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NLDS Game 2: Costly Mistakes Strip Dodgers, San Diego Evens Series

Picard wearing Dodger hat

Game 2 of the NLDS was filled with mistakes by the Dodgers as they choked away the home field advantage with the result ending with San Diego defeating the Dodgers 5-3 to even the series at one game each. The Dodgers played a sloppy game. There were errors on defense, poor hitting with runners in scoring position, mediocre relief pitching, bad base running, and terrible game management. If the Dodgers want to win the World Series, they can’t just show up and win. They’re going to have to shore up these miscues, and fight for a World Series championship.

If anything the Dodgers needed length from game 2 starter Clayton Kershaw and unfortunately he was unable to provide that. He never looked comfortable in the early innings, but did rebound to retire nine consecutive San Diego hitters. Opposing starter Yu Darvish didn’t look any better, but the missed opportunities on offense is what really doomed the Dodgers.

Kershaw began the outing by serving up a two-out solo home run to villain and super jerk Manny Machado to immediately put the Friars up 1-0. Machado homered and doubled and made a couple of sterling defensive plays. The Dodgers fought back with single runs in the first, second and bottom of the third, all on solo shots. Freddie Freeman blasted a Darvish cookie over the center field wall and the Dodgers tied the score 1-1. Muncy followed suit in the following frame with shot of his own to give the Dodgers a short lived 2-1 lead.

The Padres came back in the top of the third. Singles from Ha-Seong Kim, and Juan Soto setup a run scoring double from Machado to tie the score. Kershaw struck out Brandon Drury, but a grounder from Jake Cronenworth brought in the go-ahead run to put the Padres up 3-2. Trea Turner crushed a solo home run inside the left field foul pole in the bottom of the third to even things up at 3-3.

The Dodger bats vanished from the game after the third inning, something we saw in game 1. The boys wasted a Justin Turner walk, and a Gavin Lux single because Trayce Thompson and Cody Bellinger struck out. Kershaw recorded another 1-2-3 frame in the fifth which turned out to be his last. Kershaw’s final line on the night was 5IP 3R 6H 0BB 6K.

Mookie Betts (who hasn’t hit a lick in this series), walked and attempted to steal second in the bottom of the fifth but San Diego catcher Austin Nola threw him out on a bang bang play. The Dodgers challenged but the call on the field stood.

The Padres took the lead in the top of the sixth off of Brusdar Graterol. Drury singled, there was a force out at second, Wil Myers hit what looked like a taylor-made double play ball but Trea flubbed it and the Dodgers didn’t get anything. That proved costly as Jurickson Profar’s single into right scored Cronenworth to give San Diego a 4-3 lead. The inning could have been worse had Graterol not made a terrific play to throw out Myers at the plate on an attempted bunt by Grisham. It was a fantastic play. Seriously check it out. Also Bellinger made a great running catch in center as well.

The Dodgers just couldn’t get a hit with runners in scoring position. They were 0 for 8 with RISP and left 10 men on base. In the sixth, consecutive singles from Will Smith and Max Muncy knocked Darvish out of the game, but Justin Turner struck out and Lux grounded into a double play.

With flamethrowing reliever Robert Suarez still on the mound, the Dodgers threatened again in the bottom of the seventh. Bellinger slapped a single to left, and Mookie doubled Bellinger to third thanks to Profar misplaying the bounce. They couldn’t do it again. Trea grounded to third. After an intentional walk to Freddie loaded the bases, Smith flied to center.

Blake Treinen (who hasn’t pitched in months) took the mound in the top of the eighth. Cronenworth smashed a home run over the visitor’s bullpen to give the Padres an insurance run and it was now 5-3. Here’s where things got especially frustrating. In the bottom of the eighth Lux singled to right and Thompson drew a walk to put runners at first and second with two outs. The Padres brought in closer Josh Hader and the Dodgers inexplicably pinch-hit for Bellinger with backup catcher Austin Barnes. With Chris Taylor, Joey Gallo, and Miguel Vargas all available off the bench (although CT3 is still battling a neck injury), it made no sense to use Barnes with the game on the line. To no one’s surprise he flied out to center.

Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Move to the bottom of the ninth. Hader still on the mound and he quickly retired Mookie and Trea. Then Freddie doubles off the top of the wall and there is a sliver of hope of a comeback. After a strong battle with Smith, Hader gets him to fly out to right to end the game. There was a goose on the field in the late innings, but the Dodgers fleeced themselves out of a victory. We get a travel day on Thursday as the series shifts to San Diego for Games 3 and 4. The Dodgers have announced Tony Gonsolin will start Friday night while the Padres counter with Blake Snell. I hate the postseason again.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

14 thoughts on “NLDS Game 2: Costly Mistakes Strip Dodgers, San Diego Evens Series

  1. Good competitive series. I love how quickly the narrative of some “fans” shift. Trea Turner chokes the postseason quickly changes, now it’s about Trayce Thompson being overmatched.

      1. The whole Lineup was basically swinging for the fences, and when they had the chance to pass the baton, they failed. 0-8 RISP, 10 LOB is unacceptable under no uncertain terms. Untimely solo HR’s will most often get you nowhere, as did their routine fly balls and pop ups.

        Barnes was the right choice at that moment. He made decent contact, but gong for the fence was not what the team needed at the time. Just a base hit would have been fine, with the top of the order coming up. CT3 possibly not 100% and primarily a low ball hitter. Gallo would have been an automatic out for sure.

        Blake Treinen was not the right pitcher for the moment… he is green from the injured list, with no real game situations. DR mismanaged the pitching staff, as he often does.

        Damage is done. Just got to move on, and hope for the best.

  2. Sad, ugly performance. I again emphasize “RISP”, “Belli-Flop is killing us” (although he is making a strong case to be MLB’s poster child for a #9 hitter). Dodger pitchers prone to serving steaming hot HR cookies”. Another point… Mookie should have been in the batting cage during the layoff, instead of hanging out at the bowling alley.

    I thought Barnes was going to catch Kershaw. Seemed it took Kershaw and Smith took 3 innings to get on the same page. Offense was sputtering again, 0-8 RISP, 10 LOB… a flurry of pop ups and routine fly ball outs. Defensive miscues again, by Trea Turner… these little league mistakes cannot be happening after 163 games, and continue into the playoffs. SD is a team that know how to take advantage of mistakes…something the Dodgers fail to do, all too often.

    The goose said it all, “Dodgers, your goose is cooked!”

    To throw away a home game, in a 5-game playoff series is crucial. Seems the 5-game layoff did not help the NL division leaders.

    It is not too late, but the offense needs to wake up. Pitching will be the Dodgers’ Achilles Heel. Too many questionable arms, and other than Urias, the starters cannot go deep. The bullpen will be taxed. It would be nice to sweep SD in their house and move on the NLCS.


      Stop making up things to worry about.

      Yanks/Guardians game 1. 5 and 6 innings.
      Astros/Mariners game 1. PItchers went 5 and 4 innings
      Astros/Mariners game 2. 7 innings and 5 innings.
      Braves/Phillies game 1. Both pitchers didn’t make it out of the 3rd!
      Braves/Phillies game 2. Both pitchers went 6.
      Dodgers/Padres game 1. 2 innings and 5 innings.
      Dodgers/Padres game 2. Both pitchers went 5.

  3. In 2021, the 106-win Dodgers were eliminated by the 88-win Braves.

    In 2022, the 111-win Dodgers are one game from being eliminated by the 89-win Padres.

    But please tell me the playoffs are what determines who the best teams are!

    1. If they are so good, then how come they are on the verge of slinking onto the golf course this winter? Maybe give some credit to a team that played better when the games actually count? Think maybe those 30 wins against the Dbacks and Rockies with no pressure in the regular season mean much less than these division series games? Value comes from playing well under pressure. That’s how you win in the postseason.

  4. Hate to sound like a broken record, but:

    0-9 RISP, 7 LOB, 12 KO’s
    Top 6 hitters no-show again.
    Shakey starting pitching. Gonsolin was not up to the challenge. Still weak from layoff..
    Sloppy, lazy, uninspired play.

    Bullpen keeps them in the game, again.
    All the Barnes haters… 2-2 with single and a double. And DR pinch hits for him?

    110 wins and Best record in baseball means nothing in October.

    Dodgers better wake up, or their incredible season is a waste.seems SD wants it more than the Dodgers.

      1. Yes Scott, the Pads want it more, and you can see it in their eyes. And the worst thing the Dodgers can do is rollover with their tails tucked between their legs…. Their 110-win season a mere footnote to an embarrassing, disappointing year.

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