It can be a lu-lu.
In the by-the-numbers book late-inning baseball has become, the Dodgers have
That's the script, and the Dodgers don't divert from the script.
Getting to those two? Well, that's been the problem.
The Dodgers counted on
The Dodgers will open the championship series Friday, either at home against the
That's four days to figure out how to get past that seventh inning, either with starting pitching or a more effective bullpen patchwork.
That wasn't in the script. The score was tied, 2-2, when Kershaw exited.
Mattingly said Kershaw, if asked, would not have chosen to come out after six innings, so the Dodgers went with Belisario as the bridge to the late-inning guys.
The right-hander faced three batters and got one out, inducing
Elliot Johnson, the second batter, was 0 for 12 in the series when the switch-hitter stepped in against Belisario.
He was quickly one for 13. Johnson turned on an inside pitch and lined it over the outstretched glove of first baseman
Yasiel Puig tried to cut the ball off with something that looked like a hockey kick save, but the ball slid underneath and by him for a triple.
That brought on pinch-hitter
Belisario was finished, but not before he fired one more throw: a fastball that sent his glove whizzing past a Gatorade bucket and into the back wall of the Dodgers dugout.
The seventh inning was also the Dodgers' undoing in the Braves' 4-3 win in Game 2.
In that one, right-hander
The Braves countered with
The walk brought on lead-off batter
One problem: Heyward hits left-handers well — actually, better than Reed Johnson — and that's exactly what he did, lining a single up the middle that drove in two runs, including the game-winner.
Of course, that failing and Monday's are now all just a bump on the road to the championship series.
"They're not shabby in the bullpen," Braves Manager
He added that Wilson "has strengthened that bullpen since the last time we saw them."
Wilson struck out two in his eighth inning and was the winning pitcher.
Jansen struck out the side in the ninth.
Now if getting to them were only easier.