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Dodgers Postgame: Anemic LA Offense Drops Game 3, Faces Elimination

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.

Up Next

The Dodgers will play a must-win Game 4 on Saturday evening in San Diego. Tyler Anderson will go up against Joe Musgrove.

Jeff Snider

Jeff was born into a Dodgers family in Southern California and is now raising a Dodgers family of his own in Utah. During his previous career as an executive at a technology company, he began writing about baseball in his spare time. After leaving corporate America in 2014, he started doing it professionally. Jeff wrote and edited for Baseball Essential for years before joining Dodgers Nation. He's also the co-host of the Locked On Dodgers podcast, a daily podcast that brings the smart fan's perspective on our Boys in Blue. Jeff has a degree in English from Brigham Young University. Favorite Player: Clayton Kershaw Favorite Moment: Kirk Gibson's homer will always have a place, but Kershaw's homer on Opening Day 2013 might be the winner.


  1. Anybody else incredibly passed off yet? I was after game two. Hell,after tonight I am ready to go goose hunting with an ballistic middle battery.I don’t see the fire inside.The Dodgers need to nan up all the way through or it’s all meaningless.I could care less who the Winchell’s donut colored team picked up.We shouldn’t be down to them or lose to them.Damn it go out and get this done.I am most certain a red face won’t go good for the boys in blue.Enough already.

  2. This series has been sickening to watch. Nobody has stepped up their game. Honestly I see no way of beating these guys in 2 games. Maybe we can win 115 games next year and choke in the playoffs again. Simply pathetic.

    1. Agreed. Why don’t we play some “small ball” in order to generate some runs? Making the defense work to get outs can’t be any worse than what we have seen over the last two games? I know that Dodgers team analytics does not favor “small ball,” but bunting runners over to get them over to the next base, and make the Padres work to make outs, can’t hurt, right?!

    1. They need to train their players to, or get players who are able to, MANUFACTURE runs- that is with bunts, walks, sacrifice flys, stolen bases, hitting to the opposite field, etc,.so when they’re in a slump or
      not hitting home runs and extra base hits they can at least produce SOMETHING.

      1. Just what I said and completely agree with. But I’d be surprised to see Roberts change to that approach. Maybe the Dodgers will get back on the offensive track but if they don’t, I’m putting this failure on Roberts. He’s been handed too much talent the past few years to be such a disaster in the post season to just blame it on the batters not performing.

      2. Agreed. Our team looks sloppy at the plate and definitely not taking measured at bats or displaying strategic risk taking when on base. Lethargic is the word that comes to mind. Game 4 will be an absolute nightmare for Dodgers fans if our guys do not wake up and show that they do not want to be eliminated by the Padres. SMH.

  3. I put some of the blame for this dismal performance and dire situation on…….you guessed it – Roberts.Sure, the acclaimed offense isn’t producing so in tight games with a lack of power offense you play “little ball” by bunting, going with the pitch to hit “where they ain’t”. But Roberts insists on not changing anything – like having each batter swing for the fences (resulting in pop-ups and shallow fly balls) when just a single, stolen base, squeeze play, or bunt will get that essential tying or winning run in. Of course, Robert’s hasn’t called for little ball all year long, or in his career for that matter, but you’d think he’d might realize a different approach to working his lineup in tight games could secure a win.

  4. The Dodgers are looking like a total embarrassment. Baseball has to make 1 important change. A team that has a superior
    regular season has to have at least 2 byes in the playoffs. Right now, the rules for these playoffs are atrocious!!!!!!

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