by Eric Torres
A 12-3 rout of the San Diego Padres on Thursday night in Arlington, Texas clinched a spot in the NLCS for the Dodgers for an astounding 4th time in the last 5 years, where the mighty boys in blue will battle for a spot in the World Series against the up and coming Atlanta Braves.
Game 1 saw an electric combined start from ace Walker Buehler and rookie Dustin May, giving up only 1 run through 6 innings. In a rather quiet game, which only saw 7 hits overall, the Dodgers would draw 10 walks in the first 7 innings, as Padres ace Mike Clevinger would exit the game after the first inning. The Dodgers offense, though quiet for most of the game, broke it open in the 6th inning with 4 runs, led by a Mookie Betts double. Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen shut the door on the Padres in the late innings, only allowing one hit through the last 3 innings.
In game 2, the Dodgers’ offense came alive early, scoring 4 runs in the first 4 innings, canceling out an early run given up by starter Clayton Kershaw. However, Kershaw’s postseason demons came back to haunt him in the sixth, giving up back to back home runs to Eric Hosmer and Manny Machado. Things got a little too close for comfort for the Dodgers in the top of the 7th inning, but Cody Bellinger made the play of the day, robbing a go-ahead 2-run home run by Fernando Tatis Jr. The Dodgers seemingly would close it out in the bottom of the 7th, with Turner and Muncy driving in runs. However, the Padres mounted a comeback in the 9th, which saw Kenley Jansen knocked out of the game, and Joe Kelly recording the final out with the bases loaded, holding on to win 6-5.
With all the momentum in their favor, the Dodgers took game 3 in a blowout 12-3 win. After finding themselves down 2-1 after 2 innings, the Dodgers would score 7 runs in the next 3 innings, with six different Dodgers contributing RBIs. Although the Padres showed signs of life in the 6th, reliever Julio Urias would limit the damage to only 1 run. The Padres would not score again, as Blake Treinen, Pedro Baez, and Dylan Floro made quick work of the remaining Padres, and the Dodgers tacked on 4 more in the 9th for good measure, with Will Smith and Cody Bellinger getting 2 RBIs a piece. 11 different pitchers would throw for the Padres in game 3, with only a single one pitching more than an inning.
The underdog Padres were going to have a tough task of defeating the Dodgers anyway, but two of their top starters, Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet, left the Padres with a depleted pitching staff. This was apparent, as the Padres changed pitchers 22 times throughout the 3 game set, with only one pitcher lasting more than 2 innings.
Meanwhile, a combination of electric pitching and a lively offensive performance would make the Padres a simple task for the Dodgers. Dodgers’ pitching held the dynamic offensive core of the Padres, Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, and Eric Hosmer to just a combined .166 batting average (6 for 36 total). In addition, the Dodgers would only allow 4 total runs in the first 5 innings of play. Clutch pitching was also a positive for the Dodgers this series, as Dodger pitching would strand 19 Padres on base throughout the series. The only blemish on a tremendous team pitching performance from the Dodgers would be Kenley Jansen’s rough outing in game 2, allowing 2 runs in .2 innings, and not being able to close out a 3 run lead.
On the offensive side, there was an explosive team effort, with 7 different Dodgers registering at least 2 RBIs throughout the series, providing the Dodgers’ pitching with more than enough run support. Overall, the Dodgers combined to score 24 runs on 29 hits in 3 games. Although the Padres had a lead in each game, none of the leads lasted longer than an inning. In addition, a problem that the Dodgers had this year at times, timely hitting, was completely nonexistent this series, as the Dodgers scored 14 runs with 2 outs this series.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will face the Atlanta Braves in a much anticipated matchup, as neither team has lost a game in the postseason yet. The 7-game series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas, beginning on Monday, October 12.
Schedule, Via SB Nation’s True Blue LA
|Game||Date||Time (PT)||Home team||TV|
|1||Mon, Oct 12||5:08 p.m.||Dodgers||Fox|
|2||Tue, Oct 13||3:05 p.m.||Dodgers||FS1|
|3||Wed, Oct 14||3:05 p.m.||Braves||FS1|
|4||Thu, Oct 15||TBD||Braves||Fox or FS1|
|5*||Fri, Oct 16||TBD||Braves||Fox or FS1|
|6*||Sat, Oct 17||TBD||Dodgers||Fox or FS1|
|7*||Sun, Oct 18||TBD||Dodgers||Fox or FS1|