The Los Angeles Dodgers had a chance to bury the Atlanta Braves in the first inning when they scored two runs on a Corey Seager homer and then loaded the bases. But they couldn’t put anyone else across the plate.
Just like that, the Braves gained momentum with a giant sigh of relief. They stopped the bleeding and it felt as if almost no damage was done at all.
After the Dodgers elevated Charlie Morton’s pitch count up to 34 in the first inning, he’s now at 85 through four. Yup. 51 pitches in the next three innings combined. The Dodgers have two hits. This is not what the league’s best offense should be doing night after night.
Once again, the inability to take advantage on the run scoring front has doomed the Dodgers, and it all came crashing down in the fourth inning of Game 3 of the NLCS.
First, Gavin Lux dropped a fly ball at the warning track to put runners on second and third with one out:
The Dodgers have melted down in the fourth inning and it’s now panic time.
Yes, your center fielder should catch that, but Lux is not a center fielder. He’s there because of Max Muncy’s injury and the fact that the Dodgers want his hot bat in the lineup. Blame him all you want, but he shouldn’t be there.
What’s worse is that the Dodgers could’ve been closer to escaping the inning without any further damage being done had the umpire just simply … called this strike three on Joc Pederson:
What do you think Joc did when he got another chance? He ripped an RBI single to put the Braves on the board.
After the game was tied on an Adam Duvall broken bat single (yup, more bad luck), Seager’s inconsistent glove took centerstage once again. He had three questionable misplays in Game 2, and he wasn’t fast enough on this hot shot from Dansby Swanson (though he should’ve been):
Well, it seemed he actually was fast enough but he just couldn’t secure it. Somehow. Don’t know why this is happening now.
Then Buehler walked in a run on four pitches, and that was it for the right-hander. Manager Dave Roberts yanked him and went to the bullpen, which got out of the jam.
It’s just sickening to realize Buehler was at 55 pitches on that Austin Riley fly ball. Twenty-two unnecessary pitches later, four runs score, the Dodgers lose the lead, and now they have to use the bulk of their bullpen to avoid going down 0-3.
How many more backs-against-the-wall situations can this team realistically handle?