Ok. Breathe. It wasn't quite "Clayton Kershaw with a shoulder full of minestrone soup"-levels of imminent destruction. But, with the Dodgers needing a powerhouse performance to (almost, kind of, sort of) keep their season alive, rookie Bobby Miller took the mound with all the bravado in the world and delivered a vintage performance.
Unfortunately, it was ... vintage Playoff Kershaw.
Miller was not supposed to be the Dodgers' Game 2 starter in any postseason series. He was supposed to be a maybe/maybe not option for bulk work later in the series, or potentially a wild card to be played to switch the momentum of a teetering series. He was not supposed to be the key cog who determined a 100+ win team's postseason fate, in danger of surrendering a Division Series to a division rival for the second straight season.
But then Julio Urías removed himself from consideration. Walker Buehler couldn't work his way back. Ditto Dustin May. Ditto Tony Gonsolin. That left Miller, a uniquely poised gunslinger, with no choice but to go to work.
It didn't work. By the time he regroupe, three Diamondbacks runs were on the board, punctuated by this simmering Lourdes Gurriel Jr. liner to center field.
Dodgers rookie Bobby Miller swarmed by angry Snakes in MLB Playoffs
Miller's command betrayed him, as the rookie began his outing by loading the bases before retiring a single Diamondback.
Corbin Carroll, the cinch Rookie of the Year, walked, preceding a Ketel Marte bunt single and Tommy Pham liner. Two productive outs knotted two runs, and just as Miller attempted to exhale, he was cut off by the Gurriel screamer.
Ryan Yarbrough and Ryan Pepiot are both available in bulk relief on Monday night, though both men seemed like secure options behind the volatile Lance Lynn in Game 3 on the road in the desert. There is no mincing words. There are very few second chances. Miller wasn't supposed to be the best the Dodgers had, but he certainly was. And it's not working.