The Baltimore Orioles watched from the sidelines last night as Manny Machado scored the winning run for the LA Dodgers in game 4 of the NLCS
Diaz immediately became the number one prospect in the Orioles system, while Kremer and Bannon slotted inside the top-20.
Out in LA, Machado became the starting shortstop on one of the best teams in the National League.
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He’d been having a ridiculous year in Baltimore before the trade with a 155 wRC+, a .399 wOBA, and a career-high 10.9% walk rate.
One of the most notable changes made once he got to LA was on the defensive side. In Baltimore, Machado was an adequate defender at shortstop, with his -2.9 Def just a tick below average.
The Dodgers slightly adjusted his defensive positioning and he was able to post a 5.0 Def in his 66 games in LA. Machado went from meh, to above average seemingly overnight.
Ken Rosenthal wrote about the Orioles use, or lack thereof, of analytics; the Dodgers use of analytics helped Machado become a better defender out in Chavez Ravine.
Machado hit well for the Dodgers down the stretch posting a 121 wRC+ and 13 homers in just 66 games and he’s performed for them in their current postseason run.
In 8 games so far, Machado is slugging .588 with 3 home runs.
Machado wasn’t great at the plate last night, going 1-6 with 2 strikeouts, but his one hit came at just the right time.
On an 0-1 pitch in the bottom of the 13th, Machado dropped a broken-bat single into left to put the winning run on the bases for the Dodgers.
After taking second on a wild pitch from Junior Gurrera, Cody Bellinger came up and poked a grounder past Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar, allowing Machado to come around from second and score the winning run for the Dodgers.
There was also some controversy surrounding the ex-Orioles superstar. In the bottom of the 10th, Machado grounded out to short, but he blatantly clipped Aguilar at first:
The incident was the latest in a string of questionable plays involving Machado. Orioles fans were more likely to take his side on these issues when he played in Baltimore, but now that he’s gone, that could change.
But not to dwell on the controversy here; the important part is that Machado scored the winning run in a very important NLCS game 4 to even the series at 2-2.
We’ll see if Manny can help the Dodgers take a 3-2 series lead tonight, before the NLCS heads back to Milwaukee.
If they can, it’ll put Machado and the Dodgers one step closer to getting back to the World Series.
I doubt I’m the only one who’d love to see Machado in the World Series, and if he continues to play as well as he has for the Dodgers so far, they’ll be in good position to do so.