After the offense put up the worst performance you can imagine with runners in scoring position in Game 2 of the NLDS, they did even worse in Game 3, dropping the game, 2-1, to go down 2-1 in the series.
Tony Gonsolin struggled, but the Dodgers bullpen allowed just one run in 6.2 innings. Unfortunately, the offense couldn’t get anything going, and the Dodgers now have their backs against the wall.
Besides the bullpen, Austin Barnes was the only other bright spot for the Dodgers, going 2-for-2 to continue his ownership of Blake Snell.
The Blake Snell Game Plan Almost Worked
Blake Snell throws too many pitches, especially against the Dodgers. He averaged 20.8 pitches per inning against L.A. in the regular season, so the Dodgers came into the game with a plan to get Snell out of the game relatively early. The ideal would have been to knock him out early with a few runs on the board, but there’s a reason the Padres had lost six of Snell’s eight starts against Los Angeles despite him mostly pitching well. He can’t get deep in the games, and the Dodgers have gotten to the San Diego bullpen.
Tonight, the Dodgers knocked Snell out after 96 pitches and 5.1 innings, with potential tying run Max Muncy on second base. The Dodgers were unable to get Muncy in — Justin Turner struck out and Chris Taylor grounded out weakly to the pitcher — but they were into the bullpen.
Unfortunately, the San Diego bullpen was outstanding again, shutting the Dodgers down and locking down the win.
Dodgers Went to Pitching Plan B
The Dodgers had hoped to get 75 pitches from starter Tony Gonsolin, with a dream scenario of five innings. Instead, they got 42 pitches and 1.1 innings, because he just didn’t have it. He allowed four hits, a walk, and a run, and it could have been a lot worse.
So the Dodgers shifted to Andrew Heaney, who pitched extremely well over his 3.0 innings other than one poorly placed fastball that Trent Grisham put over the wall in right field. Heaney struck out four and allowed two hits and two walks in his three innings.
Of course, the homer to Grisham ended up being the difference in the ballgame.
L.A. Offense With RISP is Offensive
After going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Game 2, the Dodgers were 0-for-9 with RISP through eight innings in Game 3, although at least they had a sacrifice fly this time. But they didn’t have any of the solo homers they had in Game 2, scoring just the one run in nine infuriating innings.
Trea Injures Finger
Trea Turner led off the top of the eighth with an infield single, and with a full count on Will Smith with one out, he got caught leaning on a pickoff throw. In his (successful) attempt to get back to the bag as quickly as possible, he jammed the ring finger on his right hand.
Turner stayed in the game, eventually being stranded at first (of course), and he played the bottom of the inning with his ring finger and pinky finger taped together. Something to keep an eye on for Game 4.
The Dodgers will play a must-win Game 4 on Saturday evening in San Diego. Tyler Anderson will go up against Joe Musgrove.