Dodgers Win Pivotal Game 3 of NLDS

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It felt like a must win game for the Dodgers heading into the game. The Washington Nationals decided that instead of pitching Max Scherzer in Game 3, they would go with Anibal Sanchez, saving Scherzer for Game 4 and Stephen Strasburg for a possible Game 5. But win it the Dodgers did, although it took awhile to look like their normal selves.

The Washington strategy worked, for a while. It looked a lot like Game 1. The Dodgers looked hapless against Sanchez. But once he was out of the game, it was a totally different contest.

The Dodgers worked multiple walks in the first inning, but ultimately left the bases loaded, with A.J. Pollock striking out. Sanchez did throw 28 pitches in the inning, though.

The Nationals ran out in front in the bottom of the first, getting a two-run homer off the bat of Juan Soto.

Through four innings, Sánchez had struck out eight batters while working his pitch count up into the 70s. Through that time, nine out of ten of the swinging strikes from the Dodgers were on pitches clocking between 74-87 MPH, and the majority were outside the strike zone.

Once again, it was Max Muncy who started the scoring for the Dodgers. He took Sanchez deep in the fifth inning on an 0-2 count for a solo homer, cutting the deficit to one.

Ryu worked himself in and out of multiple jams in the fourth and fifth, but ultimately gave up only the two early runs in his start.

Patrick Corbin came on in the sixth, then Cody Bellinger promptly collected his first hit of the NLDS, a single to right field. David Freese pinch-hitting for Gavin Lux, delivered a single. Russell Martin drilled a 1-2 pitch to the ceter-field wall, and the Dodgers took a 3-2 lead on his two-run double. Pinch hitter Chris Taylor walked, and the third pinch hitter of the inning, Enrique Hernandez, delivered a two-run single of his own, providing the Dodgers with a 5-2 lead and chasing Corbin from the game.

Later in the inning, Muncy was intentionally walked, and Wander Suero was brought in to try to minimize the damage. Suero promptly surrendered a 3-2 home run to Justin Turner. Bellinger then collected his second hit of the inning, this time a double. Seager grounded out, but the Dodgers plated seven runs while sending 11 batters to the dish. They finally looked like the 106 win team that they are.

Joe Kelly was brought into the game to relieve Ryu, and walked the first two batters he faced. Then he gave up a single to Howie Kendrick, and all of a sudden there’s bases loaded and no one out. He threw a wild pitch, 8-3. He then walked the next batter. Kelly was finally replaced by Julio Urias. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a sacrifice fly, scoring one, but Kendrick ran himself into an out for a double play. Urías then induced a pop-up to get out of the jam.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the top of the seventh against Fernando Rodney, but Muncy flew out to center, ending another rally.

The Dodgers didn’t let up, though. Russell Martin drilled a two-run homer in the top of the ninth to make it 10-4. Kenley Jansen appeared in the ninth and shut it down, handing the Dodgers a 2-1 lead in the series.

The Dodgers will face Max Scherzer and the Nationals in Game 3 on Monday at 3:40 PDT. Rich Hill will take the mound for the Dodgers.

 

14 thoughts on “Dodgers Win Pivotal Game 3 of NLDS

  1. There is no one behind Scherzer tomorrow so we need to run up his pitch count. Got to believe he knows that and will,try a lot of first pitch fastballs to get ahead so what to,do? Brewers we’re very aggressive on his first pitch fastballs and it worked well

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  2. Was just perusing Scherzer’s numbers at Fangraphs. He had a few rough outings at the end of the year but even in those he was striking people out. Looking at the O-Swing and Z-swing numbers (outside and inside the strike zone) tells us he can get people to chase (35.9). He’s throwing downward spin pitches a little over half the time. Seeing what he did the other day tells me he may be all the way back. You can bet he will be making the effort to go 9. We can’t let him do that. The Dodgers don’t want to face Strasburg again. I think the strategy remains the same – stay in the zone. Make him throw strikes, and he will, and get bat on ball.

    DON’T CHASE, play pepper with two strikes (I would but they won’t). The pressure is on them. Keep it on them.

    Odd start time. I’m showing 6:40 East Coast time. Is that right? Shadows or shade to start?

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      1. In order to pick up spin on upper 80’s sliders the light has to be good. I think it’s generally accepted that mid day games, natural light, are easier on hitters than night games. Those games that are in between day and night favor pitchers. I’m curious about when the lights are turned on for 6:40 start time in October. I’m assuming they will be on for the first pitch but I don’t know that.

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      2. Thanks Andy. I’m sure you’re right.

        Obviously this is a must win for Scherzer and the Nats. Early book has Washington favored -130. 8 runs O/U. I don’t bet, but even I did I wouldn’t touch this game.

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  3. Who will step up and make a difference. That’s the beauty of this game! I just know it will be much easier against their bullpen than Scherzer so runnup that pitch count and don’t swing at the spinners!

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  4. Last night was an edge of your seat game through 5. The 6th inning had to be Corbin’s worst nightmare. He was ()this close to getting out of it. i thought the most crucial at bat was Martin’s. He laid off of a high fastball and the next pitch he hit to the wall for the double that put them in front. Great to see the wily vet get such a huge hit. But remember, he had a walkoff this year too. His 9th inning homer was the capper. Corey needs to get himself back on track. I think Pollock is totally lost up there right now. Scherzer can be had. Lets go get him.

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  5. If Scherzer is on it won’t surprise me to see him throw 110 to 120 pitches. The boys in blue have their work cut out for them today.
    With the 3:40 local start time it looks like I’ll have to get off work a little early to watch the game, hey bear,scoop, and jeff, you guys better get your naps in early today.😀

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  6. With Scherzer going tonight ,bear, and pollock struggling mightily, my guess is we see Beatty in left field today, maybe pollock comes in late to pinch hit, but I think he needs a day off to get his head on straight.

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