October 15, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal (9) reacts after striking out against New York Mets in game five of NLDS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Just one more hit. One hit and the Dodgers would have blown the door open. Maybe, definitely the outcome would have been different.
Jacob deGrom didn’t go 1-2-3 until the 6th inning, though, the fact that he threw 45 pitches through 2 innings and made it through 6 is somewhat of a huge problem.
The game started out with Zack Greinke being taken by storm. Curtis Granderson led off the game with a weak infield single to second base and was later driven in by Daniel Murphy on a 2b + an error. Murphy, as we found out full well became 2014 NLDS Matt Carpenter just in time to be the token gritty infielder to totally destroy the Dodgers.
The offense was alright though initially with the Dodgers putting 4 straight men on after Howie Kendrick‘s lineout in the first inning, Justin Turner plated one, Andre Ethier plated another one and the score was 2-1 with all of the pressure on Jacob deGrom.
If I told you at this point that deGrom would have no control for the duration of the game until his last inning, then you’d assume that the Dodgers would have scored 5 runs at the very least, no?
They got 1st and 3rd with one out after a Justin Turner double and grounded into an inning ending double play to end the 3rd frame.
They got a man on 2nd with one out and stranded Joc Pederson in the 4th.
Justin Turner doubled with one out in the 5th inning and they failed to bring him in.
Those were all the chances the Dodgers had and I suppose it’s time to talk about Daniel Murphy. Murphy did what Justin Turner did to the Mets, only he dingered instead of doubled. Murphy came up in the 4th inning and singled through the shift to get him on first bas. Greinke then walked Lucas Duda and during the walk, Murphy somehow realized that nobody was covering 3rd and then took off to the 3rd base bag and made it without anybody covering.
This in unacceptable because Andre Ethier caught a (foul ball) for an out that Murphy tagged on and scored on to tie the game. There were several things to go wrong here, the fact that nobody was prepared to cover 3rd base the fact that Andre Ethier forgot that in a game where runs are at a premium, he allowed the Mets to tie the score by catching the fly ball out (and i’m not just saying that in hindsight).
Oh and then Murphy hit the go ahead home run to put the Mets in the drivers seat off of a Greinke meatball on the inner half. It was brutal. But was almost expected. He simply Matt Carpenter’d the Dodgers.
The Dodgers never got another chance, but Zack Greinke who finished with 6.2 innings pitched, 3 “earned” runs 9 strikeouts to only 1 walk wasn’t really at fault. He pitched his heart out in what was potentially his last game as a Dodger. But that doesn’t matter, it was the fact that the biggest strength the Dodgers had at the beginning of the season failed them in the highest leverage situation.
The Mets were totally and absolutely deserving, lets make that distinction clear. The Dodgers also had several chances throughout the series to knock out a starter out of a game, Harvey in game 3, Matz in game 4, now a tired deGrom in game 5 and just couldn’t get it done. There will be many think pieces, many hot takes on the state of the team, many questions about how soon after game 5 Don Mattingly might or might not get the can. The takes will be soaring and furious, but for right now I just want to be sad about the long winter, about the postseason that set up perfectly for the Dodgers to make it to their first world series in 27 years.
So who knows where the team goes from here, but this is a unanimous failure to not even make it to the NLCS. Talk about the future all you want but this is a loss that will weigh heavy on my heart as a fan right now.