I guess the headline kinda spoiled this post, but the 92-win Dodgers went through the rest of the National League to advance to the 2020 World Series where they take on — you guessed it! — the Houston Astros.
Let’s go series-by-series to see how they got there.
Wild Card Game: Dodgers 5, Cubs 3 – Lynn stifles Chicago as LA advances
Lance Lynn was fantastic over six innings en route to the Dodgers advancing in the playoffs. He allowed just four hits, two runs, walked one and struck out seven.
The Dodgers had a slim 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, when Max Muncy and Justin Turner both homered to push the lead to 5-2. Brandon Kintzler, Caleb Ferguson and Blake Treinen combined to allow two base runners in three innings of scoreless relief to secure the win.
NLDS: Dodgers sweep Padres out of postseason
The upstart Padres, fresh of their first NL West title since 2006, were swept out of the playoffs by the battle-tested Dodgers.
LA won Game 1, 6-1, behind a strong performance by Walker Buehler (7 1/3 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 1 HR), but the next two contests were 1-run affairs.
In Game 2, the Dodgers put up a 4-spot in the fifth inning while down 3-0, capped off by a 2-run home run by Gavin Lux. Ferguson threw the final two innings and struck out five Padre hitters.
In Game 3, the Dodgers weathered a late push by SD after building a 5-1 lead. Lynn was, again, fantastic: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3/1 R/ER, 1 BB, 11 K, 1 HR. And again, Ferguson was called on to throw the eighth and ninth innings to secure the Dodgers’ win.
NLCS: Dodgers defeat Cardinals, 4-2
This was the Dodgers’ toughest test of the NL playoffs. They actually dropped the first game as Jack Flaherty held the Dodgers scoreless over five innings. Buehler had a good showing (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 7 K), but the offense couldn’t muster anything against the Cards’ pitching staff.
Game 2 was a much different story. Just check out this line score.
Yeah. It was 4-2 going into the seventh, then the Dodger bats really decided to show up. Lux was 3-for-5 with a homer. Will Smith drove in four runs en route to the Dodgers’ rout.
Game 3 was a closer affair, but the Dodgers took the win comfortably, 7-2. Alex Wood was strong (6 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR) and that Lux fellow launched three homers off three different St. Louis pitchers.
The Dodgers took a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 3-2 win at Dodger Stadium in Game 4. Smith went 4-for-4 and launched a 2-run homer in the Dodgers’ 3-run sixth inning. Ferguson and Treinen got the final six outs without allowing a Cardinal run.
St. Louis extended the series with a 3-2 win in Game 5. Flaherty was good again (7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K) and the Dodger bats couldn’t get going.
The clinching game saw LA muscle out a 6-2 win behind Lance Fucking Lynn. His line was great in the clincher: 7 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 8 K. He really stuck it to his former team. Cody Bellinger went 3-for-5 with a couple doubles and a stolen base. Mookie Betts and Corey Seager both contributed a couple hits, and Joc Pederson launched a dinger.
Despite some questionable pitching performances — especially in the last couple months of the season — the Dodger arms really showed up in the NL playoffs.
Check back later this morning to see if the Dodgers can exact revenge for the 2017 World Series, as they take on the 102-win Astros, because there was literally no other way this could play out.