Dodgers Dugout: Breaking down the Game 2 loss to the Nationals

Jose Lobaton watches his three-run homer leave the field.
(Pablo Martinez Monsivais / Associated Press)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, reminding you to keep your arms and legs inside the newsletter until the playoffs come to a full stop.

Breaking down Game 2

 --I was feeling pretty good when the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead. That will teach me to get overconfident.

--You have to wonder if the winds were affecting Rich Hill’s curveballs. It’s always hard to tell how comfortable he is on the mound because he always looks so uncomfortable.


--First Yasmani Grandal has  trouble staying on the same page with Clayton Kershaw in Game 1, then he leaves the bases loaded not once but twice in Game 2. Insert your own A.J. Ellis comment here.

--The Nationals’ bullpen stepped up just like the Dodgers’ bullpen did in Game 1, limiting the Dodgers to one hit and three walks in 4 2/3 innings. All you can do sometimes is tip your cap to your opponent.

--In seven playoff games against the Dodgers, Daniel Murphy is hitting .407 with three homers, six runs scored and seven RBIs. Hopefully he oversleeps and misses the plane to Los Angeles.

--Why did the Dodgers lose? They went one for nine with runners in scoring position and left 12 runners on base. I hate to keep picking on Grandal but hitting into a double play with the bases loaded and one out and then striking out with the bases loaded and one out really deflated the offense.


--It’s hard to root against a team managed by Dusty Baker. I remember throwing (along with dozens of other people) a pack of gum to him when he went out to left field for the Dodgers during numerous games in the 1980s. OK, it’s not actually that difficult to root against him, I just wanted to share that story. Does anyone else remember throwing gum to him before games?

--Game 3 is today at 1 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. We’ll probably hear a lot about how having to fly from Washington to L.A. and then playing a game is tough on their tired bodies. It makes for a good story, but I have a difficult time believing the players will have problems with fatigue.

--The Dodgers did the smart thing by sending Game 3 starter Kenta Maeda back to L.A. before Game 2 began. Hopefully the good Maeda shows up today and not the one who gets hit hard early.

--Remember how the Dodgers are the worst-hitting team against lefties in the NL? The Nationals start left-hander Gio Gonzalez today. The Dodgers hit .213 against lefties this year. The next-worst team hit .246. Championship teams rise to the occasion, so Game 3 will be a big test to see if the Dodgers have a championship offense. I think they will win, and win big. Then again, I remember getting my family on the boat in England and saying, “It’s the Titanic. What could go wrong?”

The rest of the schedule

Game 3: Today, Washington (Gio Gonzalez) at Dodgers (Kenta Maeda), 1 p.m. TV: MLBN

Game 4: Tuesday, Washington (TBA) at Dodgers (Julio Urias), 2 p.m. (5 p.m. if only one NLDS game) TV: FS1

Game 5: Thursday, Dodgers (TBA) at Washington (TBA) 2 p.m. (5 p.m. if only one NLDS game). TV: FS1


In case you missed it

What our great crew of Los Angeles Times reporters are saying about the Dodgers:

Dodgers revive that old October angst with loss to Nationals

Julio Urias is due to start Game 4, but circumstances could change that plan

A look at today’s Game 3 matchup

What others are saying

Gio Gonzalez is not a normal lefty

Five takeaways from the first two games


Nationals head west with momentum

And finally

A look back at how the Dodgers honored Vin Scully … on opening day. Watch and listen.

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me and follow me on Twitter: @latimeshouston


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