Losing the opening game of a Divisional Series is a significant blow due to the reduced margin of error, but even more so when you’re up against a 107-win team. That’s where the Dodgers found themselves against the Giants to start the NLDS, but they took Game 2, reminding everybody that they won 106 games in a surprising 9-2 blowout win.
Julio Urias started the scoring and mostly prevented it as the bats broke out for 11 hits.
After Logan Webb‘s gem yesterday, the Dodgers next got Kevin Gausman, who was the ace of the Giants for most of the year. However, he fell off a bit in the second half, and the anemic bats came alive against him early.
Mookie Betts once again started things off well by drawing a walk and then stole second, but three consecutive outs killed any chance of a rally. That wasn’t as much of a problem in the 2nd, as a Chris Taylor double eventually led to a two-out intentional walk to AJ Pollock so that Julio Urias would be forced to bat.
Well, that was a mistake since Urias has been a threat at the dish this year and he singled on a hung splitter for a single and cornered the runners. Betts then followed with a clean single of his own, scoring Pollock and making it 2-0.
When you intentionally walk the batter to face the pitcher… pic.twitter.com/Uid57FhYYu&amp;mdash; Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 10, 2021
Speaking of Urias, he had to work out of trouble in the 1st after a two-out double. In the 2nd, he got the Angel Hernandez experience, issuing a walk to Wilmer Flores on a 3-2 curve that was in the zone. Brandon Crawford followed with a single, an Evan Longoria deep fly ball advanced Flores, and Donovan Solano cashed that in with a medium fly out to center to make it 2-1.
Thanks a lot, Angel.
Truth be told, what looked like a game that might’ve immediately had more scoring quickly sputtered.
On one hand, that was good news, because Urias didn’t allow another run. He surrendered just a double in his final three frames before being pinch hit for and having his night end: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 72 Pitches.
On the other hand, well since the second run in the 2nd, Gausman retired 10 Dodgers in a row that included some nice Giants defense and some mediocre at-bats from the Dodgers. But the 6th started with Trea Turner doubling down the line in left, and after an out, a walk to Will Smith ended Gausman’s day.
Dominic Leone entered and immediately walked Chris Taylor in an at-bat where Angel helped the Dodgers. And then with the bases loaded, against probably the correct move, Cody Bellinger was allowed to hit and smashed a double the other way for two runs. AJ Pollock immediately followed with a double of his own to plate two more, and the two struggling hitters (in their own way) put the Dodgers up 6-1.
Kings of Leone. pic.twitter.com/B8nSbkbDhL&amp;mdash; Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 10, 2021
Then things started to look shaky on the other side. Joe Kelly started by running up a 3-2 count and getting Kris Bryant to fly out on ball four, then did issue a walk, gave up a single, and was bailed out by Trea Turner on a ball hit up the middle with an excellent diving play.
With the runners cornered, Brandon Crawford drilled another single to plate a run to make it 6-2, but Kelly got help from Mookie Betts in right who made an outstanding play to gun down Flores at third to end the inning.
That could’ve been ugly, but led to only a run.
Old friend Jake McGee got a 1-2-3 frame in the 7th, but Zack Littell had a bit of a mess in the 8th. Will Smith welcomed him to the game by smashing a sky high homer to left, then singles from Chris Taylor, Pollock, and Matt Beaty continued the rally and plated another run for an 8-2 lead.
A giant swing from Will. pic.twitter.com/NOiEGUquIv&amp;mdash; Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 10, 2021
After the adventure with Kelly, Corey Knebel provided stability in going 1-2-3 and striking out two batters as he continues to cement his place in the pen.
Brusdar Graterol also got a clean frame and landed a cutter for an out as well.
With a big lead, Phil Bickford was given the 9th, and despite giving up a single to start, he got the next three without much fuss.
Seriously though, the Dodgers are right back in it with a tied NLDS.