If there’s one thing that we learned over the course of the first two games of the 2022 NLDS, it’s that the San Diego Padres have come ready to play. By no means have the Dodgers been performing well, but the Padres have shown they will not roll over easily the way they did in 14 of the 19 matchups during the regular season.
If you’re a big follower of social media, it wasn’t hard to sense the frustration among fans after Game 2, even though it was just the team’s first loss of the playoffs. Several small squabbles among Dodger fans broke out in the stands and the concourse, indicating the high levels of tension.
Fans were expressing their opinions all over the place, from dissatisfaction with the starting pitching to the underperformance of the bullpen to the in-game decisions by manager Dave Roberts. This scenario is certainly an unfamiliar sight, as there wasn’t much at all to complain about during the club’s record-breaking 111-51 regular season.
One of the biggest fan beefs was when Roberts opted to use Austin Barnes as a pinch-hitter for Cody Bellinger with the team threatening to score in the bottom of the eighth. Gavin Lux was on second and Trayce Thompson was on first courtesy of a single and a walk, but Barnes flew out to center just shy of the warning track to end the rally. All this happened with both Chris Taylor and Miguel Vargas on the bench because Roberts preferred Barnes’ “shorter swing” against San Diego reliever Josh Hader.
At the end of the day, the problem wasn’t so much Roberts, as the Dodgers simply could not drive home the men they put on base. The Dodgers out-hit the Padres 11-9, but they left a whopping 19 runners on base, a formula that will not produce an overwhelming number of wins against a decent MLB club like San Diego.
Nevertheless, as our good friend Tommy Lasorda used to say, “one game does not make an entire playoff series.” Even though there’s still plenty of baseball left, the series has now come down to a best-of-three affair, with two of the games scheduled in San Diego.
A few things that we do know ahead of Game 3 is that Taylor will start in left field with Thompson shifting to center. Tony Gonsolin will get the start on the mound, although his max pitch count will likely be under 75 pitches. Roberts stated via Zoom on Thursday that he’ll have Andrew Heaney and Dustin May ready to piggyback Gonsolin, with a plan of starting lefty Tyler Anderson in Game 4.
The Padres will send southpaw Blake Snell to the bump in Friday’s Game 3, which probably factored into Roberts’ decision of starting an all-righty-hitting outfield.
Friday’s first pitch is slated for 5:37 p.m. Pacific.
8 thoughts on “Dodgers Head to San Diego for Pivotal NLDS Game 3”
The offense has got to make Snell pitch in the zone. Cannot chase ending with an abundance of Ks.
…especially with runners on base.
Really need Mookie and JT to get going.
Catman can do RIP Bruce Sutter. Passed away at age 69.
Catman didn’t do. He was even worse than I thought he was going to be.
Catman was just about what I expected.
His past playoff history combined with not having pitched much in the past month combined with the fact that he needs good command to be successful……………………………………….
Heaney also pitched pretty much as expected, keeping the other team under control except for the homer or two he always gives up.
That said, our loss last night was not due to their pitching shortcomings, but due to the total lack of hitting with RISP, a funk which the Dodgers seem to fall into at very inopportune times. Eventually they always pull out of it and go on to score their usual 5+ runs per game. Of course, if they don’t pull out of it tonight, the next chance to do that will be in Spring 2023.
It’s now in Anderson’s hands. He’s had a great season and is a veteran but never been in this pressure situation. We really need the bats to come alive and score 6-8 runs and take the pressure off.
Damn Roberts for guaranteeing a World Series Championship in the Spring! Not that I am superstitious.