Bellinger Backs Darvish With Homer; Dodger Sweep NLDS

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Cody Bellinger hit a solo home run in the fifth inning against Zack Greinke, and Yu Darvish pitched five innings of one-run ball, leading the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory and series sweep over the Diamondbacks. Not wanting to be outdone, Austin Barnes, hit a solo home run in the sixth inning against Greinke.

 FINAL
 Dodgers 3 
 Diamondbacks 1 

The pitching matchup for game three of the series featured Yu Darvish for the Dodgers and the traitor Zack Greinke for the D-backs. The Dodgers were hoping to clinch the NLDS with a series sweep. Greinke and the D-backs, however, were just trying to avoid elimination.

The Dodgers, who have been relentless for this whole series, got on the board against Greinke in the first inning. Chris Taylor doubled to open the inning, then Corey Seager walked. Taylor advanced to third on a flyout, putting Greinke in a jam, first and third with one out. Every Dodger fan wanted Bellinger to hit a home run…but he didn’t. He grounded out to first base and Taylor scored, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Unlike Greinke, Yu Darvish did exactly what his time was hoping for. He pitched five innings of one-run ball, allowed only two hits, and struck out seven batters.

“Yu really stepped up huge for us,” Dave Roberts said. “He was in command and control from the first pitch, working to both sides of the plate. The cutter was working really well, good velocity with the fastball and great command. It was just fun to watch him just have his nerves calm and just compete. He was out there having fun.”

The Dodgers had chances but never were able to tack on any insurance runs until the fifth inning. Greinke had retired four straight batters when Bellinger stepped up to the plate. In a 3-1 count, Greinke threw a low changeup and Bellinger drove it over the wall in left-center field. It was his first longball in ten games and it gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

The D-backs showed how great Bellinger’s home run was when they countered with a solo shot of their own in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Darvish and Barnes were trying to end the fifth inning. Daniel Descalso was the batter and Darvish threw a slider over the middle of the plate and Descalso did not hesitate to drive it. The ball went right over Puig’s glove and into the pool area at Chase Field, cutting the Dodgers lead to 2-1.

Austin Barnes then countered with a home run of his own in the sixth. Greinke threw a fastball over the heart of the plate, a mistake that he soon regretted. Barnes drove the ball over the wall in left field for a solo home run, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.

The Dodgers’ bullpen took the mound in the bottom of the sixth, starting with Tony Cingrani. He recorded two outs before Dave Roberts brought Brandon Morrow into the game. More pitched 1.1 innings without allowing a baserunner, and he needed only ten pitches. Roberts then brought Kenta Maeda in to pitch the eighth.

After that, it was time to bring in the big man, Kenley Jansen. Jansen struck out Grégor Blanco for the first out, then allowed a single to David PeraltaKetel Marte then advanced Blanco to second with a groundout. Jansen then ended the game with style, striking out Paul Goldschmidt.

The Dodgers mobbed the mound and celebrated the sweep of the D-backs. They celebrated in the clubhouse with a champagne shower, but they did not enter the pool. The Dodgers will fly home and host the NLCS against…

Keys To The Game:

Cody Bellinger:

You already know about the rookie’s home run. But, what I haven’t told you about yet was his defense. After Darvish allowed a home run to Descalso, it looked like the momentum may have shifted sides. Bellinger, however, showed that it hadn’t.

Jeff Mathis popped up a slider over the Dodgers’ dugout and Bellinger gave chase. The ball continued it’s path toward the dugout but Bellinger never gave up. In fact, he tumbled over the railing to make the catch. Luckily, Bellinger was okay and the fifth inning was over.

Up Next:

Well, we don’t exactly know what’s next. We know that the Dodgers will head home and prepare to take on whoever wins the NLDS between the Cubs and Nationals. The first game will be played on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

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