Dave Roberts made a questionable decision early, but the Dodgers offense bailed him out and got LA to the NLCS.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are headed to their fourth NLCS in the last five seasons. They’re a perfect 5-0 in the 2020 playoffs. The stage is set for a seven-game series against the powerhouse Atlanta Braves.
Los Angeles swept the San Diego Padres on Thursday night with a 12-3 victory, but fans certainly weren’t feeling good after two innings. Manager Dave Roberts oddly removed Dustin May, who started the game, after one inning and just 16 pitches. He also threw two innings and 27 pitches in Game 1, but that shouldn’t have prevented him from further work.
Apparently Roberts thought so, however, and he brought in Adam Kolarek for the second inning. The left-hander immediately loaded the bases and surrendered two earned runs on three hits and two walks. He didn’t make it a full inning. The Padres took a 2-1 lead and Julio Urias had to come in and clean up the mess.
Fans were not happy with the decision to give May the hook, but it paved the way for Urias to throw an admirable five innings. He allowed just one run on one hit and one walk. After he got out of the bases-loaded jam in the second by striking out Fernando Tatis Jr., the Dodgers’ offense bailed out Roberts shortly after.
A five-run top half of the third inning made it a 6-2 game and the Dodgers never looked back, putting Roberts’ head-scratching managerial decision so far in the rearview. It’ll quickly be forgotten after the NLCS berth.
Sorry, managerial and “front office” decision.
Nonetheless, the Dodgers’ offense is the highlight of the night yet again. Granted, they won’t be facing the lowly Brewers or the overworked Padres (they used 25 pitchers in three games this series!) in the NLCS, but there truly is no free out in this lineup. Six different Dodgers hitters recorded RBIs, seven of them registered at least one hit, and eight of nine got on base at least once.
And we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention catcher Will Smith’s contributions.
The Braves’ young rotation consisting of Max Fried, Ian Anderson and Kyle Wright will have its hands full against the league’s top offense, but it won’t be as easy for the bats to bail out Roberts in the next round. Atlanta sports one of the best lineups as well, so any pitching gaffes like tonight’s will have to fully be avoided.
But for now, enjoy the weekend, Dodgers fans. You’re one more battle away from the World Series.