I wanted to recap our series this last week where we prevailed over Arizona 3-0 in the NLDS. The general consensus before the series undermined the Dodger’s 104 wins against an extremely hot Diamondbacks team in September. Arizona had won the head-to-head record against the Dodgers 11-8 for the 2017 season. (Interestingly, they also had the same record against the 2017 Rockies). Curses against over 100 win teams exist. Many wanted to see us lose and choke in the playoffs once again. Sorry to disappoint them.
Game 1, Final Score: 9-5 to LA
This showed why winning the division is so important. The D-backs rotation came in with a crippled rotation, using Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray in the nailbiting wild-card game. When you read the starting pitching matchup as Clayton Kershaw against Tajun Walker, you can feel confident as a Dodgers fan. After issuing a walk to Peralta, Kershaw closed out the top of the 1st with 3 straight outs. The infamous 43-7 Dodgers offense kicked in. Taylor with a walk. Seager with a single. JT cleared the bases with a ball over the left field fence. 3-0. Nabbing one more run that inning and with 4 runs of support for Kershaw, I was wild. The Dbacks took out Walker and brought in Zack Goodley for the bottom of the second. Dodger stadium was shaken after Clayton Kershaw gave up a single shot home run in the 3rd to A.J. Pollack. The Dodgers made it a 7-1 game of the 4th with RBIs by Seager, Turner, and Puig. The Diamondbacks answered with 3 solo shot home runs off Kershaw, which concerned me more about our pitcher than the outcome of this game. 7-4 was still a strong lead, but we could not blow this game under any circumstances. The Dodgers had a couple more insurance runs in the bottom of the 8th which sealed the fate of the game with Jansen being brought into the 9th.
Game 2, Final Score: 8-5 to LA
Rich Hill started off shaky with a deep ball gave up to the possible NL MVP Paul Goldschmidt. 2-0. This game showed how our clubhouse never gives up. Puig knocked in a run in the bottom of the 2nd to make it a one run game. Dave Roberts took out Hill in the 4th and decided to use our bullpen to keep this a close game. In the bottom of the 4th, a wild pitch by Robbie Ray and a single by CT3 gave us a 3-2 lead. Our amazing bullpen featuring Tony Cingrani, Kenta Maeda, and Josh Fields would give up no runs. In the bottom of the 5th, the Dodgers did their best to put in the nail in the coffin. A HBP and 4 hits later, the Dodgers were up 7-2. Tony Watson gave up a 3 run jack in the 7th which took the air out of the stadium, but it was too late for the snakes. Josh Fields and Jansen gave two shutout innings to put the Diamondbacks into elimination status at home.
Game 3, Final Score: 3 -1 to LA
The most intense game of the series in my opinion. I’m always nervous to play these sort of clinching games on the road (see the 2017 Indians). Two words: Yu Darvish. What a clinic he put on. 7 innings and 1 earned run. A second highlight of the game was our rookie of the year. Bellinger had 2 RBIs, one of them from an oppo home run, and some crazy defensive plays (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNdFnIcfmPU). RIP Adrian Gonzalez. With another insurance run from Austin Barnes’s home run in the 6th off Greinke, Torey Lovullo put in Archie Bradley. A good decision, as the reliever pitched 3 scoreless innings. However, the luxury of having Kenta Maeda in the bullpen helped us win this game. Jansen came in and after giving up a single to Peralta, closed the door and brought the Dodgers back to the NLCS.
Bring in on Chicago!