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Dodgers waste opportunities in NLDS Game 2 loss

Series now tied 1-1

MLB: OCT 12 NLDS Padres at Dodgers Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Game 2 of the National League Division Series was very different than Game 1, and not just because of the result. On this morning’s Leading Off with True Blue LA podcast, we look at the many missed chances by the Dodgers in their loss to the Padres in Wednesday night’s back-and-forth affair.

The Dodgers hit three home runs off starter Yu Darvish but failed to score after the third inning, despite having at least one runner on base in every frame the rest of the way, and multiple runners in four of the final six innings. This brings us to the classic dilemma of the postseason — if the Dodgers continue to give themselves chances things should work out, but the immediacy of the moment demands the results happen now.

The big plays in Game 2 included Juan Soto’s deke in right field, which briefly fooled Will Smith and left the Dodgers with runners at the corners instead of second and third on a ball hit to the right field wall by Max Muncy. That was amplified two batters later by an inning-ending double play that wouldn’t have been possible if both runners were in scoring position.

There was also the choice to use Austin Barnes over Chris Taylor and Miguel Vargas to pinch-hit for Cody Bellinger against Josh Hader in the eighth inning, and Dave Roberts’ postgame explanation insisting Taylor is healthy and that this was a choice, not an injury-driven decision.

The NLDS now shifts to San Diego, and the Dodgers turn to Tony Gonsolin in Game 3, opting for a pitcher in his second major league game in seven weeks over Tyler Anderson, who will start Game 4. Either way, the Dodgers could use better starts than three runs in five innings, which is what they got from Julio Urías and Clayton Kershaw in the first two games.

Then again, if the Dodgers can’t score off the Padres bullpen, it might not matter.

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Episode link (time: 18:10)