Dodgers Dugout: Now it’s a best-of-three NLDS

Cody Bellinger is congratulated by Gavin Lux after scoring during the sixth inning of Game 2.
(John Hefti / AP)

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and this has been a great NLDS so far.

—Leave it to Julio Urías to remind Dodgers batters how to get a hit with runners in scoring position. It was like they saw that and said “Oh, yeah, now I remember.”

—“We’re not thinking he’s gonna get a hit right there,” said Giants pitcher Kevin Gausman, who gave up the hit. Uh, were the Giants not paying attention? Urías led the NL in RBIs for a pitcher this season.

—By the way, can all the TV and radio announcers attend a quick class before Game 3 and learn how to pronounce Urías’ name properly? Give him at least that much respect.


—With a left-hander starting for the Giants in Game 3, we will see Albert Pujols in the lineup for the first time this postseason. Pujols hit .294/.336/.603 against left-handers this season.

—I’m fine with Chris Taylor being in the starting lineup every game from here on. He will start in center in Game 3, with Cody Bellinger on the bench.

—Speaking of Bellinger, there he was once again in the middle of the action during a Dodger victory.

—Bellinger was asked after the game how he dealt with the pressure of poor performance all season. “How I’m doing it right now, I get the questions and I answer them,” he said. “I just do what I can to help this team win at the end of the day, you know, that’s all I could do.”

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—After the Game 1 loss, I got emails telling me that the Dodgers were lucky to win 106 games, that they play like amateurs and have no skill. Strangely, I heard from none of those people after Game 2.

—There are times when the Dodgers (or any team) will give a game away. Those types of losses are frustrating. But in Game 1, the Dodgers got beat by a team that played better that night. It happens sometimes. Hopefully it won’t happen two more times this series.

—However, I would like to remind the Dodgers that if they do face Logan Webb again that it’s OK not to swing at every changeup.

—Just once in life it would be nice to throw a ball like Mookie Betts did in Game 2. “Sometimes you just do things you can’t really explain,” Betts said of his throw that cut down Wilmer Flores at third base, ending a Giants’ rally, “and that was one of them.”


—When I “just do things you can’t really explain,” I’m usually referring to things like walking into a room and immediately forgetting why I walked into that room.

—Betts doesn’t have the strongest right field arm in Dodger history (Raul Mondesi says hi), but it might be the most accurate.

—And the catch and tag by Justin Turner was spot on.

Trea Turner suddenly looks very comfortable playing second base.

—A philosophical question that may baffle our greatest minds for generations: Max Scherzer doesn’t like anyone to speak to him or touch him on days he pitches. Albert Pujols gives teammates hugs after they hit a home run. So, if Max Scherzer hits a home run, would he accept a hug from Albert Pujols?

Kiké Hernandez is hitting .462 (six for 13) with three doubles and a homer for the Red Sox this postseason, while Joc Pederson has had one at-bat for Atlanta, and homered.

—Scherzer, the Game 3 starter, has had three mediocre starts in a row. “To look at Colorado, he didn’t have a great feel for the ball, he hadn’t pitched there very often,” Dave Roberts said of Scherzer’s Sept. 23 start. “In the St. Louis start, I’ve never seen his slider back up like that. I know he’s digging into it, he feels great physically. I just think the last three haven’t been up to par. He knows it, and I expect him to come in fresh and pitch well enough to help us win a game in Game 3.”

—Or, as Scherzer said on Sunday: “I think we identified something in my lower half that I can grab onto. Threw a bullpen with it, felt pretty good, so felt pretty good.”

—If the Dodgers win Game 3, I’d expect Tony Gonsolin to start Game 4. If they lose, look for Walker Buehler to come back on short rest.

—I’ll stick with the prediction I made before this series started: Dodgers in five.

Batter vs. Pitcher

Current Giants vs. Max Scherzer

Brandon Crawford, .400 (6 for 15, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 5 RBIs, 7 strikeouts)
Tommy La Stella, .400 (4 for 10, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 2 RBIs)
Brandon Belt, .250 (3 for 12, 1 double, 1 triple)
Darin Ruf, .222 (2 for 9, 1 double)
Kris Bryant, .125 (2 for 16, 1 triple, 10 strikeouts)
Evan Longoria, .105 (2 for 19, 1 homer, 2 RBIs)
Buster Posey, .083 (1 for 12, 1 double)
Wilmer Flores, .000 (0 for 17, 8 strikeouts)
Curt Casali, .000 (0 for 2)
LaMonte Wade Jr., .000 (0 for 1)
Kevin Gausman, .000 (0 for 3, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts)
Johnny Cueto, .000 (0 for 4)
Team, .167 (20 for 120, 8 doubles, 3 triples, 4 homers, 7 walks, 47 strikeouts)

Current Dodgers vs. Alex Wood

Gavin Lux, .667 (2 for 3, 1 double)
Mookie Betts, .500 (3 for 6, 1 double, 1 triple)
Zach McKinstry, .500 (1 for 2, 1 double)
AJ Pollock, .400 (10 for 25, 3 doubles, 2 homers, 3 RBIs)
Max Muncy, .400 (2 for 5, 1 homer, 2 RBIs)
Chris Taylor, .333 (4 for 12, 2 doubles, 2 homers, 3 RBIs)
Will Smith, .333 (1 for 3)
Joe Kelly, .333 (1 for 3)
Trea Turner, .273 (3 for 11, 1 double, 1 homer, 2 RBIs)
Justin Turner, .263 (5 for 19, 2 homers, 5 RBIs)
Albert Pujols, .250 (3 for 12, 1 double, 1 homer, 1 RBI)
Sheldon Neuse, .167 (1 for 6)
Cody Bellinger, .000 (0 for 2)
Blake Treinen, .000 (0 for 1)
Cole Hamels, .000 (0 for 1)
Alex Vesia, .000 (0 for 1)
Team, .319 (38 for 119, 10 doubles, 1 triple, 9 homers, 6 walks, 24 strikeouts)

Series schedule

Game 1: at Giants 4, Dodgers 0
Game 2: Dodgers 9, at Dodgers 2

Game 3: Tonight, San Francisco (**Alex Wood, 0-4, 3.83 ERA) at Dodgers (Max Scherzer, 15-4, 2.46 ERA), 6:30 p.m, TBS, AM 570, KTNQ 1020, ESPN radio

Game 4: Tuesday, San Francisco (TBD) at Dodgers (TBD), 6 p.m., TBS, AM 570, KTNQ 1020, ESPN radio

Game 5*: Thursday, Dodgers (TBD) at San Francisco (TBD), 6 p.m., TBS, AM 570, KTNQ 1020, ESPN radio

*-if necessary

In case you missed it

Cody Bellinger goes from hapless to heroic in Dodgers’ victory over Giants

Dave Roberts proves the doubters wrong with Dodgers’ Game 2 lineup changes

Giants-Dodgers rivalry sometimes has turned ugly. In San Francisco, few fans forget

Dodgers’ Julio Urías continues superb season, and Gabe Kapler saw it coming

Hernández: A little Mookie Magic helps the Dodgers slam the door on Giants

Corey Knebel emerging at right time

And finally

Vin Scully on the Beatles playing at Dodger Stadium. Watch and listen here.

Until next time...

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