Shortly after Jayson Werth deposited a ninth-inning offering from Kenley Jansen into the bleachers in left field to increase the Dodgers’ deficit to two runs, fans started streaming up the stadium aisles and heading toward the parking lot.
A two-run double by Ryan Zimmerman later in the inning emptied more than half of Dodger Stadium, including the owners’ box near the home team’s on-deck circle.
The deserters chose to head into rush-hour traffic rather than watch the remainder of the game, but who could blame them?
The Dodgers had virtually no offense in Game 3 of their National League division series against the Washington Nationals. They went into the bottom of the ninth inning trailing by five runs, but it might as well have been 60. They had no life and their fans had no hope.
The final score reflected this reality: Nationals 8, Dodgers 3.
The Dodgers moved to within a game of elimination, now trailing in the best-of-five series, two games to one.
“Just have to come out and put up runs tomorrow,” first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said.
Their entire run production in Game 3 consisted of a run-scoring double by Corey Seager in the first inning and a near-miracle, two-run home run by pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz in the fifth.
All three runs were scored with a man on first base.
If their problem in Game 2 was producing with runners on base, their issue Monday was placing men in scoring position. Only two Dodgers made it there: Seager and Howie Kendrick, who doubled in the third inning.
While they chased Nationals starter Gio Gonzalez after five innings — the Dodgers trailed at the time, 4-3 — they again failed to score against the opposing bullpen.
In their 5-2 defeat in Game 2, the Dodgers were shut out by the Nationals’ bullpen over the final 4 2/3 innings.
They also failed to score in three innings against Nationals relievers in Game 1.
That’s a credit to the Nationals, who had the second-best bullpen earned-run average in baseball. Only the Dodgers were better.
However, the offense’s late-game disappearances also are a symptom of what’s happened to this supposedly deep lineup assembled by Andrew Friedman’s front office.
Seager has shown up to play in this series, driving in a run in the first inning of each game. Justin Turner has too, reaching base in nine of 13 plate appearances.
Nationals Bryce Harper beats the tag of Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal on a double by Ryan Zimmerman in the 9th inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Nationals Jayson Werth, right, celebrates with Daniel Murphy after his solo home run in the 9th inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth celebrates after rounding the bases on a ninth-inning homer against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts pulls relief pitcher Kenley Jansen from the game after surrendering three runs in the ninth inning.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton celebrates as Dodgers Corey Seager strikes out in the 8th inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers right fielder Josh Reddick leaps but can’t make the catch on a two-run double by Nationals Ryan Zimmerman in the 9th inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers right fielder Josh Reddick leaps but can’t make the catch on a two-run double by Nationals Ryan Zimmerman in the ninth inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager drops the ball on a single by Nationals Ryan Zimmerman in the 7th inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager can’t field a ball hit by Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman that was deflected by pitcher Joe Blanton for a seventh inning hit.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers reliever Luis Avilan celebrates after striking out Nationals seond baseman Daniel Murphy to end a 6th inning threat.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers pinch hitter Carlos Ruiz is greeted at home plate by teammate Joc Pederson after hitting a two-run homer in the fifth inning.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers pinch-hitter Carlos Ruiz rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodger 2nd baseman Charlie Culberson can’t handle the throw as Bryce Harper steals second base and advances on catcher Yasmani Grandal’s throwing error in the 3rd inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodger pitcher Kenta Maeda looks down after giving up two of his four runs against the Nationals in the 3rd inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Kenta Maeda tries to gather himself during a difficult third inning.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal is late with the tag on Nationals centerfirelder Trea Turner who scored on a Jayson Werth triple in the third inning.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda hangs his head as Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon circles the bases on a third inning two-run homerun.(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers Justin Turner celebrates after scoring a run against the Nationals in the 1st inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
Dodgers base runner Justin Turner slides home safely to beat the tag from Nationals catcher Jose Lobaton in the 1st inning.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)
And that’s it.
As for Gonzalez, who has a history of neck and back problems, he looks as if he’s physically laboring. He was one for four Monday and is two for 13 in the series.
The absence of his production is especially noticeable, if only because when Gonzalez goes, the Dodgers go with him.
Gonzalez, who drove in five runs last year in the division series against the New York Mets, blamed the results on his approach.
“The game plan was to work the count and they came after me with early strikes,” he said. “I fell behind and battled. I was able to have long at-bats, but the final contact wasn’t there. It’s one of those things if I would have gone with the mentality of being aggressive, I might have made better contact, hit the ball harder.”
Perhaps equally troubling is the team’s continued inability to do anything against left-handed pitchers.
The availability of the right-handed-hitting Kendrick and Yasiel Puig as platoon players was supposed to help, but it hasn’t.
That shouldn’t be a surprise. Kendrick and Puig are used to playing every day. Making them part-time players provides them with a significant obstacle in developing rhythm at the plate.
While Kendrick and Puig have accepted reduced roles, Kendrick acknowledged, “It’s very tough. Obviously, playing every day is the most ideal situation.”
The Dodgers have a combined three hits in six innings against the Nationals’ three left-handed relievers, Sammy Solis, Oliver Perez and Marc Rzepczynski.
When Kirk Gibson launched his famous home run in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, a set of red lights suddenly became visible in the parking lot, evidence of a remorseful motorist stomping on his brakes.
There were red lights again in the ninth inning Monday, but for another reason. Traffic was gridlocked on Sunset Boulevard.
Follow Dylan Hernandez on Twitter @dylanohernandez