The Dodgers forced Game 5 of the NLDS with a dominant 7-2 win over the Giants.
Los Angeles’s offense broke out once again following a shutout to get a season-saving win. The Dodgers had a base runner in seven of eight innings and made everything difficult on the Giants.
It sets up an epic conclusion in San Francisco on Thursday, which is exactly what this series deserves.
The Dodgers will once again have to prove that they can string multiple good offensive performances together. They failed to do so last night following a nine-run explosion in Game 2, but will have to in Game 5 if they want to see the NLCS.
Once again the pressure all lies with Los Angeles to find a way to score some runs. If they force another pitcher to be perfect they will find themselves in the exact same position as Game 3.
A concern for the Dodgers is that tonight could have been even worse. However, they went 1-11 with RISP and missed a ton of opportunities. Maybe they saved some runs for Game 5, or maybe there is still a flaw with this offense that the Giants lack of offense on Tuesday covered up.
I have said it before and I will say it again. Whether the Dodgers awoke a sleeping giant or this was just a one-night breakout will determine the outcome of this series.
It was all Dodgers all early.
The Giants finally threatened in the fifth when they loaded the bases and chased Walker Buehler from the game. It was the perfect chance to get themselves back in the game or begin to chip away.
San Francisco got one on an RBI groundout by Darin Ruf, but that would be all they got. It was their best chance to get back in the game and they just could not get enough out of it.
The Dodgers got that run right back in the bottom of the fifth and never looked back.
Dodgers’ Offense Explodes Once Again
LA’s bats came to life early as they got out in front in the first inning. Their middle infield pair of Corey Seager ignited the offense with back-to-back hits. Seager singled with one out, then Turner followed with a double into the gap to score Seager.
They were two guys that the Dodgers needed to get going very badly. It was huge for them to come through with big hits to get the offense off the ground early.
The Dodgers struck again in their half of the second after back-to-back hits and a sac-fly from Chris Taylor. After a two-out hit from Mookie Betts, the Giants went to the pen and DeSclafani’s night was over. DeSclafani–who let up 22 runs to the Dodgers in 27 innings during the regular season–came up short for the Giants on Tuesday.
The Giants’ pitching staff dealt with traffic in every inning early on. They escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third, then the pitcher reached in the fourth on an error. Mookie Betts made him pay and announced his presence in the series with a two-run homer the other way.
It was textbook Mookie Betts, who now has 28 home runs on fastballs on the outside part of the plate.
Cody Bellinger was back in the lineup and seems to have returned to form. He had two more hits on the night and now has four hits to go along with two walks in four games this Postseason. If the Dodgers get past the Giants, getting Bellinger back to form could be a huge contributor to another deep run.
Will Smith put the nail in the coffin with a two-run blast in the eighth. It was Smith’s second home run of the series late in a game that added some extra insurance.
Play Of The Night
The Giants continued to play great defense despite the lack of offense. Lamonte Wade Jr. came through with a tremendous catch that at the time kept the Giants in the game. It earns him play of the night honors from me.
Game 5 to decide who faces the Braves in the NLCS is Thursday at 9:37. Logan Webb–who was stellar in Game 1–will go for the Giants. The Dodgers have not yet named a starter.