Dodgers Force Deciding NLDS Game 5 in San Francisco

While there were certainly enough opportunities for the Dodgers to blow Game 4 wide open early, they did enough damage throughout the contest on Tuesday night to defeat the Giants 7-2 and force a deciding Game 5 in San Francisco on Thursday.

Walker Buehler put together an honorable outing for Los Angeles, throwing on three days rest and lasting long enough to put his club in a position to win.

The Dodgers jumped out in front early in the first inning when Corey Seager singled to left and scored on a Trea Turner double to right field. In the bottom of the second inning, Gavin Lux singled to right field, advanced to third on a Cody Bellinger single to right, then scored on a Chris Taylor sacrifice fly.

In the meantime, San Francisco starter Anthony DeSclafani was pulled with two outs in the bottom of the second inning. The 31-year-old righty threw a total of 28 pitches, allowing the two earned runs on five hits and no walks while striking out two Dodger batters in what quickly turned into a bullpen game for the Giants.

At this point of the game, it felt like Los Angeles was ready to bust the game open, but the Dodgers could not come up with the one big hit to pull away. In the bottom of the third, the Dodgers loaded the bases on three walks, but couldn’t plate a runner after a Bellinger groundout and a Taylor flyout to deep left field.

Nevertheless, Buehler, hitting for himself in the bottom of the fourth, reached on a fielding error by pitcher Jarlin Garcia, who was the fourth San Francisco pitcher of the night at the time. Mookie Betts followed with his first home run of the series to right-center field, extending the lead to 4-0.

Buehler ran into trouble in the fifth after surrendering a single to Evan Longoria and allowing a walk to Steven Duggar two batters later. Joe Kelly replaced Buehler, and the Giants subsequently scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Darin Ruf.

Buehler’s final line for the night was 4-1/3 innings pitched, surrendering the one earned run on three hits and two walks while striking out four. He threw 71 pitches.

The Dodgers plated another run in the fifth inning when Bellinger scored on a Betts sacrifice fly to deep left field, stretching the lead to 5-1. While the Dodgers were indeed converting, they could have certainly plated many more runs, as the fifth inning was another case of the bases being left loaded.

Righty reliever Brusdar Graterol succeeded Kelly, allowing one hit in a scoreless sixth inning. Lefty Alex Vesia began the seventh for the Dodgers, but after allowing a two-out infield single to pinch hitter Austin Slater, was replaced by Blake Treinen.

Treinen stayed on through the eighth and allowed one run after Brandon Crawford doubled and scored on a Kris Bryant fielder’s choice groundout to third.

The Dodgers added two more in the bottom of the eighth after a Seager single and home run by Will Smith to center, his second of the series.

Phil Bickford threw a scoreless ninth to seal the victory for the Dodgers. Kelly was credited with the win, and DeSclafani was tagged with the loss.

The Giants used a total of eight different pitchers on the evening. The Dodgers used six.

Betts was the big bopper for the Dodgers, going 2-for-4 with the homer and three RBI. The bottom half of the order came up big again for Los Angeles as Lux and Bellinger had two hits apiece.

Skipper Dave Roberts has already suggested that he will start Julio Urias in Game 5. His counterpart Gabe Kapler has not made a commitment, although one can speculate it might be Logan Webb, the winning pitcher in Game 1.

12 thoughts on “Dodgers Force Deciding NLDS Game 5 in San Francisco

  1. As Webb is a righty and Bellinger and Lux are both swinging the bat well to energize the lower half of a sometimes very potent long line-up I like the Dodgers chances. Urias is a money pitcher he proved that last year and this year. The Dodger bullpen and pitching have been incredibly effective.
    It’s all about the offense does it show up? Hats off to the Giants they have been as good as advertised.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great way to answer a gut wrenching loss. I was a little frustrated when they had chances to add and did not, but Wade made a great catch on Taylor’s ball and I thought he we go again. But the next inning they score two and go up 4-0. The only play I did not like was when Lux was on third and he broke when Taylor hit a weak grounder to the pitcher. The contact play only works, and then only sometimes, if the ball is hit to an infielder. Not back to the mound. Lux had come too far down the line and did not stay in the run down long enough for Bellinger to get to third. Pen did a great job. Graterol threw 3 pitches that clocked at 102 or better!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Let’s face it, tomorrow’s game could go either way.

    Giants have home field (fans) advantage. They also know their way around that outfield better than the Dodgers (especially if Lux is one of the starters).

    Both pitchers have the ability to be excellent with Webb almost unbeatable at home this year but Urias in the middle of a number Dodger playoff victories in recent years.

    At its best, the Dodger lineup is stronger than the Giants’.

    The Dodgers (as a unit) have more post season experience than SF.

    The Giants somehow seem like a team of destiny this year.

    Right now, the Dodger bullpen seems stronger than the Giants.

    But we need to remember that past performance is not a definite predictor of future performance. The Dodgers had won 15 home games in a row and had not lost a Scherzer start before they lost at home with Scherzer pitching in game 4.

    My prediction: Final score Dodgers 4, Giants 3. Winning run knocked in by Austin Barnes.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. One thing of note, the Giants have scored all most of their runs on homers. Shut down the HR’s and they can be beat. Webb has not lost at home this year. He is due. So, do not chase, be patient, and square up some balls. Dodgers have more experience in these types of games, and have won their last 5 win or go home games. 3 against Atlanta in the NLCS last year, the wild card game and game 4. I also think it will be tight, but I am hoping they get the lead early. That is key. Baseball lost Ray Fosse yesterday.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Did you guys notice that Bellinger was choking up with 2 strikes the other day? I was glad to see that and he was not chasing pitches either. Cody is coming around at the right time. I predict a Belli bomb tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Bear Bellinger choking up with two strikes and not chasing was a joy to see. Dodger fans are thrilled. Bellinger has a ton of talent. We are all happy he finally figured out that depending on strikes and the game you have to change your approach.
      Most of the Dodger hits the other night were to center or the opposite field. If the Dodgers will continue to wait on the pitch and take it the other way they will win. If they revert back to being impatient and lunging at balls in the dirt or out of the strike zone they will make Webb an ace and lose.
      So far Justin Turner is 1 for 17 and Trea Turner 3 for 18 do they get untracked?
      I am a huge Urias fan. he has pitched more innings than ever this year. he has the heart of a champion and rose to the challenge last year and in the second game. Let’s see how he does.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree T. I also think JT is due. Trea looked a little less jumpy at the plate in game 4. He seemed to be acting like he had never been there before. But he was a lot more patient in that game. I also think Bellinger is feeling better than he has at any time this season. His shoulder is still an issue, but a minor one. Lux will be in there. His at bats have been good and if the wind had not been blowing on Monday night, he would have tied the game. Well actually he might not have come up at all because Taylor’s ball earlier in the game was crushed and caught on the track also. And his was hit with a man on.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. They also need Seager to pick up the pace. He has been on top of a lot of pitches and not squaring up the ball like he did in his first at bat in game 4. Dodgers have won their last 5 elimination games. Lets do it again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As you say Bear the Dodgers have won two games with their core hitters not hitting well. They are definitely due and Trea did look better last game. It’s all or nothing they have to be patient especially against Webb as he throws a lot of breaking pitches that break out of the zone and are balls. If they wait and go the other way they can beat him.

      Liked by 1 person

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