The Diamondbacks were described as the team of destiny, or so the TBS announcers told us. They were too good for the Dodgers to beat. The Dodgers were scared, and didn’t want to face them according to TBS and the rest of the haters. After all, the Cinderella Snakes were red-hot and the overconfident Dodgers had only won 104 games in the regular season.
Yet those little upstart Dodgers did what many of the TBS broadcasters and employees thought they couldn’t, they swept the Dbacks in the NLDS, beating the Snakes 3-1 in game 3 and sending the annoying Dbacks to the swimming pool for the winter. The Dodgers advance to the NLCS and await the winner of the Cubs/Nationals series.
Dodgers 3 7 0
Dbacks 1 3 0
The Dodgers had to beat former Dodger and turncoat Zack Greinke in order to do it. He’s tough at home, (13-1 2.87 ERA) so this was not an easy task. The Dodgers played their usual game, using their exceptional plate discipline to grind Greinke and the DBacks into dust. Greinke had 7 3-ball counts through the first four innings and was knocked out of the game by the sixth inning as the Dodger bats ran his pitch count up early.
Greinke allowed three earned runs on four hits across five innings issuing five walks and striking out four. The big blows were the two home runs he served up to Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes. However things weren’t all roses as the Dodgers left six runners on base and were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position as Greinke wiggled out of jams during the early innings.
The Dodgers took the lead early in the top of the first. Chris Taylor led-off the game with a double off the left field wall and after Corey Seager worked a walk, Justin Turner moved Taylor to third with a productive fly ball to center. Cody Bellinger’s grounder to first scored Taylor as Paul Goldschmidt missed the first base bag with his foot. The slight delay allowed the run to score and the Dodgers were up 1-0.
In contrast Dodger starter Yu Darvish proved why he was worth the price of top prospect Willie Calhoun. Darvish breezed through the first four innings with ease, using a combination of a deadly cutter and 90+ MPH heaters. The Japanese righty had seven punch-outs through the first five frames, and the only hit he allowed was a bunt single to Ketel Marte.
The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the top of the third after two walks and a single, but Barnes grounded into a force out as Greinke escaped. Darvish continued to mow down the Snakes as he induced three consecutive grounders in the bottom half of the third.
The fifth inning was Greinke’s undoing. With two outs, Bellinger bombed one deep into the Phoenix night over the left field wall to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. Unfortunately the Dbacks struck back in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run from Daniel Descalso. That made the score 2-1 Dodgers.
Bellinger also did this…..
With his pitch count rising, (Greinke made 29 pitches in the first inning) Barnes bashed a solo shot to put the Dodgers ahead 3-1. That was all for Greinke as the Dbacks removed him and brought in Jorge De La Rosa. Pinch-hitter Enrique Hernandez doubled off the wall, but the boys in blue stranded him.
Then Darvish lost it in the bottom of the sixth inning. He nearly hits Christian Walker, but the ball hit the knob of the bat. Arizona challenges but loses. The at-bat continues and then Darvish actually hits him. This time he hit him in the helmet. Roberts immediately hooks him and brings in lefty Tony Cingrani. David Peralta’s double play clears the bases. Brandon Morrow gets the final out of the sixth, getting Marte to ground out to first.
Darvish pitching line: 5 IP 2 H 1ER 0BB 7K
The Dbacks brought in Archie Bradley in the top of the seventh desperately trying to hold the Dodger’s lead to 3-1. He got into some trouble after consecutive walks to Bellinger and Puig, but Barnes whiffs to end the inning.
Morrow meant sorrow for the Dbacks in the bottom of the seventh as he retires the side in order. That’s four big outs! After Bradley retires the Dodgers in order in the top of the eighth, we move to the bottom of the eighth. The Dodgers go to the pen again and bring in….Kenta Maeda! He looked pumped as he sends the Snakes down in order. The Dodgers are now 3 outs away from the NLCS!
Move to the bottom of the ninth. The big man Kenley Jansen in to close out the series. He strikes out Blanco for the first out. But Peralta’s one-out single gives the stupid Snakes hope. Marte’s dribbler is the second out. But here comes Goldschmidt. After a tense standoff, Kenley gets Goldschmidt to chase for the final out! Dodgers win!!!
With that, the Dbacks slither off to the golf course for the winter. The Dodgers head home for the NLCS. We’ll see you on Saturday everyone!!!!
Celebrate!!!! Don’t forget the broom depot stays open late tonight!