It was a typical Dodgers playoff game, Kershaw gave up back to back home runs, Jansen came in and gave up runs in the ninth inning, except this time … the Dodgers won the game. I had seen this movie before, the heartbreak feeling was coming back, the weird feeling in my chest and stomach was there and like I have seen so many times before, I saw my wife (a converted Dodgers fan) questioning her fandom and support of my boys in blue. The bases were loaded, the go ahead run on second base, Joe Kelly was on the mound attempting to save the day from Kenley Jansen’s continued struggles. I knew what would happen, Eric Hosmer would lace a double into the right center gap and flashes of Matt Stairs off of Johnathan Broxton, Rendon off of Kershaw, Rollins into the gap, Bregman’s blooper, it was all flooding back. This time, Hosmer hit a ground ball to the best defensive second baseman in the National League, Kike Hernandez for the routine final out of the inning giving the Dodgers a 6-5 victory and a 2-0 series lead in the National League Division Series.
Is it too soon to say that this Dodgers team feels different, that those are the games they would normally lose but this time the script was re-written for their benefit. We got the win but the big glaring question becomes, what will the Dodgers do about the ninth inning? Kenley Jansen cannot continue to attempt to close games for the Dodgers, it’s unfortunate because he has poured a lot of himself into this organization and has battled health issues, so I feel for the guy but we can’t keep going down this road. The Dodgers led the game 6-3 heading into the ninth inning, Jansen got the first batter of the inning to strikeout and then the flood gates opened up, two runs and the bases loaded later, Joe Kelly finished off the Padres. Kelly is way too much of a liability with base on balls, he walks too many people to come into games in the ninth inning with a run one lead. I think the Dodgers need to seriously consider Dustin May, Blake Treinen on Pedro Baez to be the closer moving forward this post-season. My vote would be for Blake Treinen who was the former all-star closer for the Oakland A’s, so he has the experience finishing off games.
The Dodgers have not looked phenomenal at the plate but they have battled and gotten hits when they needed to, they have been grinding out at bats late in the game and it has resulted in a 2-0 series lead. Let me say, I have bashed Cody Bellinger many of times for his continuous swing and misses and failing to deliver in the post-season but last night he ended the criticism. He robbed Fernando Tatis Jr. of a home run, he pulled back a go ahead home run from the center field wall and also chipped in with a solo bomb to center earlier in the game. Muncy, who has been awful this season delivered two RBI’s and Justin Turner who is the most professional hitter on the Dodgers finally showed up and delivered with a big two run single.
The Dodgers have not announced a game three starter, I am assuming it will be either Julio Urias or Tony Gonsolin, either arm will be an advantage and I am predicting a clean sweep and the Dodgers will march onto the NLCS. This team feels different but again, the proof is in the pudding they need to continue to win. The shorter series always scare me more, I think if we can get to the NLCS then we are in good shape because any team will have trouble beating the Dodgers four times in a seven game series.
Tonight is big, let’s get it done. RANDY CUE THE MUSIC!