The Dodgers were dealt a huge blow before game 2 of the NLCS against the Braves even started. Clayton Kershaw was a late scratch because of back spasms. Nobody knows when or if Kershaw will pitch again but the Dodgers are hopeful he’ll be able to start in game 4. So southpaw rookie Tony Gonsolin was tabbed to start in his place. Gonsolin did about as well as expected, he was perfect through three innings before a two-run Freddie Freeman home run in the fourth. But this isn’t about Gonsolin, this is about the Dodger’s late rally in the bottom of the ninth that fell just a tick short.
Sure the Dodgers lost 8-7 to go down 2-0 in the series, but they scored 4 runs in the bottom of the ninth and brought the winning run to the plate. They showed some life when it seemed like they were corpses. The Braves at one point had a 7-0 lead and the dredges of the bullpen, Alex Wood and Adam Kolarek were pitching. It seemed like the Dodgers were going to go lifeless into the night again.
Surely Wood and Kolarek both suck, and it’s unfortunate they are even on the roster, but let’s talk about that rally for a minute. The Dodgers headed into the bottom of the ninth trailing 8-3. Corey Seager had hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 7-3 game. After a Ozzie Albies home run off of bum Kolarek in the top of the ninth (Kolarek is atrocious) the Braves extended their lead to 8-3.
Braves 8 10 1
Dodgers 7 10 0
Then the Dodgers mounted an incredible rally against Josh Tomlin. It all started with one out. Mookie Betts singled to left. Then Seager doubled down the first base line to score Betts and cut the lead to 8-4. There’s still one out in the frame. After Justin Turner struck out, Max Muncy Crushed a two-run home run into deep right to cut the lead to 8-6. Atlanta then brought in closer Mark Melancon to face Will Smith. The Dodger backstop hit a sharp grounder to second, and Albies bobbled the ball allowing Smith to reach on the error. Then Cody Bellinger tripled into the right field corner to score Smith and make it an 8-7 game. Even though AJ Pollock grounded out to third to end the game, the Dodgers showed a pulse and that is all we can ask of them.
Perhaps there is still a chance the Dodgers can get back in this series? The Dodger’s game 3 starter Julio Urias is going to have to have the start of his life. Hopefully that late rally is what the Dodgers need to revive their season. At least they showed some signs of life. That’s more than we expected at this point.