Bellinger, Dodgers beat D-backs 3-1 to return to NLCS

Tricia Pearson
October 11, 2017

The Dodgers benefitted from some superlative bullpen work, getting key outs from Tony Cingrani, Brandon Morrow, Kenta Maeda (who was surprisingly electric), and Kenley Jansen, who mowed down Paul Goldschmidt for the last out of the game in a tense showdown.

First #postseason homer for @Cody_Bellinger? Next up for the Dodgers is a meeting against either the Chicago Cubs or the Washington Nationals in Game 1 of the NLCS.

"We need (to win) three in a row, so whatever it takes to get through these games and it starts with tonight". He broke his right middle finger in July, but plans to play in an instructional league game Saturday.

Bellinger, the likely NL Rookie of the Year, had 39 regular-season homers but was 1-for-12 in the NLDS before his opposite-field homer made it 2-0 in the fifth inning. "Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get on and give J.D. a chance". Their pitching was so deep, the best starter was their third guy, Yu Darvish, who was brilliant Monday in giving up one run on two hits in five innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. He struck out four and walked five.

In his two previous postseason starts with the Texas Rangers, Darvish had a record of 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA.

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It was only three games, but it was filled with the dominance the Lakers displayed in 2001 in winning their first 11 playoff games during the height of their dynasty.

They'll face either the Nats or the Cubs, depending on the outcome of their NLDS (with Game 4 set for Tuesday night at 5:30 PM ET on TBS), but that'll all get sorted out soon enough. Clayton Kershaw - who didn't even need to pitch in relief in this particular NLDS after his memorable turn previous year against the Nationals - can start the NLCS opener Saturday on seven days' rest, with Rich Hill, Darvish and Alex Wood all well-rested and ready to take their turn.

The trouble began when Taylor smoked that leadoff double into the leftfield corner on Greinke's sixth pitch. "You look at the small sample of three starts or whatever, but I think progressively it's continued to get better".

The 33-year-old righty burned another 25 pitches in the second inning, thanks in part to an eight-pitch walk by Chase Utley and a pesky six-pitch at-bat by Darvish, who struck out. Greinke threw 29 pitches in the first inning and finished with 105. Greinke allowed the first two Dodger batters to reach base. Tuesday night's effort from Zack Greinke was the longest outing for the Snakes with five innings. On Greinke's second pitch of the sixth, he served up an 89 miles per hour fastball that Barnes lined 398 feet to leftfield, restoring their two-run lead. While the Arizona bullpen turned in four scoreless innings, 2 ⅔ by setup man Archie Bradley, the damage had been done. "We were relentless every single pitch".

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