D-backs 4, Dodgers 2 – 2023 NLDS Game 2: Offense fails again in postseason as Dodgers pushed to brink of elimination

Whether it’s loss of momentum due to the long break between the regular season and the NLDS, the plethora of pitching injuries, or the evil nature of a short five-game series, the Dodgers’ weaknesses have been exposed by a hungry Diamondbacks Wild Card team. The Dodgers were down early again, and the offense continued to sputter in a 4-2 loss in NLDS Game 2 to give Arizona a 2-0 lead in the series.

The Dodgers got two disastrous starts from their two top starters, but the lack of offense really has doomed the Dodgers in this division series so far. Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman have went 1-for-13 combined in the first two games, and the offense as a whole has gone 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. They have left 13 men on base.


Bobby Miller and the Dodgers found themselves in a first-inning hole, before they went to bat, for the second straight NLDS game. The aggressive Snakes attacked the Dodgers’ rookie right-hander right out of the gate like they did with Clayton Kershaw in the series opener Saturday. Miller labored through 32 pitches and allowed three runs on three hits in the costly first inning.

The leadoff walk to pesky Corbin Carroll started the three-run rally for the D-backs, who took advantage of Miller’s lack of command on his secondary pitches. The inning wasn’t all bad. James Outman made up for his miscue in center field in Game 1 with a run-saving catch against the center field wall.

Zac Gallen went to the mound with a three-run lead, but the right-hander made a mental mistake that allowed Freeman to beat him to the first base bag for a hit. The Dodgers eventually brought the tying run to the plate with J.D. Martinez with two on and two out in the bottom of the first, but Gallen struck out Martinez and stranded the runners.

Dave Roberts mercifully took out Miller in the 2nd after 52 pitches and brought Brusdar Graterol out of the bullpen to face Tommy Pham. The Bazooka only needed one pitch to induce a groundout from the dangerous hitter Pham to end the inning and threat.

Graterol came back out for a second inning and only needed nine pitches to get four outs. So, he was back out there to start the 4th. Graterol also flashed the leather with a grab behind his back to retire Alek Thomas.

Graterol ended up pitching two innings tonight, his longest career outing in the majors, and issued just a walk. Roberts brought in Ryan Brasier to face Corbin, which incited some boos from the fans. Graterol walked off the field and motioned for the fans to get hyped up instead, and Brasier got out of the 4th on a caught stealing.

The Dodgers finally got on the board with J.D. Martinez‘s solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, a solo dinger off Gallen’s fastball to make it a two-run game.

The Dodgers got the tying runs on base against Gallen in the bottom of the fifth after a walk to Outman and a single. Mookie Betts grounded into a force out to bring up pal Freeman with runners at the corners and two outs. Freeman managed to work a full count against Gallen, but the Arizona ace came back with his devastating knuckle curve to fool Freeman on strike three looking.

While Brasier got a scoreless 5th, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. homered in the top of the 6th off Brasier to make it 4-1.

Max Muncy muscled a bloop single to center field with one out in the home half of the 6th, and Martinez followed with a single as well. The consecutive singles spurred Torey Lovullo to make a move to his bullpen for a left-hander. Roberts countered with Chris Taylor off the bench to face Andrew Saalfrank. CT3 has never done anything wrong in his life and drew a walk to load the bases for Mr. October himself, Enrique Hernandez. Marte dove to keep Hernandez’s ball in the infield, but a run scored to make it 4-2.

Outman came up empty with a big strikeout on his sinker for Saalfrank, and Lovallo went to the pen again to retrieve a righty to face another pinch-hitter in Kolten Wong with the bases loaded and two outs. Wong grounded out to first base, and my hopes for a playoff win were grounded at that moment too.

The Dodgers’ bullpen allowed the offense to have a shot at this game, but the offense seemed to be already on winter break. Graterol, Brasier, Joe Kelly, and Evan Phillips pitched a combined 7⅓ innings and allowed just one run on four hits with three walks and nine strikeouts, as the latter two pitchers had scoreless outings of their own.

In the seventh, Betts reached on a fielding error by pitcher Ryan Thompson to open the frame. Freeman fouled a ball off his knee and then into a double play. In the 8th, a walk was erased by another double play. It was one of those kind of nights. Again.

Paul Sewald shut down the Dodgers’ ice cold bats 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth, and the D-backs took a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.


The division series moves to the Arizona desert for a potentially decisive Game 3 on Wednesday. Lance Lynn gets the start in the elimination game at Chase Field with first pitch at 6:07 p.m. PST on TBS. Lynn has pitched in 13 postseason series over his 12 MLB seasons (5-5, 5.28 ERA, 1.638 WHIP in 58 IP).

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.