Down to their final six outs, the Los Angeles Dodgers had life in Game 3 of the NLDS against the San Diego Padres. They trailed by a run and had a chance to put pressure on a bullpen that’s dominated them so far in this series.
Trea Turner reached on an infield single to lead off the inning. The fastest guy on the field could threaten with Freddie Freeman, Will Smith and Max Muncy following him.
Turner stole 27 bases during the regular season. He has 230 for his career. But … he only has five in 42 career postseason games. Maybe that played a role in Turner not stealing or attempting to steal for the next three at-bats?
What was going on here? Was this on Turner? Did the Dodgers opt to not take the risk? Regardless, it was unacceptable because LA is 0 for their last 19 with runners in scoring position dating back to the tail end of Game 1 of this series. They’re 0-for-17 the last two games, which featured four total runs scored.
How is that even statistically possible? With that evidence laid out in front of them, why was Turner not trying to swipe second base? Hell, why didn’t he swipe second base? He should without a doubt have the confidence to do it in this exact situation.
Why didn’t Trea Turner steal in the eighth inning of Dodgers-Padres Game 3?
The Dodgers left seven runners stranded with all of Turner, Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, Justin Turner and Chris Taylor falling short with RISP.
In the top of the eighth, Robert Suarez was on the mound for the Padres and was throwing triple digits. Intimidating stuff. Obviously a gigantic factor when trying to steal. But the Dodgers had nothing to lose. They had just six hits and worked two walks up until that point in the game. There was no reason not to take a risk.
Letting the Padres get away with that and putting them just one win away from the NLCS after owning them all year is flat-out embarrassing. There’s really no other way to put it. We wish we could be more eloquent. Losing that game 2-1 makes this look all the worse.
Even more baffling is both Freeman and Muncy had advantages facing Suarez, a right-hander, which should’ve had Turner and the Dodgers even more motivated to get into scoring position.
Guess it wouldn’t have mattered, though. Freeman flied out to center. Smith popped out on the infield. And Muncy struck out. Earlier in the game, the Dodgers had runners on second and third with nobody out and Betts, Turner and Freeman coming to the plate. They got one run on a Betts sacrifice fly. Just not getting it done. No aggression. No resilience.
Game 4 could be the last opportunity to change that, but fans will need to see a complete 180 because the Dodgers have now given the Padres all the momentum despite holding them to two runs in an impressive bullpen game.
Actually, forget about a complete 180. How about a return to basic baseball instincts?