The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to the 2017 National League Championship Series after sweeping the Arizona Diamondbacks in convincing fashion. The 3-1 win was led by Yu Darvish and Cody Bellinger. They are the only MLB team to sweep in the divisional series.
Bellinger led the team with sterling plays on both sides of the ball, including a solo home run in the sixth inning and four outstanding defensive plays.
Darvish shined, showing why the Dodgers traded for him at the deadline. He allowed only two hits, a bunt single in the first to Ketel Marte, and a solo home run to Daniel Descalso as the first batter in the sixth inning. He was lifted after five innings with a total of 74 pitches, one earned run, and seven strikeouts.
The Dodgers took the lead in the first in inning, and never looked back. Chris Taylor starting thing off by taking a full count pitch into right field for a double. Corey Seager followed with a walk. The Dodgers played small ball and got him home on a fly out by Justin Turner and a groundout by Bellinger. Yasiel Puig battled through 10 pitches, but finally flew out to center. The Dodgers saw 29 pitches in the first inning from Zack Greinke, who had only allowed six first inning runs during the regular season.
The Dodgers were incredibly patient at the plate, leading Greinke to throw 54 pitches in the first two innings. He got his first swinging strike on that 54th pitch, to his counterpart Darvish.
Bellinger finally got his second hit of the postseason, a bomb to right center. He also made an amazing catch, falling head first into his own dugout to snag a foul ball the end the 5th inning.
Austin Barnes promptly greeted Greinke with a home run in the first at bat of the sixth inning, and chased him from the game.
In the bottom of the sixth, Darvish started to lose a little control, hitting Christian Walker‘s knob of the bat, and then hitting him again in the brim of his helmet. It would be Darvish’s last pitch of the game.
Overall, the Dodgers pitching was stellar. The Diamondbacks had no at-bats with runners in scoring position. Tony Cingrani came in to relieve Darvish, and got David Peralta to hit into a double play. Brandon Morrow needed just seven pitches to retire Paul Goldschmidt, J.D. Martinez, and Jake Lamb. Kenta Maeda came in for the eighth inning and set Arizona down 1-2-3. Kenley Jansen came in for the ninth, and allowed a one-out single to David Peralta. Marte grounded out to Jansen, and Kenley eventually struck out Goldschmidt to seal the save and the series win.
The Dodgers will now wait to see if they face the Chicago Cubs or Washington Nationals in the NLCS.
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