Walker Buehler shoved, the offense scored seven runs and most importantly there will be one more game. Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s Game 3 victory.
The offense was scorching hot
Well, talk about boom or bust. The Dodgers have been held scoreless in two of the four games in this series. In the other two games they’ve scored a combined 16 runs, with seven of them coming last night.
For the most part, everyone in the starting lineup had a great game. Six different players had at least two hits. Although Mookie Betts and Will Smith each hit a home run, Gavin Lux was the biggest standout at the plate. He reached base four times, recording two hits and drawing two walks. His hot September wasn’t a fluke as he continues to have fantastic at bats this postseason.
“That’s the whole key for me at the bottom is get on base for guys and just try to be a pest and work counts and take your hits when you get them and that’s really been the whole game plan for me.” Lux said.
Even the at bats that didn’t result in hits still looked really good for the Dodgers. They drew five walks and only had seven combined strikeouts. LA had 16 hard hit balls on the night (95+ mph exit velocity). Although they scored seven runs, they were still 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 runners on base, so the damage could have been even more.
Dave Roberts managed a hell of a game
Yet again, Dave Roberts did a fantastic job managing the game. The biggest takeaway from me is that he pulled Walker Buehler at the right time. He pulled him in the fifth inning after Buehler had made only 72 pitches. You could tell Buehler was slowing down a bit, and Roberts acted on that, going to Joe Kelly.
With two runners on base, Kelly allowed a run but was able to escape the inning with limited damage done. The way Roberts handled the bullpen the rest of the way was fantastic. Between Brusdar Graterol, Alex Vesia, Blake Treinen and Phil Bickford, I thought all of his decisions were smart ones.
Then you look at how he constructed the lineup. I loved how he had Gavin Lux in there and had Cody Bellinger at first base.
Again, it’s easy to criticize a manager when things go wrong, but man did Roberts do a fantastic job.
It all comes down to Thursday
Each team has 109 wins this season. Isn’t it fitting it all comes down to one final game to decide who moves on?
All season, these two teams have battled and gone back-and-forth. To no surprise, that’s exactly how this series has gone so far. Now, both of these teams will play one game to decide whose season will continue.
It’s fitting. It’s perfect. It’s what it was meant to be.