The Dodgers knocked off the Dbacks on Monday night in game 3 of the NLDS, beating the snakes 3-1 sweeping their way into the NLCS. Many of the pundits including the entire TBS broadcast team thought the Dodgers would have trouble with the Snakes in the NLDS. The Dbacks have long been a thorn in the Dodger’s side. Thankfully the Dodgers spit in the face of those naysayers completing their first NLDS sweep since 2009.
The Dbacks are a good team. I can see them being competitive and giving the Dodgers trouble again in 2018. They have a powerful lineup and a strong pitching staff. But the Dodgers are just a better club. The Dodgers finished 11 games ahead of the Snakes for a reason. The boys in blue were the better team during the regular season (winning 104 games), and they proved that on the field with a resounding sweep over the Arizona club.
No disrespect to the Diamondbacks because they’re a tough opponent. This proves without a doubt that winning your division is super important in this current postseason format. The Dbacks have a strong pitching staff as well, but they were no match for the Dodgers. They burnt their best pitchers (Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray, Archie Bradley etc.) in their wild card win over Colorado which played a big part in their 2017 demise in the NLDS. The Dodgers would have beaten them anyways, but the Dback’s depleted pitching staff certainly helped.
In case you were wondering, the Dodgers did not jump in the pool. The Dbacks made sure of this by guarding the pool with a contingent of horse drawn security. Talk about sore losers. Enjoy your offseason Arizona and have fun on the golf course!
— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) October 10, 2017
The Dodgers are a better team in 2017 because they have several X-factors that they didn’t have last season. Once of those x-factors was on the mound on Monday night. Game 3 starting pitcher Yu Darvish is one of those x-factors. Darvish was fantastic in game 3 dominating the Dbacks lineup with five innings of one-run ball. Darvish allowed just two hits, while striking out seven over 5+ innings. Darvish did not walk anyone and the only blemish on his night was a solo home run to Daniel Descalso. The Japanese right hander used a plethora of nasty cutters and 90+ MPH heaters to stymie the Arizona hitters. Darvish’s control was spot on and if he continues to pitch like he did in Arizona then the Dodgers will have a great chance of winning the pennant.
— MLB (@MLB) October 10, 2017
Another x-factor for the Dodgers was of course first baseman Cody Bellinger. The rookie smashed his first career postseason home run off of Zack Greinke and made a terrific catch falling over the railing into the Dodger dugout while catching a foul pop. The Dodgers didn’t have Bellinger last season and with veteran Adrian Gonzalez out with a bad back, he’s been their top home run hitter, run producer and has played sterling defense at first base.
Yet another x-factor for the Dodgers is center fielder Chris Taylor. The Dodger’s lead-off hitter for most of the season doubled in the first inning and scored on Bellinger’s grounder to plate the Dodger’s first tune of the game. That set the tone for the boys in blue. Taylor has been a revelation for the Dodgers slugging 21 home runs and posting an .850 OPS. Taylor collected three hits in the NLDS and scored three runs in the series.
One more x-factor for the Dodgers was right handed reliever Brandon Morrow. He came into the game in the seventh inning and got four huge outs to setup Kenta Maeda and Kenley Jansen. His 1.1 innings of scoreless relief extended the lead into the late innings. If not for Morrow the Dodgers could have had trouble getting the ball to Kenley.
The Dodgers didn’t have these guys last year. The addition of these Key players is a huge reason why the Dodgers are headed to the NLCS for the second consecutive season.