NLDS Game 3 Recap: Dodgers Bats Chop Down Braves for 2-1 Series Lead

crawford uribe high fiveVin Scully had referred to Dodger Stadium as the “Magic Castle” various times over the course of the season. What a magical night it was Sunday, as the Dodgers erupted on offense winning Game 3 of the NLDS 13-6 and giving them a 2-1 series lead.

Hyun-jin Ryu struggled in his first career postseason start giving up four runs and six hits in only three innings of work.

However, this night was all about the devastation done by the Dodgers lineup. Braves rookie starter Julio Teheran also unraveled in the second inning.  After walking A.J. Ellis to load the bases for Ryu, he hit a deep fly ball to right field that scored Yasiel Puig to make it 2-1 Braves.

Carl Crawford came up next and pulled a Teheran breaking ball deep into right field for his first home run of the postseason to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.

Ryu’s struggles continued in the third inning as he cost himself an extra run with two mental errors in the inning.  He loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the third.  Brian McCann made Ryu work but he finally got McCann to ground out to first.  The Braves scored a run, but what should have been an easy double play on a very slow runner was botched as Ryu could not get his foot on first base in time.

The very next batter, Chris Johnson, proceeded to hit a ground ball up the first base line, a ball that could have potentially gone foul.  Although there was a clear play at first base, and the chance of only a bang-bang play at the plate, Ryu threw home, not nearly in enough time and Freddie Freeman scored the tying run.

Ryu finally got Andrelton Simmons to hit into a double play to end the inning.

From there the rout was on.

Hanley Ramirez led off the bottom of the third with a double, and Adrian Gonzalez singled to score Ramirez and give the Dodgers a 5-4 lead they would never relinquish.

The Dodgers would score another run on a Skip Schumaker single to take a 6-4 lead, but, the real fireworks were set to come in the fourth inning.

Crawford reached first on an error by Braves’ reliever Alex Wood to lead off the inning.  With one out, Ramirez tripled deep off the wall in left-center to score Crawford.  Puig would single home Ramirez with two outs, followed by a booming home run to right field from Juan Uribe.

All of a sudden it was 10-4 Dodgers.

At this point Ryu had been removed for a pinch hitter, so Chris Capuano took over and pitched very well. He tossed 3.0 scoreless innings with three strikeouts and three walks, and did not allow a hit.

The Dodgers bullpen was outstanding overall.  J.P. Howell pitched 1.1 scoreless innings and Ronald Belisario got two outs to close out the eighth inning.

Paco Rodriguez labored in the ninth inning giving up a two-run home run to Jason Heyward.  He couldn’t close out the game, getting only two outs in the ninth, and giving up three hits before being pulled for Kenley Jansen.

Jansen got McCann to strike out swinging to end the game.

As if the 10 runs weren’t enough, the incomparable Ramirez started another two-out rally in the eighth inning.  With runners on first and second, he singled in a run.

That’s right, it was only a single for Hanley.

Gonzalez and Puig each singled to drive in runs and it was 13-4 Dodgers.

Ramirez, Gonzalez, Puig, and Uribe went a combined 10-for-19.

Each player drove in two runs apiece.

Ramirez and Puig each scored three runs.

Ramirez had a double and a triple giving him the most extra base hits in a single postseason series in Dodgers history.

Ricky Nolasco will take the mound Monday night and attempt to close out the series.  Despite his recent struggles, Don Mattingly can be confident sending out Nolasco knowing that Clayton Kershaw is in his back pocket should the Braves pull out Game 4.

The Braves will send 37-year old veteran Freddy Garcia to the mound to try and keep their season alive.  Garcia won a World Series back in 2005 with the White Sox, but he’s on his third team this year.

I don’t see Garcia being able to keep down this Dodgers lineup.  Garcia did have a 1.65 ERA in 27.1 innings pitched in September with the Braves.

But, not against this Dodgers team that has Hanley Ramirez hitting .538 and slugging 1.231 with six extra base hits and six RBI. Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .357, Puig is hitting .462.

The Dodgers offense is just humming along, and I think Freddy Garcia will be the next victim tomorrow.

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