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Dodgers follow same script for another early playoff exit, get swept by D-backs

Starters didn’t pitch well, offense didn’t hit, and LA goes home a loser

Division Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Almost nothing the Dodgers did worked in the National League Division Series. The starting pitchers didn’t pitch well at all, nor did they last deep into game. The vaunted offense, from star players on down did virtually nothing at the plate. The nail in the coffin came Wednesday night at Chase Field, where the Diamondbacks bested the Dodgers 4-2 in Game 3 to finish off a sweep.

The Dodgers once got swept in a World Series in which they scored only two total runs in four games, including no runs in the final 33 innings of the series. Yet this Division Series somehow feels more lopsided, because of how the games got out of hand so early.

Arizona thoroughly outplayed the Dodgers in three games, jumping on them for big early leads in each contest. That the D-backs didn’t score until the third inning in Game 3 felt like a win, which underscores just how pathetic the Dodgers were in the series.

Runs came in bunches in the third inning, as they tend to do against Lance Lynn, who led the majors during the regular season with 44 home runs allowed, the sixth-most in major league history. On Wednesday, Lynn gave up four more home runs in a six-batter stretch.

The last came off the bat of catcher Gabriel Moreno, who one pitch earlier rounded the bases on what he thought was a home run to right field, only to be called foul. But he removed all doubt with a shot to left center to end Lynn’s night.

All the home runs were solo shots, but Lynn made postseason history as the only pitcher in major league history to allow four homers in one inning. Lynn pitched 2⅔ innings in Game 3, the longest start of the series for a Dodgers starting staff that got tattooed in three games.

Dodgers starting pitchers allowed 13 runs and recorded 14 outs in the NLDS. Goodnight.

Lynn’s ERA in 12 starts with the Dodgers, including Game 3, is 4.73. On the season, including his time with the White Sox, Lynn’s ERA is 5.84.

Ryan Pepiot, who was hurt in the first half of the season, had a 2.14 ERA in 42 innings over eight games, with 38 strikeouts and five walks. He was the only one of the Dodgers’ 13 pitchers on the roster who did not pitch in the NLDS.

It’s easy to say the Dodgers starting pitchers never gave the offense a chance, but given how Dodgers batters performed, they might not have had much of one anyway.

Arizona rookie starter Brandon Pfaadt got 13 outs himself in Game 3, needing only 42 pitches while allowing just two hits without allowing a run. D-backs manager Torey Lovullo went to his bullpen with one out in the fifth inning and Will Smith on second base, but lefty Joe Mantiply got righties Chris Taylor and Kiké Hernández to wiggle out of the Dodgers’ first threat of the game.

Real signs of life came in the seventh, with four consecutive singles, including Taylor and Hernández each driving in a run to halve the deficit to two runs.

But with two outs and two on, and left-hander Andrew Saalfrank brought in, Dave Roberts rightly pinch-hit for the left-handed-batting David Peralta. But with a roster that did not include Amed Rosario, the only Dodgers right-handed batter remaining was catcher Austin Barnes, who grounded out in the first pitch to end the inning.

Down a pair in the ninth, after Will Smith singled, Taylor hit a ball 407 feet, but it was to the deepest part of the ballpark, into the glove of center fielder Alek Thomas on the warning track.

The Dodgers scored only six runs on 17 hits in the series, hitting a punchless .177/.248/.240 as a team.

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman, who will likely both finish in the top four of National League MVP voting this year and rightfully so, had a combined one hit in 21 at-bats in the NLDS, the lone hit an infield single by Freeman in Game 2. Betts (0-for-11) had the first hitless postseason series of his career.

The first quartet of Dodgers who each drove in a 100 runs this season — Betts, Freeman, plus Max Muncy and J.D. Martinez — combined for one RBI in the series, a solo home run by Martinez in Game 2.

The bullpen once again did their job, holding the D-backs scoreless over the final 5⅓ innings. In the series, Dodgers relievers had a 2.53 ERA in 21⅓ innings, with half of the six relief runs allowed by bulk pitcher Emmet Sheehan in Game 1.

But the offense scored exactly two runs in every game, and never led in the series. That’s a recipe for a sweep, and another Dodgers team with 100-plus wins was unable to win a playoff series.

Game 3 particulars

Home runs: Geraldo Perdomo (1), Ketel Marte (2), Christian Walker (1), Gabriel Moreno (3)

WP — Joe Mantiply (2-0): 1⅓ IP, 1 strikeout

LP — Lance Lynn (0-1): 2⅔ IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 1 strikeout

Sv — Paul Sewald (4): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout

Up next

Next game that counts for the Dodgers is in Seoul, South Korea, on March 20, 2024 against the Padres. Before that, the first spring training game for the Dodgers is also against the Padres, on February 22 in Peoria.