Dodgers 10, Giants 6: Despite this mess of a year, the Dodgers are in the playoffs again

The Dodgers got the last series of 2018 against the rival Giants off on the right foot last night with a victory, and they were playing for a guaranteed spot in the playoffs this afternoon. It was a surprisingly back-and-forth high-scoring affair early, but they exploded late to make it a stress-free finish in a 10-6 victory.

Playoffs!!!

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With the season on the line, Clayton Kershaw just didn’t have his best. He struck out four and walked none in his five innings, but surrendered five runs on eight hits to a depleted Giants lineup, whose best hitter is arguably somebody named Aramis Garcia.

Diminished version of himself or not in 2018, that is just an atrocious showing.

Luckily, the bats of the Dodgers didn’t have one of those terrible days they’ve become all too familiar with in 2018. In fact, Joc Pederson led the game off in the 1st with a dong to right, his 25th of the season.

An inning later in the 2nd, Yasiel Puig started things with a dong of his own, the Wild Horse’s 23rd of the season.

In the 3rd, they wasted a key opportunity after a one-out triple from Max Muncy, ending up with nothing from that. However, they came right back in the 4th to plate three runs. Puig walked to start, then Yasmani Grandal singled, an Enrique Hernandez double scored a run, and Kershaw contributed himself with a single that scored two.

Thing is, they should’ve had more, as Joc followed with a walk to put runners on first and second with still nobody out. However, they got nothing more in the inning. In the 5th, they would have a chance to get on the board as well after Cody Bellinger reached on an error with one out and reached second with two outs via the stolen base, but the bats couldn’t push him across the plate.

With the game tied going into the 6th, the Dodgers really started to show the 2018 version of the team. Enrique singled to start and pinch-hitter Andrew Toles followed by ripping a single to put runners at the corners with nobody out and the top of the lineup coming around. They proceeded to go strikeout and pop out, then Toles stole second to make it an even better opportunity, but another strikeout ended the threat.

After Kershaw was hit for, the pen entered in the 6th, starting with Ryan Madson. While his actual results have been atrocious, he has not pitched that bad, and he showed the upside with a clean 1-2-3 inning that included a strikeout.

The offense got a two-out rally going in the 7th, with Puig singling and Grandal doubling. Enrique was then intentionally walked to load the bases, which brought up pinch-hitter David Freese. He worked the count to a favorable 3-1, and he drilled a liner … right to second base. Just … man.

Well, at least Alex Wood got the opposition half of the 7th and looked great, getting a 1-2-3 frame with two strikeouts. That set things up well for the Dodgers in the 8th, but after a Chris Taylor lead-off single, a fly out and a pop out seemed to erase the inning. However, Manny Machado came up with the big hit, tripling off the wall in right to put the Dodgers up, 6-5. He would be stranded at third, but at least they pushed one across this time.

Wood also started the 8th to face a lefty and retired him to make it four in a row for his outing. That brought in Kenta Maeda, who threw two pitches and got two outs on a dribbler in front of home plate and a pop to second. Efficient.

Of course, one run was less than ideal, so thankfully the Dodgers got insurance in the 9th. With two down, Enrique singled, Matt Kemp singled, and CT3 singled to plate a key run (at the time). After Justin Turner intentional walk loaded the bases, Muncy stepped up and blooped a double down the left-field line to score two more. After another walk to Machado to load the bases again, Bellinger chopped a grounder to short that Brandon Crawford bobbled as Cody sped down to first for an infield single and another run. That was it, but that was enough, as it was 10-5.

In the 9th, for some reason Zac Rosscup started, issuing a lead-off walk. He then got a strikeout and was removed, hence the confusion about why he entered to begin with. Anyway, Kenley Jansen entered and got a fly out, but then surrendered a double into the gap to plate a run. Thankfully, he rebounded with a strikeout to end it.

Playoffs … clinched.

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The Dodgers improve to 90-71 on the year, getting to 90 for the sixth season in a row, which is rather impressive. They punched their ticket to the playoffs with the win, eliminating the Cardinals. They also cut the NL West lead for the Rockies to a half game, at least temporarily.

The series and season finale is tomorrow at 9:05 AM HST/12:05 PM PST/3:05 PM EST, with Andrew Suarez starting for the Giants and Walker Buehler supposedly starting for the Dodgers. However, it could yet be Rich Hill instead (or maybe a pen game, but I doubt it).

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times