Long Beach baseball fans have a trio of local boys to keep track of during the Major League Baseball Championship Series this week.
Lakewood High alum Travis d’Arnaud, 31, has been one of the biggest surprises for the Atlanta Braves and the catcher has put up huge numbers in the postseason. The National League Championship Series started on Monday in Arlington, Texas, where Atlanta beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1. While helping his pitching staff limit the Dodgers to four hits, d’Arnaud also reached base twice with a single and a walk.
In three games against the Miami Marlins in the NLDS victory, d’Arnaud had six hits, seven RBIs, two home runs and three walks. Those statistics rank him among the best players this postseason.
“For me, this is not a surprise,” Atlanta general manager Alex Anthopoulos told USA Today. “This is the player he was supposed to be. He just got derailed by health and injuries.”
Wilson High alum Chase De Jong was added to the Houston Astros lineup just before the American League Championship Series against the Tampa Bay Rays in San Diego. The right-handed pitcher’s ability to throw multiple innings out of the bullpen made him valuable enough to get called up from the “taxi squad” of backup players.
De Jong, 26, got picked up midseason and pitched 7.1 innings for Houston during the regular season while giving up 12 earned runs and striking out nine batters.
“I’m incredibly humbled and honored to be in this position,” De Jong said on Monday.
Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead in the ALCS on Monday.
Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner has been a leader on and off the field this postseason. He called a team meeting to motivate his teammates before ousting the San Diego Padres in the NLDS, and now leads the franchise with the most games (60), hits (65), doubles (13), walks (29) and RBIs (38) in Dodgers postseason history.