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The Dodgers lost the chance to sweep the NLCS by one stinkin’ run.
4th inning: Granderson leads off the inning with another strike out. Grandal walks. He would walk twice more.
The Dodgers did not clinch the National League pennant because of one freakin’ run.
6th inning: With Justin Turner on first base, Granderson strikes out for the third time to end the inning. Ol’ Grandy wasn’t done, not by a longshot. More on that later.
With the Dodgers up three games to none over the Chicago Cubs, the World Series within their grasp, and a starting pitcher who hadn’t thrown live ball in two weeks, manager Dave Roberts decided now would be a good time to allow a couple of his weakest hitting batters a chance to play, while sitting a couple of his hottest, Austin Barnes and Logan Forsythe. Did I mention the Dodgers lost the game by one run?
Alex Wood wasn’t especially bad after his long layoff, waiting around for his first chance to pitch in the postseason. He had seven K’s over 4 2/3 innings, but he also surrendered three solo home runs in his stint. Since the Dodgers’ offense wasn’t doing much against Cubs ace Jake Arrieta, Wood wasn’t long for the game.
In the good news department, Cody Bellinger and Justin Turner both launched solo homers of their own.
Cody’s was in the third inning, and Turner’s came in the eighth, giving a much-needed shot of adrenaline to the Dodgers and their fans. It just wasn’t enough to overcome the suddenly re-energized Cubs.
After being behind all night, the Dodgers had a real chance to take control of the game when Turner led off the inning with his homer to bring the Dodgers within one run in the eighth.
Yasiel Puig walked, and Andre Ethier popped up for the first out. With the Dodgers chances to get back into the game – for reasons that I will question all the way to my deathbed – Roberts let 0 for 3, with three strike outs, Curtis Granderson, bat yet again!
Here’s where the game entered the Twilight Zone. After two quick strikes, Granderson swung and missed for strike three. But he argued he foul tipped the ball. Dave Roberts came onto the field and they managed to convince the umpire crew to huddle and discuss the play. While replays on TV and the stadium showed Granderson clearly missed the ball, the umpires couldn’t use replay to influence their decision, and they came out of the huddle overturning the original call at the plate, thus giving Granderson another shot.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon stormed from his dugout, and argued vehemently while the Wrigley Field faithful rained boos down onto the field. Maddon was tossed, and the crowd booed even louder. Little did Chicago know what Dodger fans everywhere know, you can give Granderson TEN more pitches, and he would still strike out. This time it only took one more pitch, and Granderson managed to do what only he could – he struck out twice in one at bat.
There were now two out in the innning. Yasmani Grandal took his third walk of the night, and Roberts made another critical mistake. He allowed Chase Utley, who looked lost at the plate all night, to bat again, and he struck out. The rally was over, and ultimately, so was the Dodgers’ chance at taking the pennant away from the Cubs.
The Dodgers lost tonight, by one tiny – yet gigantic – run.