Things were looking super grim for the Dodgers in the sixth inning of game 3 of the NLDS at National’s park on Sunday night at Washington D.C. Don’t tell me you weren’t worried. I was petrified. After all things were not going well. They were down by two, the ghost of Anibal Sanchez was mowing down the Dodger bats with off-speed pitches and the Nationals had just brought in game 1 starter Patrick Corbin to pitch in relief. He was the guy the Dodgers couldn’t hit earlier in the series. The Dodgers were losing and time was running out. Dodger fam was starting to panic. Then the bats woke up. The Dodgers built a massive two-out seven run rally in that sixth inning to silence the Washington faithful and give the Dodgers the series lead and some great momentum. The Dodgers beat the Nationals 10-4 in game 3.
The sixth inning proved why the Dodgers are so dangerous and why they won 106 games in the regular season. Their lineup is powerful and relentless. They are able to put up crooked numbers at any point in the ball game, and that’s just what they did against Washington in that fateful sixth frame. It was the veterans that led the Dodgers to victory in game 3. Russell Martin was the star of the game, going 2 for 4 with a big clutch two-run double in that sixth inning rally. He had four runs driven in on the night including a two-run home run. Muncy hit a monstrous home run. Justin Turner had three hits and guys like Enrique Hernandez, David Freese, and yes the slumping Cody Bellinger contributed with key hits.
But before all that happened, the Dodgers looked about as dead as you can get. Hyun-jin Ryu gave up a two-run home run to Juan Soto in the bottom of the first and the Dodgers were losing immediately. We’ve seen this show before. Remember in game 2 when Clayton Kershaw gave up three runs early? The ghost of Anibal Sanchez kept the Dodgers flummoxed with a bevy of off-speed offerings and occasional 90 MPH heaters. By the sixth inning rolled around, Sanchez had struck out 9, and allowed just four hits through five innings. Some lengthy at-bats ran up his pitch count, allowing the Dodgers to get into the meaty part of the Washington bullpen.
NLDS Game 3 Dodgers Lead Series 2-1
Dodgers 10 14 0
Nationals 4 6 0
The Dodgers just scored SEVEN RUNS in the 6th inning 🤯 pic.twitter.com/XZVYl6RRnb
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 7, 2019
While Sanchez was pitching impressively, the Dodgers squandered a bases loaded opportunity in the top of the first. After two walks and a Turner single, Bellinger and A.J. Pollock both struck out. Pollock especially has been struggling. He’s 0 for 11 so far in this series, and I am not sure he’ll get a hit before this series comes to a close. In the top of the fifth, it was the offensive spark plug Muncy who woke the Dodgers up with a massive bomb to right. That cut the score to 2-1.
In the sixth inning, Sanchez had made too many pitches. The Nationals couldn’t use Max Scherzer (who starts tomorrow) nor could they use Stephen Strasburg who pitched and won game 2. So they called on left hander Patrick Corbin. The Dodgers smelled blood in the water. Bellinger led off the inning with a single to right. After Corey Seager and Pollock both whiffed, the Dodgers had to go to the bench with Gavin Lux’s spot due up. David Freese, postseason hero poked a single through the hole in right to extend the inning. After going down in the count 0-2, Martin smoked a double off the low wall in left to score two and put the Dodgers on top 3-2. Mood:EXCITED.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 7, 2019
The onslaught continued. Chris Taylor worked a key walk and then Enrique Hernandez’s pinch-hit double scored two more runs to give the Dodgers a 5-2 lead. After Max Muncy was intentionally walked, Washington went back to the bullpen bringing in Wander Suero. Justin Turner then homered into the Dodger bullpen and the boys in blue went up by an 8-2 score. Nationals Park was stunned.
It wasn’t over though. The Dodgers still had to get some outs. Unfortunately Joe Kelly was not the man to get those outs. He struggled in the bottom of the sixth. He gave up three walks, a single and a wild pitch before he was finally removed. Dave Roberts woke up and brought in Julio Urias to restore order. The youngster got Asdrubal Cabrera to fly out to right which brought in a run. The Nationals made a huge base running blunder when former Dodger Howie Kendrick got tagged out between second and third on the sac fly. Then Urias got Michael A. Taylor to pop out. The Dodger lead was now 8-4.
The Dodgers almost scored off of Fernando Rodney in the top of the seventh. They loaded the bases, but couldn’t score. Urias pitched another scoreless frame in the bottom of the seventh. Adam Kolarek continued his string of very useful pitching by striking out Soto to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Kenta Maeda finished the frame without incident.
Russell Martin’s two-run home run in the top of the ninth extended the Dodger’s lead to 10-4. Kenley Jansen came in to pitch the bottom of the ninth and struck out two in a perfect inning. The Dodgers win it 10-4! The Dodgers are now one win away from reaching their fourth consecutive NLCS. They’ll have to beat Max Scherzer tomorrow afternoon in game 4. He’ll go for the Nationals as they try to keep their season alive and bring the series back to Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to try and wrap up the series. Expect for the Nationals to use everyone including the kitchen sink. Don’t get cocky. The playoffs are not for the faint of heart.
— Lola It's Big Ball Chunky Time & DH still sucks (@lawbibliophile) October 7, 2019
Yeah I feel you detective Murtaugh. Go Blue.