Before I begin writing about last night’s game, I’m going to recap the first two games of the NLCS. I was far too busy to write about them at the time.
In game one, Clayton Kershaw gave up five runs over three innings and the Dodgers’ late comeback fell short as they lost to 6-5. The next day, Justin Turner hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth as the Dodgers beat the Brewers 4-3 in game two.
With the series knotted at one game apiece, the Dodgers prepared to host the Brewers. Dodger Stadium was buzzing before the game, but the Dodgers quickly took all the energy away from the fans. Walker Buehler allowed four runs over seven innings and the Dodgers couldn’t score. In fact, they went a lousy 0-10 with runners in scoring position.
“We sucked. That’s why we lost,” said Kiké Hernández. “I think as a team we were a little bit flat tonight and it showed on the offensive side. The playoffs, you’ve got to want it. Today it just wasn’t our day. We had no energy. The stadium had no energy. The fans had no energy. So overall it was a pretty bad day for everybody that calls themselves Dodgers. Tomorrow is another game.”
Hernández then went on to blame the lack of energy on the players, not the fans.
It didn’t take long before the Dodgers showed us what kind of a game it would be. In the first inning, the Brewers had a man on first base with one out and Ryan Braun at the plate. Buehler threw a terrible breaking ball on the inner half of the plate and Braun hit an RBI double.
From there, the Dodgers offense looked horrible. In fact, they looked like the Dodgers batters in game seven of the World Series last year. They were able to get runners on base, but they couldn’t drive them in. People who were able to watch the game went as far as to say that they didn’t look like they wanted to win.
Things got worse in the sixth inning. With two outs, Travis Shaw tripled off the wall in center field. This tiple put him in position to score on a wild pitch. And that’s exactly what happened. Buehler threw a breaking ball that Yasmani Grandal couldn’t handle and Shaw was able to score.
Just when we thought the Dodgers offense couldn’t get worse, they did. For reasons I don’t understand, Dave Roberts sent Buehler out to pitch the seventh inning. After recording one out, Buehler gave up a double. This should have been enough for Roberts to pull him. But it wasn’t.
Roberts’ faith in Buehler came back to bite him when Orlando Arcia came to the plate. Arcia hit a fastball into the seats down the right-field line. At this point, I knew the Dodgers wouldn’t be able to make a comeback. After all, it was 4-0 in the seventh.
The Dodgers’ misery with runners in scoring position continued into the ninth inning. After a single, a double, and a walk, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with one out. Grandal then came to the plate and proceeded to strike out on a curveball out of the zone. This brought Brian Dozier to the plate. He simply took a fastball for strike three.
Slide Rule Violation?
In the fourth inning, the Dodgers were showing some signs of life after Manny Machado led off with a walk. But then Cody Bellinger hit a double play ball. But instead of turning a double play, the Brewers got a forceout on Machado, then threw the ball away.
However, this isn’t how the play ended. On his slide into second, Machado stupidly reached out his hand and grabbed the leg of Arcia. Even though the ball was well out of his hand, the umpires in New York decided this qualified as a violation of the Chase Utley rule. Because of this, Bellinger, who had legally made it to first base, was ruled out.
The Dodgers will hopefully have the will to win today in game four. Gio Gonzalez will pitch for the Brewers against Rich Hill. Gonzalez started game one, but only faced eight batters before handing the ball to the bullpen. Hill, on the other hand, will try to get through the lineup at least twice. This must-win game will begin at 6:09pm.