The Dodgers looked dead again after a crushing 9-2 loss to the Braves in game 4 of the NLCS on Wednesday night. The club had lost Justin Turner for the rest of the postseason after he suffered a strained hamstring trying to beat out a grounder. They’re already without Clayton Kershaw, and Max Muncy and a host of other important players. Julio Urias got shelled. The offense couldn’t muster anything, and the club was on the brink of elimination once again. With a bullpen game looming for game 5 and Atlanta’s best starting pitcher Max Fried on the mound, things looked dark indeed for the boys in blue. Until an eleven-run outburst and a fantastic outing from the bullpen revived the club from the dead. Postseason MVP Chris Taylor delivered a historic night by clubbing 3 home runs in a 4 for 5 performance. AJ Pollock smashed two home runs himself and the Dodgers pounded the Braves 11-2 to force the series back to Atlanta on Saturday.
The Dodger bats exploded with three runs in the second, one in the third, two in the fifth and four in the bottom of the eighth. Before the bats woke up, the game seemed like it was going to go the other way. Joe Kelly the opener recorded just two outs before giving up a shift beating single to Ozzie Albies and a two-run home run to Freddie Freeman before being removed because of biceps soreness. Evan Phillips restored order by getting the final out of the inning. Brusdar Graterol was the pitching star of the night tossing two scoreless frames and looking every bit of the feared flame thrower that we thought he was.
Pollock led off the bottom of the second with his first home run of the game. Albert Pujols singled and then Taylor launched home run number one. Taylor singled home a run in the third and then smashed a two-run home run in the fifth off of reliever Chris Martin. Fried had already been knocked out of the game after issuing two walks in that inning. Taylor hit another homer in the seventh to give him three long balls and etching his name into Dodger postseason record books. He isn’t called CT3 for nothing, right?
Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Corey Seager all tallied consecutive singles in the bottom of the eighth before Pollock hit his second home run of the game to blow the contest open for the Dodgers. Kenley Jansen finished the game in the top of the ninth. The Dodgers have now won seven consecutive elimination games dating back to last year, which included three in a row over the Braves in the NLCS. Is history repeating itself? Can they do it again? This team is never dull, that’s for sure. RepeatLA is still alive as the series shifts back to Atlanta. The Dodgers will give the ball to Max Scherzer and if there is ever a time, they need him to be on his A-game, it’s now. The Braves will probably give the ball to Ian Anderson. Game time is at 2:08 PM PST. Don’t stop believing folks!
The Dodgers finally remembered that they're the Dodgers
— Ladodgerreport (@Ladodgerreport) October 22, 2021
3 thoughts on “NLCS Game 5: CT3, Pollock Bring Dodgers Back From The Grave, Force Game 6”
Amazing win, Scott!
Exactly what they had to do. Make a statement. And totally demoralize the Braves. Offense showed up big time and chased their Ace, Fried.
I hope Kelly’s injury is not too serious. Relievers once again did their job. Phillips, Vesia, Bazooka, and Treinen put up the zeros to set up Keneble and Jansen to slam the door.
CT3 and AJ Pollock were on fire, both putting up a combined 5 HR’s, and 10
RBI’s. Everyone contributed setting the table and passing the baton…both the pitchers and hitters.
Dodger Aces, Scherzer and Buehler must bring their A game, and vs. Anderson Morton, the Dodgers actually had those two on the ropes and chased them early, so I give the edge to the Dodgers to sweep the last two. Dodgers have the momentum. All hands on deck. Offense has to continue the barrage. I hope DR stays with this winning lineup…. Don’t mess with it. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. No more excuses.
Gonna be a wild two games in ATL.
Well, DR threw another curveball. Scherzer will not start Game 6. Could this be another magic trick by DR? Is he trying to pull another rabbit out of his Dodger Beanie? Scherzer’s arm is tired? Is it really? Is it that Scherzer wants to opportunity to be the Dodger hero and bask in a possible Game 7 victory? Now Kelly has biceps strain? Bruihl also possibly coming up lame? Is this a ploy to possibly bring in up fresh arm taxi squaders like Jackson or White? Price is activated….So what? No improvement there.
It was just announced that Buehler is the starter for Game 6. We can only hope that Buehler will not repeat his embarrassing Game 3 performance. Will Scherzer miraculously recover to be ready for Game 7, if they get there?
Scott, you are right, this pitching staff is a mess. The Dodger Bullpen has actually produced better results than their starting rotation. Maybe they should just stick with bullpen games.
But, pitching is 1/3rd of the problem. Pitching is nothing if they cannot score runs, and the defense gives up extra outs and runs. The offense has been hot or cold and defense has been mediocre. We all know the Dodger MO is offensive surge in one game, then flat line the following game. We all know their Achilles Heel is RISP. Sad when your 6-8 in the lineup, led by CT3 and a resuscitated Belli, are doing better than the top of the lineup. The biggest liability in 1-5 is Trea Turner…The Dodger Victory Ship is dragging an anchor, stuck on an oil pipeline. Even Tío Albert and Lux would be a better option at this point. Without Muncy and now JT, Betts and Seager have a tough assignment. At least Pollock is now showing a pulse. But, long ball is not always gonna be there. The Dodgers need to shorten up, have productive at-bats, and pass the baton. Be patient. Get the opposing pitcher’s pitch count up, Create havoc on the basepaths.
The Dodgers had their remaining two aces, Morton and Anderson on the ropes, but failed to finish them off. The Dodger offense and defense did not show up. The offense is there, as proven in game 5. They just need to make it happen.
Go Blue! You have been there before.
Game 6 – No heroics, Dodgers eliminated themselves.
Well, Dodger fans. All I can say is the Dodgers beat themselves. All through the season and into the playoffs, the Dodgers blew so many games, wasting scoring opportunities, or displayed piss poor defense. They were lucky to go as far as they did.
Icing on the cake in Game 6 was the decision to challenge Rosario, rather than walk him. Two outs, 1st base open, why pitch to him? So what happens? A three run HR on a 1-2 cutter, which Rosario was waiting for, thanks to Smith. The next batter, Buehler strikes out for the third out. Really blame Will Smith. His sequence calling stunk. 5 straight cutters to the hottest hitter in the series? Smith’s pitch calling was suspect all night.
Another mistake? After a free pass, Trea Turner fails to steal a base preceding Belli’s RBI single. If Turner steals second, Belli maybe gets two RBI’s, and maybe a conga line would have developed.
Pedro Martinez summed it up in pregame. He said if the Dodgers lose, they should take a good hard look at the excessive use of ANAL-itics. DR is so hung up on matchups that he fails to use common sense.
Biggest problem? RISP! All season long, and throughout the playoffs. Tonight they were just 2-10 with RISP. Add to that, 14 strikeouts. Top of the lineup went 0-11. Pathetic. Offense was too selective, looking for a cookie to hit over the fence, instead of just seeing the ball and hitting it.
Bottom of the order had a pulse managing to score the only two runs, and relievers once again kept the game close.
The three starters failed to live up to expectations. DR’s management of the starting rotation was appalling. The use of Scherzer and Urias as relievers proved to be a big mistake, and Buehler on short rest was a disaster waiting to happen. How man blown arms on the Dodger paroll.
Biggest consolation, Dodger Fans? The way these guys have played, they avoided being embarrassed by the A$$tros. We did not have to witness an impending massacre.
Yes, they had injuries, that’s just a part of the sport, but many magnified by DR’s wreck-less management decisions that put players in compromising situations.
So, big changes next season for sure. Lots of key free agents and arbitrations.
Disappointed…YES. Expected this ending to the season… YES, unfortunately.