LOS ANGELES – After a comparatively decisive win in Recreation 1, it appeared like this Nationwide League Division Sequence between the Dodgers and Padres was going to finish the identical method the opposite six collection did in the course of the common season.
For 9 innings on Tuesday, the Dodgers, as soon as once more, appeared just like the superior group. Through the years, the Dodgers have dominated the Padres — profitable 15 of 20 conferences, together with the postseason — and clearly establishing that this hasn’t been a aggressive rivalry.
However following a 5-3 loss in Recreation 2 of the NLDS Wednesday at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers left the door open a crack and now have given the Padres hope that they’ll match up towards probably the most completed regular-season group in franchise historical past.
“That’s a great ballclub over there,” mentioned Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman. “It’s going to be going backwards and forwards. You could have two good groups going at it which have confronted one another loads. There’s actually not something to pinpoint. We simply didn’t get the massive hit at the moment.”
In Division Sequence with the present 2-2-1 format (excluding the 2020 collection performed at impartial websites), there have been 39 earlier situations of groups splitting the primary two video games. In these 39 collection, the membership heading residence for Video games 3 and 4 went on to advance 26 occasions (67%).
The Dodgers got here into Recreation 2 feeling assured with Clayton Kershaw on the mound, however the surefire Corridor of Famer didn’t have his finest stuff on Wednesday and the Padres’ lineup was capable of soar on him early on.
Padres third baseman Manny Machado took Kershaw deep within the first inning. The Padres then added two extra within the third inning. Kershaw was capable of quiet down, retiring the final 9 batters he confronted, however his outing was over after 5 innings.
“I positively had some site visitors all day,” Kershaw mentioned. “It might have been loads worse, for certain. I needed to make some pitches. Needed to pitch out of jams principally each inning, however there’s a number of errors in there that received hit exhausting, clearly.”
Offensively, the Dodgers did not reap the benefits of their alternatives in 4 consecutive innings. Trailing by a run within the sixth, the Dodgers had the tying run 90 ft away with no outs, however couldn’t rating as Justin Turner struck out swinging and Gavin Lux grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Within the seventh, the Dodgers had one other golden alternative, loading the bases with two outs for Will Smith, who flew out to middle area to finish the inning. The next inning, the Dodgers had the go-ahead run on the plate with two outs. Dodgers supervisor Dave Roberts elected to go along with Austin Barnes moderately than Chris Taylor to bat for Cody Bellinger. Barnes, who flew out, entered 1-for-5 lifetime towards Josh Hader. Taylor is 3-for-8.
“Hader is hard on anybody, however I simply felt that Austin’s brief swing, it’s a flat path,” Roberts mentioned. “Austin has had success towards Hader, so he has seen him greater than — as a lot as anybody has. He took two good swings.”
Even with all these alternatives, what finally damage the Dodgers probably the most was their protection. The Dodgers received stellar performs from Brusdar Graterol and Bellinger to flee a jam within the sixth, however by then the go-ahead run had already been scored, aided by an error by shortstop Trea Turner.
With the sport tied at 3, Trea Turner had an opportunity to get at the very least one out on a Wil Myers grounder. Turner mentioned his aim was simply to get the lead runner out at second, however the ball jumped on him on the final second. Each runners reached safely and Jurickson Profar later singled in what proved to be the profitable run.
“We weren’t clear,” Roberts mentioned. “There have been a few alternatives, two innings again to again, that we had a possibility situationally to push a run throughout to tie the sport, not to mention doubtlessly take the lead, and we couldn’t try this. Defensively, it simply wasn’t clear, both.”
Within the postseason, your document within the common season is thrown out the window. No person cares that the Dodgers gained 111 video games. All that issues is that they win 10 extra over the following month. Now, the Dodgers would possibly’ve given the Padres some hope.
“We will compete,” Machado mentioned. “Finally, on the finish of the day, we all know that they are the division champs. They personal one of the best document in baseball. They’ve performed very properly towards us all yr, however on the finish of the day, we will go on the market and compete, and we will go on the market and go away it on the sector. We will attempt to do every little thing attainable to assist our group win each single day. That is what we began in New York, and we will proceed to do this till we’re not.”
Wednesday’s loss doesn’t imply the sky is falling. This Dodgers group has confirmed it is one of the best and deepest group within the Majors. All it has to do is win a best-of-three collection with two All-Stars beginning the following two video games — with Anderson set for Recreation 4 — and Urías looming in a possible Recreation 5.
It does really feel, nevertheless, just like the Dodgers missed a giant alternative on Wednesday. And to ensure that them to advance to the NLCS, they’re going to have to begin taking part in higher than they did within the two video games at Dodger Stadium.
“We had some good conditions in our favor there, however we didn’t get the job performed,” mentioned Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, who hit a solo homer off Yu Darvish within the second inning. “It’s a little bit irritating, however tomorrow is a brand new day, we’ll recuperate, head right down to San Diego and prepare for Friday.”