Alex Vesia of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after the final out against the Atlanta Braves of the fifth inning of Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Truist Park on October 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

5. 💵 Odds and Ends

Here are some odds if you’re thinking about placing a wager today.

6. 📆 Oct. 18, 2020: Dodgers beat Atlanta in NLCS after 3-1 series hole

On this day last year, the Dodgers erased a 2-0 series deficit and came back from a 3-1 series hole to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS to advance to the World Series. The Dodgers became just the fourteenth team in MLB history to come back from a 3-1 series deficit and the first to do so after losing what was technically the first two “home games” although all seven games of the NLCS happened at the neutral site Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

7. 🎂 Happy Birthday Alex Cora

Happy birthday to Alex Cora. The Boston Red Sox manager is turning 45 years old today. Before becoming public enemy No. 1 in Los Angeles for his involvement in the sign-stealing scandals with the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox against the Dodgers in the 2017 and 2018 World Series, Cora actually began his MLB career with the Dodgers. He was drafted by the Dodgers in the third round of the 1996 draft and made his MLB debut on June 7, 1998. His most memorable moment as a Dodger was his 18-pitch at-bat against the Chicago Cubs’ Matt Clement on May 12, 2004, which ended with a home run.

8. 🎟 Ticket Time

Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game this week.

Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers – $55 (Tuesday)

Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers – $95 (Tuesday)

9. 📺 On The Air

6:30 p.m. Anaheim Ducks at Calgary Flames – Bally Sports SoCal

10. 📻 The Arash Markazi Show 

On Friday’s show, we talked about the Dodgers defeating the San Francisco Giants in Game 5 of the NLDS to advance to the NLCS to play the Atlanta Braves.

Listen to The Arash Markazi Show on The Mightier 1090 Monday-Friday from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., following The Rich Eisen Show. The Mightier 1090 has the second strongest radio signal in North America and can be heard from “Baja to the Canadian Rockies.” You can also listen to the show on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogle Play and Stitcher.

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That’s it for today. Talk to you tomorrow!