Justin Turner had a big night, going 3-4 with a three-run home run and five RBIs, leading the Dodgers to a 9-5 victory over the Diamondbacks in game one of the NLDS. The Dodgers scored four runs against Diamondbacks’ starter, Taijuan Walker before he recorded an out in what became a 48-pitch inning. Clayton Kershaw got the win after allowing four runs over 6.1 innings.
The Dodgers had the momentum in their favor from the first pitch of the game. The Dodgers had runners on first and second with no outs against Walker with Turner at the plate. Walker threw Turner a fastball and Turner drove it deep into the left-field pavilion. The seats were not warm yet and the Dodgers had a 3-0 lead.
If you’ve been following this postseason, you’ll know that no lead is safe this October. With this knowledge, the Dodgers tacked on another run in the first. Cody Bellinger singled, then Yasiel Puig came to the plate. Puig, who needed a hit to start the series, drove a fastball into the right-center field gap. Bellinger scored from first and the Dodgers had a 4-0 lead on Puig’s RBI double.
The Dodgers picked up three more runs in the fourth inning on RBI singles by Corey Seager and Turner, followed by an RBI groundout by Puig. At this point, the Dodgers had a 7-1 and it seemed like a smooth ride to a win.
The Diamondbacks, however, wanted a closer game. Kershaw walked A.J. Pollock to leadoff the sixth inning, then Paul Goldschmidt grounded into a double play. J.D. Martinez then hit a solo home run that just barely stayed fair, living up to his nickname of “just dingers” and making the score 7-2.
Kershaw went out to pitch the seventh inning, despite his postseason struggles after the sixth. He recorded one out to start the inning, then something unusual happened. Ketel Marte hit a solo home run, then Jeff Mathis hit a homer to go back-to-back with Marte. The score was now 7-4.
That was the end of the night for Kershaw as Dave Roberts decided it was time for a pitching change. Tony Watson recorded one out before Roberts decided it was time to bring in Brandon Morrow. Morrow finished the seventh inning, then pitched a scoreless eighth inning.
It looked like Kenley Jansen would enter the ninth inning in a save situation, but the Dodgers had two runs left in their tank. Austin Barnes was at first base with one out when Seager hit a ball past Goldschmidt and into right field. The ball rolled into the right-field corner and Barnes scored. Seager made his way to third base with a triple. The score was 8-4. Turner then singled him in, for his fifth RBI of the game and a 9-4 Dodgers lead.
Kenley Jansen entered to pitch the ninth inning anyways. He allowed one unearned run on a throwing error by Seager. The score was 9-5 with a runner on first and two outs with David Peralta at the plate. Peralta lined the ball back into Jansen’s glove and the Dodgers won game one by a final score of 9-5.
Keys To The Game:
The Dodgers turned three double plays in game one. Kershaw induced the first double play in the fourth inning with Drury at the plate. Drury grounded the ball to Seager, who flipped it to Forsythe, who threw to Bellinger for the double play. Kershaw also induced a double play in the sixth inning. Paul Goldschmidt grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, killing a potential D-backs rally.
The third double-play came in the eighth inning. After Martinez reached on a ball that Logan Forsythe made no effort to catch, Brandon Morrow escaped trouble. Brandon Drury, who had already hit into a double play, hit a ground ball past Morrow and towards second base. Seager picked it up, stepped on second, then threw to first.
Throw To Second:
In the fourth inning, Cody Bellinger ranged far to his right to pick up a ball in the gap. Then, realizing there was no way he could get back to first base in time, he flipped the ball to Seager at second base. Adam Rosales didn’t even seem to realize what happened.
Robbie Ray will take the mound for the Diamondbacks in game two of the series and Rich Hill will pitch for the Dodgers. This year, Ray has a record of 3-0 with a 2.27 ERA against Los Angeles. Ray pitched for the Diamondbacks in the wild-card game. The Dodgers have Hill pitching game two so that he can avoid pitching in Arizona. Hill has struggled against the Diamondbacks with a record of 0-3 and a 5.03 ERA against them this year. The game will start at 6:00 pm PT and be televised on TBS.