NLCS Game 3: Dodgers Shutdown and Shutout

On the 30th anniversary of the magical home run by Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series that propelled the Los Angeles Dodgers to their last World Series title, they would be looking for the same kind of magic tonight, as the Milwaukee Brewers came to town for Game 3 of a tied best of seven series. Walker Buehler would be on the mound for the Dodgers, as the Brewers sent right-hander Jhoulys Chacin to the hill, who the Dodgers lit up for 9 runs the last time they faced him. It would not be a repeat of that day, however, as the Brewers scored first and didn’t look back, holding off a ninth inning rally for a 4-0 victory to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

The night didn’t start off so swift for Buehler, as he walked Christian Yelich with one out, then hung a slider to Ryan Braun who ripped it into the left field corner to give the Brewers a 1-0 lead.

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The Dodgers would be retired in order in the 1st inning, when the 2nd inning would be a sign of things to come for the LA offense. Manny Machado led off the inning with a sharp single into left. After Cody Bellinger hit into a fielder’s choice, Puig doubled getting Cody to 3rd. Yasmani Grandal with the infield playing back would strike out for the second out of the inning. Brewers Manager Craig Counsell chose to walk Kike Hernandez to load the bases, and Walker Buehler promptly struck out to leave the bases loaded.

As Walker Buehler continued to cruise through the 5th inning, the Dodgers next scoring chance would come in the bottom half of the inning when Grandal blooped a double into shallow left-field that somehow bounced into the seats for a leadoff ground-rule double. He would not advance passed 2nd base in the inning when Hernandez flied out, Buehler struck out, and Joc Pederson flied out to center.

The top half of the 6th inning would start innocently enough for Buehler as he got the first two batters on two pitches, then Travis Shaw hit a 2-0 pitch off the center field wall for a triple, and would score on a wild pitch to make it 2-0. The Dodgers would leave Justin Turner on 2nd base in the bottom of the 6th after a Moustakas error didn’t harm Milwaukee.

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The Brewers would add on two more in the 7th on an Orlando Arcia 2-run home run extending the Milwaukee lead to 4-0. That remained the score heading to the bottom of the 9th inning where Turner led off with a ground ball single up the middle, followed by a double from Machado, advancing Turner to 3rd. Bellinger would pop out to the shortstop, and Puig walked loading the bases once again for the Dodgers. Yasmani Grandal came to the plate representing the tying run, and a chance to atone for his miserable series, thus far. It was not to be as he struck out for the second out. Brian Dozier would follow suit with a strike out of his own to finish the game, stranding three more runners on base for a total of 8 on the night, 6 of which were left in scoring position. Heading to a very important Game 4 for the Dodgers, they’ll be sending Rich Hill to even the series. No announced starter has been set for the Milwaukee Brewers. (Note, the Brewers have announced it’s Gio Gonzalez)

Chad Clarke

I grew up in San Diego a lifelong Dodger fan. The only nosebleed I’ve ever had was minutes before Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. I used to dress up as Steve Sax every Halloween, and Mike Piazza is my all-time favorite player. I patterned my windup in Little League after Orel Hershiser, and called my own baseball video games as if I was Vin Scully. I used to work in basketball, but have been drawn back to baseball in recent years. I’m fascinated with the strategy and decision-making involved in the game, and glad I can write about it here. I love to discuss opposing viewpoints, so feel free to comment and I’ll try to respond.

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3 thoughts on “NLCS Game 3: Dodgers Shutdown and Shutout

  1. What a sad way to open up the home stand after gaining home field advantage. 52,000 disappointed fans, asking for Grandal’s head.

    Could not have asked for more from Buehler (7 innings, 8 K’s). He did his part. Just maybe two mistakes. If he had a little run support, maybe things would have been different. Sometimes, when you get no support, you make stupid mistakes when trying to do it all yourself.

    The offense flatlined again. Wasted opportunities. 0-10 RISP, 14 KO’s, 20 LOB. To begin with, DR’s Ouija Board lineup was a disaster. Batting Muncy (0-3, 2 K’s) 2nd, Bellinger (0-4) 5th,. Maybe Pederson (0-3) needed a day off after his wife had a baby last night. Then, starting Grandal and playing him the whole game? Not a wise decision.

    Grandal was worthless offensively, 3 K’s, choking twice with runners in scoring position. Then defensively, another passed ball, and a wild pitch that he should have blocked. The idiot calls for a meeting at the mound, and then the very first pitch after the meeting, he fails to block the pitch. WTF? With damage already done, he did manage to get a “Bronx Cheer” for actually preventing a passed ball. To top it off, he had the fans also calling for Barnes to replace him.

    “The Smirk” horsing around on the base paths twice, got caught the second time, costing the Dodgers a baserunner. This type of clowning around is totally unnecessary.

    Bellinger 0-4 with two weak grounders, one a FC, the other a GIDP, thanks to “Smirk’s” antics. What is Bellinger…. 1-20? Why is he Batting 5th?

    Game 1, and Game 3 given to the Brewers on a silver platter. If the Dodgers blow this series, heads should roll, starting with the FO. And the Dodgers should be looking for a new catcher.

    I know it is not over until Lasorda sings, but the Dodgers need to wake up real quick, to prevent that from happening.

  2. The crew yanked home field advantage right out of the hands of the Dodgers tonight. They accomplished the required minimum of winning at least one game away. While the Dodgers are not out of it, they will be disadvantaged going forward.

    The problems that have plagued the team all year are still present. Same group of players, same habits. Do you get the feeling that the Dodgers don’t act like a ‘team’? I mean in the sense of everyone being on the same page. I get no consistent sense from this group. I never know who is showing up. The only thing that seems to be important, which it is, is no HR’s, no wins. The Dodgers are a HR team. Take that away and they will lose more often than not.

    Bellinger looks completely lost. The sophomore jinx has really haunted him this year. I like him but he needs to work out whatever it is that is occupying his mind.

    Kemp needs to be let go of as the FO seems to not be committed to him. He is not in their plans.
    Grandal needs to be let go of because he stinks. Same for Dozier.
    Machado will be looking for a pile of $$ but I don’t think FAZ will pay his price. Teams will be lining up to sign him.
    Sign Freese if he’s willing. He can play 1B and 3B, 2 positions of importance.
    Get Muncy in the starting lineup and keep him there.
    Try to trade Puig in a high profile trade. He is not developing in the way they originally wanted.
    Don’t give Kershaw a large extension. We need to revamp the starting rotation. 3 starters are now in the bullpen. Is Hill worth $16M? He’s our winningest pitcher! If they are going to commit to Urias, let him start next season. Wood and Stripling have gone south. Wood was a .500 pitcher until last season. He seems to have lost that mojo. So has Strip, but maybe there is still some hope there. Cheap contracts are attractive to FAZ, especially if it gets them winning the division each year they are in charge. They don’t seem to be any closer to getting the real prize, though, the WS. What’s missing is the fire in the belly. The crew have it. Astros have it.

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