Dodgers 7, Giants 2 – 2021 NLDS Game 4: There will be a Game 5 … you ready?

With their season on the brink after a frustrating Game 3 loss to the rival Giants, the Dodgers rebounded by getting out to an early lead and never looking back in a 7-2 win.

The Dodgers should’ve done much better than even the scoreline indicates, but the bottom of the order and Mookie Betts were enough to back Walker Buehler making his first start on short rest ever.

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Against everybody else he faced in 2021, Anthony DeSclafani was a front-line starter. Against the Dodgers he was below replacement level. There isn’t always something to statistics like that, but they didn’t change tonight on the biggest stage.

After a line out started the game, Corey Seager singled and Trea Turner immediately followed by slashing a double to right-center for a double and leading to more runs than the Dodgers got in Game 1 and Game 3 combined.

The 2nd started promising as well thanks to the bottom of the order, with Gavin Lux and Cody Bellinger both singling to put runners at the corners. Chris Taylor followed by smashing a ball to left … that fell just short in front of the wall for a sacrifice fly and a 2-0 lead. A Buehler strikeout was followed by a two-out Betts single off Brandon Crawford, but it rolled behind him where Dino Ebel couldn’t see and he held Bellinger to load the bases.

That was it for DeSclafani, as Jose Alvarez entered and got Seager to fly out, ending the 2nd. Kervin Castro was given the 3rd, issuing back-to-back one-out walks to Will Smith and Justin Turner before being removed.

Jarlin Garcia issued a walk of his own to Lux and loaded the bases to start his night. However, he kept the score intact by getting a Bellinger ground out and getting CT3 to fly out on another ball to the track in left.

Garcia continued in the 4th, allowing Buehler to reach on a comebacker that was ruled an error on him but could’ve been a hit, then promptly giving up a two-run oppo shot to Betts to double the lead to 4-0. After getting another out, he too left the game.

Dominic Leone got next and got an out to start, then gave up a double to Smith for another scoring chance, but Justin continued to fight it and flew out to end the 4th.

Oh right, that Walker Buehler guy, making his first career start on short rest in any scenario. All he did was only give up two singles and a walk through four scoreless innings to start. Both the hits came when he gave up back-to-back singles with one out in the 2nd, but that was the only threat through four.

Granted, he started to show signs he was wearing down a bit, not velocity but he was missing a lot more with command. The 5th started with a single and then he issued a one-out walk so Dave Roberts decided that was enough. Hard to argue with the move given his command: 4.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 71 Pitches.

The reason he was charged with a run was Joe Kelly entered and gave up a single to load the bases, then Darin Ruf grounded softly to second against an infield playing normal depth for a run to make it a 4-1 game. After a meeting on the mound, he did get Brandon Crawford out to escape disaster and end their half of the 5th.

Meanwhile, Leone continued for the Giants in the bottom of the 5th, and again the bottom of the order got it going. Lux drew a walk and Bellinger singled to corner the runners. But CT3 grounded back to the pitcher and Lux was going on contact to prevent a double play and was tagged out. The Giants then turned to Tyler Rogers, who walked pinch-hitter Steven Souza Jr. to load the bases. Mookie took advantage by hitting another ball deep to left that fell short for a sacrifice fly and a 5-1 lead.

Almost hilariously at this point, Corey Seager followed with a deep fly to right that fell short as well.

The 6th belonged to Brusdar Graterol, who was pumped up. He gave up a single off Bellinger’s glove, but also got three ground outs and was sitting 102 mph.

The 7th was given to Alex Vesia, who got two quick outs and then gave up a single. That was enough bridge for Dave, who went to Blake Treinen, who got a strikeout to end that half of the frame. Treinen ended up getting the four outs he was tasked with, though in the 8th Brandon Crawford led off with a double off the wall and scored on consecutive ground outs to make it 5-2.

But the Dodgers got runs back and then some.

Zack Littell was solid, getting two scoreless innings for the Giants. He escaped a Trea single and Lux reaching for the fourth time in the game on a single of his own in the 6th, and then got the 7th as well. But Jake McGee did not have a great time in the 8th, giving up a single to Corey and then (FINALLY!) a homer from Smith that made it 7-2.

The runs allowed Phil Bickford to enter instead of Kenley Jansen, and he cruised through a 1-2-3 drama-free 9th.

Oh boy.

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Game 5.

3:07 PM HT/6:07 PM PT/9:07 PM ET.

Julio Urias.

Logan Webb.

TBS.

About Chad Moriyama

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