Postseason baseball is back. Ahhhh, did you miss this stress?
The Dodgers won a thrilling game on Tuesday night, picking up a 5-3 victory over the Padres. It was an eventful game that caused Dodgers fans to experience many different emotions.
Here are my three takeaways from the win.
The play of the game
The biggest moment of the game came in the sixth inning. There were a lot of crucial plays throughout the night, but the one that ultimately won the game for the Dodgers was in the top of the sixth.
With a 5-3 lead, Evan Phillips entered the game to face the heart of the Padres lineup. He walked Juan Soto and allowed an infield single to Manny Machado, putting the tying run on base with zero outs. After Josh Bell struck out, Wil Myers was at the plate with one out.
On the sixth pitch of the at bat, Myers scorched one 100 mph off the bat. Gavin Lux fielded it beautifully, as him and Trea Turner connected for the perfect double play. The Dodgers needed everything to go right on that play — and it did.
The double play ended the inning and ultimately won the Dodgers the game. If that ball finds a hole, a run likely scores and there are runners on the corners with only one out and a one run lead.
Who knows what could have happened the rest of the inning, but that play was the difference maker.
Bullpen shut things down
After Evan Phillips tossed a scoreless sixth inning, three different relievers combined to toss three scoreless innings. Alex Vesia took the seventh inning, recording all three of his outs via the strikeout. He was sent back out there for the eighth, where he recorded two outs on only four pitches.
Brusdar Graterol entered the game, set to face Manny Machado. He only needed one pitch, as he got Machado to fly out to end the inning.
We were all wondering who would get the ninth inning, as the Dodgers left Craig Kimbrel off the roster. The answer was Chris Martin, who recorded his first career postseason save, needing only 11 pitches.
If I were to guess, we’ll see a number of different arms record saves for LA this postseason. I know he won’t get the recognition he deserves, but Dave Roberts managed the bullpen to perfection in this win. Every arm he turned to was excellent and it was a thing of beauty.
Offense went cold to finish the game
Thank goodness for the first three innings. The Dodgers scored all five of their runs in the first three innings. In addition, they recorded all six of their hits as well. Once Mike Clevinger was removed from the game, the offense went missing.
Against San Diego’s bullpen, LA went 0-for-17. Not great!
The at bat quality wasn’t great, as the Dodgers weren’t working counts or making any sort of hard contact. Luckily when their offense was hot early on they were able to score enough to pick up the victory.
Had the Dodgers lost this game, we likely would be talking much more about how awful they were. Overall, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman combined to go 0-for-7. Trayce Thompson and Cody Bellinger were 0-for-6 at the bottom of the lineup while Justin Turner also was hitless, going 0-for-3.
Hopefully the bats wake up in Game 2!