Oh boy, what a roller coaster that was! The Dodgers never make it easy for us, do they? I was getting ready to write the story about how the Dodgers would play tomorrow with their backs against the wall.
Then came the craziness of the eighth inning. Will Smith and AJ Pollock managed to hit singles, then came up Cody Bellinger who hammered a game-tying three-run homer off of Braves reliever Luke Jackson as Dodger Stadium exploded.
Chris Taylor would then single and steal second base and Mookie Betts hit an RBI double off of Atlanta right-hander Jesse Chavez for a 6-5 lead and what would be the deciding run.
Kenley Jansen then appeared like his prime self and struck out the side dominantly, giving the Dodgers the win and cutting the deficit to 2-1 in the NLCS.
It appeared early on that the Dodgers would get onto a comfortable lead on a first-inning run homer by Corey Seager. The Dodgers managed to get several runners on, but the story of the postseason continued as they failed to bring them in.
The 2 p.m. Pacific start time also came into effect in a negative way. There were several fly balls that were misplayed due to the sun. Most noticeably, one misplayed in center field by Gavin Lux allowed the Braves to tie the game and later take the lead.
The nightmare for the Blue Crew began in the top of the fourth aided by other external factors, as I mentioned previously the Lux misplay, but what appeared as strike three during a Joc Pederson at-bat was not called by the home plate umpire. The at-bat continued and Pederson slapped an RBI single to tie the game. From then on, the Braves took a 4-2 lead and added another run in the fifth inning to make it 5-2.
From that point, it seemed the Dodgers were changing pitchers every batter or so as they ran into traffic jams on the bases. However, the bullpen kept the game within reach.
And, it is a good thing they did, because that eighth inning might have just saved the Dodgers season. You’re now facing a 2-1 deficit at home, with a bullpen game for Atlanta coming up, as opposed to a 0-3 deficit.
The TBS broadcast before the eighth inning showed several fans leaving Dodger Stadium, and now I bet they wish they would have stayed, as you never leave a baseball game early regardless of the score.
It also marked the first time in Dodger franchise history that they came back from down three runs or more in the playoffs beyond the seventh inning.
The Dodgers also used nine pitchers in this game which is quite insane.
Walker Buehler only lasted 3 ⅔ innings allowing seven hits and four runs. Braves starter Charlie Morton lasted five innings only allowing two tuns.
The Dodgers, after all that, will now look to even up the series tomorrow as they hand the ball to 20 game-winner Julio Urias.
The left-handed Urias will start despite pitching in Game 2 in relief allowing two runs. The Braves have not announced a starter for tomorrow, it has been expected they may go for a bullpen game.
First pitch for Wednesday’s Game 4 is slated for 5:08 p.m. Pacific.
8 thoughts on “Dodgers Strike Back in NLCS Game 3”
I wasn’t expecting much until I saw that shot of the cars leaving the stadium. That’s when I knew we would at least make the game close.
I remember a shot very similar to that the night of the 4+1 game. As a matter of fact I know someone who actually left that game and never did see the 4 homers. They did get home in time to see Nomar finish it though.
That was also the famous scene on October 15, 1988- after Gibby did the seemingly impossible & beat the best closer in the game at that time(Eckersley), who had prophetically “wished” for the Dodgers to beat the Mets(shorter flight, 1:20 vs 5:20 from LGA).
The misplay by Lux was unfortunate and that was followed by a clear third strike that was called a ball and if I remember correctly a broken bat blooper. The Braves took advantage of their opportunities. I don’t blame Lux. What I don’t understand is why he is not in LF and Taylor in CF? What a great moment to see Bellinger come thru with that blast after the year he has had. If he is “back” it means so much to that lineup. And Kenley Jansen was spectacular! Other than too many walks early in the year he has been really good with being able to mix in several different pitches and not just throw his cutter. Hoping the Turners both contribute tonight and we even up the series. Go Dodgers.
Lux has said that he likes playing CF better because he sees the ball off of the bat better. That is why he is in center. Personally, I like Belli out there best of all. I had turned the game off after the 5th inning. I was just too pissed and frustrated to watch any more. But after watching some regular TV, I switched back just after Belli hit his homer. I saw the Taylor steal, not mentioned enough in the narratives I have read. Had he been on first, different ending. Then Mookie scorched that ball past Pederson. Seager walks, Turner with another infield single. I was looking for an insurance run right there with Smith coming up. But unlike his previous approach earlier in the inning, he swung at a ball he could not square up and popped out. But Jansen just blew the Braves down in the 9th. Julio is going tonight. Tie the series, that is what they need to do. You do not want to face Fried down 3-1, What I saw with all the people leaving was the 88 series all over again..All those cars in the parking lot heading out and all the stop lights coming on when Gibby hit the homer. Seager tied Turner with the most post season HR’s in Dodgers history at 13. But I think Snider’s 11 came with more pressure since they were all World Series shots.
I agree that Taylor’s steal was big though he may have scored from first on Betts double. I love the aggressive base running and stolen bases. Brings back memories of Wills and Willie Davis.
I still like Lux better in Left if he misses one it’s less likely to cause as much damage. But overall, I think he is doing a great job out there.
I would not start Pujols again when the lefty pitches. He seems to be swinging at all the pitches at the bottom of the zone and lower. You would think after 20 years he could recognize those pitches for what they are.
If you watch Mookies double, the ball comes right back to Pederson, had Taylor been on first, he might have just been halfway between 2nd and 3rd. If he was not already at 3rd, Ebel probably would have given him the stop sign. Lux has made a couple of misplay’s in CF. Mostly misjudging the flight of the ball. I think he is ok out there, but with 3 more experienced and much better CF’s on the team, I prefer one of those guys out there. Buehler though, with a lot of class took the blame for the misplay on himself.
Today’s lineup posted. Same lineup as yesterday with Lux back in center.
Great win. Glad to see Cody did it..he has been hitting better and missing less swings
Yes lux in left makes sense but Turners must wake up . Should they be moved in lineup
Another must win for gasmen 4 Need Julio at his best
Good luck LA