The Dodgers flipped the script entirely in Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday night, this time using patience at the plate and some timely hitting to cruise to a 9-2 victory over the Giants.
Tied at one game apiece, the series moves to Los Angeles on Monday where the Dodgers will start Max Scherzer in Game 3.
Just like we discussed earlier in the day, the Los Angeles offense woke up with Julio Urias on the mound, who garnered the most run support this year in Major League Baseball.
Part of that run support comes from Urias himself. In the regular season, Urias slashed .203/.217/.237 with a pair of doubles and nine RBI. On Saturday night, he was part of the early flurry that put the Dodgers out in front early.
After a Will Smith line out, Chris Taylor doubled in what was his first AB of the NLDS. Cody Bellinger struck out, but the Giants decided to intentionally walk AJ Pollock to face Urias, who promptly singled to right field, driving in the first run of the game. Mookie Betts followed with a single to left to plate Pollock and give Los Angeles an early 2-0 lead.
The Giants got right back into the game in the bottom half of the inning when Wilmer Flores sored on an Evan Longoria sacrifice fly to center field. From that point, both pitchers settled down and cruised through the fifth inning.
San Francisco starter Kevin Gausman ran into trouble in the top of the sixth after Trea Turner led off the inning with a double and Smith walked one batter later. Righty reliever Dominic Leone, who shut down the Dodgers all year, replaced Gausman and walked Taylor to load the bases.
Next, Bellinger drove a double to deep center, in what was surely the biggest hit of his 2021 campaign, to score both TTurner and Smith. The pitch was on the outer half of the plate, but Bellinger went with it instead of trying to pull it and drive it, like we’ve seen him try to do so much this year without success.
Bellinger’s double made the score 4-1, and AJ Pollock, who has been mired in a postseason slump his whole career, smacked a double of his own to plate both Taylor and Bellinger, stretching the lead to 6-1.
Joe Kelly placed Urias in the sixth and ran into a bit of a jam after allowing a leadoff walk to LaMonte Wade and a subsequent single to Buster Posey. Wade eventually scored on a Brandon Crawford single, but the inning ended when Flores tried to advance one base too many on the play and was gunned down at third by Betts.
Relievers Corey Knebel and Brusdar Graterol were perfect in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively. Phil Bickford held down the fort in the ninth to seal the win.
Smith added a solo shot in the eighth off righty Zack Littell to extend the lead to 7-2. Later in the frame, Matt Beaty and Corey Seager added RBI singles to provide two additional insurance runs.
After going a combined 2-for-25 in the Wild Card and NLDS Game 1, the bottom-third of the Los Angeles lineup went 7-for-13 in Saturday’s victory.
In the postgame, San Francisco skipper Gabe Kapler stated that he will start former Dodger lefty Alex Wood in Game 3.
Monday’s first pitch is slated for 6:37 p.m. Pacific.
6 thoughts on “Los Angeles Offense Comes Alive in NLDS Game 2”
You have to feel good for both Cody Bellinger and AJ Pollock after those big hits tonight. Solid D and great pitching from the pen. Mookie’s throw to 3rd reminded me of when he threw out a D-Backs player from deep right last season. Kelly not as good as in the wild card game, but he did ok. Me, I just walk Posey. He does less damage that way. 3 more hits tonight. Taylor scored 3 times and Trea Turner got his first hit of the series. JT still hitless. But remember, last season, he was 0-8 against the Brewers in the Wild Card series. He only hit .200 against the Padres in the NLDS< but came alive against the Braves and then the Rays.
I really hope we can win the next two at home. The thought of facing Webb in SF in a Game 5 does not bring a smile to my face.
It will be interesting to see if Doc starts Pujols tomorrow or just goes with the same lineup that scored 9 runs yesterday, even though we’ll be facing a left hander. I think if it were me making out the lineup I’d start Tio Albert at first and let Cody sit for a day. CT3 in center and AJ in left. If Roberts decides to go with yesterday’s lineup though I won’t scream.
Game 4 will be a tough one because Catman has not done especially well in the post season. Hopefully our hitters can get to DeSclafani.
They own the guy this year Jeff. They are hitting .300 against him with 6 homers. They are hitting Wood at a .290 clip with 5 dingers. Wood is 0-2 against them and DeSclafani is 0-3. Both lost their only starts at Dodger Stadium. Me, I play Tio Albert.
Past performance is a guideline as to future results but certainly not a totally accurate predictor. Just because we’ve had good success against DeSclafani so far this year doesn’t mean he couldn’t pitch a shutout next time. Overall, he’s had a very good year.
Max vs. Wood – I’ll take Max
Catman vs. DeSclafani – neither a win nor a loss would surprise me. I’d just like to avoid facing Webb again if possible.
I concur with that…but I am pretty sure the hitters feel comfortable facing both of those guys. I think that gives them an edge. And Gonsolin pitches pretty well at home.
Regarding Belli it was almost luck getting that double looking lost his other 3 at bats 3 K’s. His defense as always great. Hope this winter he can get back to being Belli. It is horrible watching him walking back to the dugout with that defeated look on his face. Let’s hope the real Belli comes back next year