LOS ANGELES — Like so many nights during the summer, the Dodgers came out flat Monday. For a team with the amount of talent they possess, it would seem difficult to do, but that’s how the playoffs go sometimes.
“We sucked,” said Kiké Hernandez. “That’s why we lost.”
As a team, the Dodgers put together an 0-for-10 performance with runners in scoring position. This has plagued them at times in 2018, like any other team.
The interesting part about Game 3 was the Dodgers inability to get a run in when there were less than two outs. There were four separate innings Monday that saw them have runners on either second or third — or both — when there were less than two outs and fail to scratch out a run.
During the regular season, the Dodgers hit .299/.367/.497 with runners in scoring position and less than two outs. But they struggled with two outs, hitting .199/.327/.312 which is 82 points lowrt in OPS than the league as a whole.
“I thought we had the right guys in those moments and we just didn’t execute,” said manager Dave Roberts. “One part of it is creating scoring opportunities. We had a second and third, one out. We had a lead-off double. And we couldn’t push them across.”
“So in games like this, things like that get exploited. I definitely don’t think it’s the personnel. It’s a matter of when we get in those spots we have to find a way to be productive.”
Yasmani Grandal struck out twice in key moments of Game 3. In the second inning Grandal came to the plate with runners on second and third with one out. In the ninth, Grandal would get a chance with the bases loaded and one out.
He struck out both times.
After hitting into an inning-ending double play in Game 2 with the bases loaded, having three passed balls and two errors behind the plate, there were shouts from around the Dodger Stadium Monday to put backup catcher Austin Barnes into the game.
“With me, it’s not being able to drive guys in,” Grandal said. “I was a big part of that during the year. I was in big situations and I just couldn’t get it done. Hopefully tomorrow I just come back and try and make an adjustment.”
Grandal might not get that chance Tuesday, with Roberts inserting Barnes at catcher in his place.
“Austin will catch,” Roberts announced. “(Grandal) will be ready to go off the bench. He’s been good for us all year. So he’ll be ready off the bench tomorrow.”
“He had a tough night and obviously the fans voiced their opinion. And they’re passionate. They want to win. They want the best out of all of us, especially in the postseason.”
It doesn’t all fall on Grandal’s shoulders either. Cody Bellinger is a horrendous 1-for-21 this postseason. A run-scoring base hit in Game 2 of the NLCS is his only contribution.
“I’ve got to be better,” Bellinger said. “Obviously, we had opportunities we’ve got to take full advantage of.”
“We’ve got to show up tomorrow and beat these guys.”