Friars Fried for Good, Dodgers Beat Padres in NLDS Sweep

Dodgers Beat Padres in NLDS Sweep, Highlighted by Crucial Game 2 Victory

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Illustration by Enrique Medina/EPM

Cody Bellinger has made huge defensive highlights in the postseason in the past. His catch to rob Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. is without a doubt at or if not near the top of the list. Bellinger’s catch and home run propelled the Dodgers to a series changing Game 2 victory over the San Diego Padres.

The Dodgers completed a three-game National League Division Series sweep of the Padres Thursday with a 12-3 win from the Rangers’ Globe Life Field. 

Dodgers vs Padres in the Regular Season

Going into the series, the matchup was expected to be extremely intense, the Padres were the one team that gave the Dodgers the most trouble all year long. During the regular season, the Dodgers went 6-4 against the Padres, but the majority of those ten games could have gone either way. Their matchup on September 14th specifically put the rivalry to another level. After a Trent Grisham home run for the Padres to tie things late, the Padres dugout was celebrating with loud cheers all over. The celebration did not please the Dodgers too much and for manager Dave Roberts and Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, they accredit this game as being a turning point in their season.

Game 1 Error Crucial in Dodgers Victory

Game 1 saw the Dodgers put Walker Buehler to the hill up against newly acquired San Diego Padre Mike Clevinger. The Padres acquired Clevinger at the MLB Trade Deadline. Clevinger was specifically brought to help push the Friars over the top, to pitch in huge games during the October Postseason. Unfortunately for him, he was not able to make it out of the second inning, with Clevinger having to leave the game with an injury, a real concern the Padres had before the series. The Dodgers were not able to capitalize throughout Game 1 until the fifth inning as an Eric Hosmer error plated the Dodgers’ first run, tying the score 1-1. The following inning the Dodgers bats would awaken though to their regular season capabilities as the Dodgers put up four runs and would never look back, winning Game 1 by the final score of 5-1.

Close Start to Game 2

Game 2 would bring a dramatically different story to the field. The matchup in Game 2 saw the productive Zach Davies up against Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw. The bats got to Davies early as the Dodgers were up 4-1 going into the sixth inning, highlighted by a Cody Bellinger solo home run in the bottom of the fourth.  The top of the sixth would see the first glimpse of fireworks as Manny Machado emphatically bat flipped on a home run off former teammate Clayton Kershaw. Padre first baseman Eric Hosmer would follow with a key home run to cut the deficit to one. Kershaw would escape the sixth with the lead 4-3 still intact. 

Series Changing Catch

The top of the seventh would bring Blake Treinen to get the first two outs of the inning, but he would soon hit ninth hitter Trent Grisham, to bring the NL MVP candidate and perhaps the most exciting player in baseball, Fernando Tatis Jr. to the plate. 

The 21-year-old would face Dodgers 22-year-old reliever Brusdar Graterol and he would promptly hit a deep fly ball to center field that Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger would promptly run down, jump high in the air against the wall, and rob Tatis of a go-ahead home run. The play of the series. Graterol would celebrate the out, throwing his glove and hat, pointing to the sky. The gesture would infuriate Padres third baseman, Manny Machado, as he would scream expletives at Graterol, who followed by blowing him a kiss. 

Close Finish to Game 2

The drama would not end there as the Dodgers took a three run lead 6-3 heading into the ninth. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen only managed to get one out in the inning leaving a runner on with the tying run on base. Joe Kelly would proceed to walk Tatis Jr and Machado, but followed by getting a groundout from Eric Hosmer, securing a memorable Dodgers game 2 victory.

Smith’s 5 Hit Performance Key in Dominant Game 3 Win

Momentum would certainly carry over from Game 2 as the Dodgers would dominate the Friars in Game 3 by the final score of 12-3. Dodgers catcher Will Smith became the first Dodger player in history to have a five-hit game in the postseason with his 5 for 6 performance on Thursday. Julio Urias also pitched 5 innings of one-run ball, helping the Dodgers clinch their fourth National League Championship Series appearance in the past five seasons.

The Next Step

The Dodgers will face the Atlanta Braves seven straight days starting Monday with the first to four victories to advance to the World Series. With the Lakers clinching their 2020 title, the Dodgers will proceed in their next step to do the same.

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