Plaschke: Dodgers go from miracle comeback to 3 hours of collapsing cringe

Plaschke: What happened? Dodgers go from miracle comeback to three hours of collapsing cringe

10/21/2021 8:48:00 AM

Plaschke: What happened? Dodgers go from miracle comeback to three hours of collapsing cringe

The Dodgers' comeback in NLCS Game 3 was supposed to give them the momentum they needed to win the series. Instead, the Braves dominated Game 4.

, the Dodgers may simply be out of gas, out of luck and out of time.Their Dodgers’ pitching is a self-made mess, their hitting has disappeared, they just lost Justin Turner for the rest of their season with a hamstring injury, they miss earlier injured Max Muncy, they really miss the depth of departed Kiké Hernández and Joc Pederson, and they’re wiped out from the monumental Giants series that stretched to the final inning.

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“You can be tired and execute,” said Pollock.Well, they’re clearly tired, but they’re clearly not executing, and none of it was working after a night when everything worked.Remember, Tuesday, eighth inning, Cody Bellinger three-run homer, Mookie Betts’ RBI single, 6-5 comeback victory, series entirely flipped?

VIDEO | 03:39Dodgers one loss away from elimination after NLCS Game 4 lossLos Angeles Dodgers players Julio Urías and AJ Pollock, with manager Dave Roberts, discuss losing NLCS Game 4 and how they feel going into an elimination game.Turns out, even though they showed up barely 24 hours later in front of a Dodger Stadium crowd still roaring from the night before, nothing was flipped from the previous weekend.

The Braves were once again, better. The Dodgers were once again, baffling.“I really don’t have an answer,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. “They just outplayed us in all phases.”The Dodgers didn’t get a hit against reliever Jesse Chavez and demoted starter Drew Smyly until the fifth inning, and finished with just four hits and one rally against almost the entire contents of the Braves’ relief crew.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers countered with one of their three aces, yet Urías wilted. Despite pitching just three days after making an ill-advised relief appearance in Game 2, he was left on the mound for 92 pitches that the Braves batted around for eight hits, three homers, and five runs.

Hernández: An absence of offense during postseason could be Dodgers’ undoingThe Dodgers’ offense has been non-existent during the postseason and that’s inexcusable for a team leading the NL in scoring, writes columnist Dylan Hernández.Said Urías: “No, I felt good. I felt good physically. I just have to give them credit for what they did today”

Said Roberts: “I don’t think he was necessarily tired … I think the stuff was good. I think they had a very good game plan for him.”It didn’t appear to be about the game plan. It appeared that Urías was exhausted. It seemed like Urías should have been pulled about three innings earlier. It seemed like the Dodgers were worried about protecting their relievers for the scheduled bullpen game Thursday and made the clearly worn Urías — who has pitched 1171/3 more innings than his previous career high — take one for the team.

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Whatever it was, Urías was bad, and the frustrated offense was just as bad. “I know it’s not from lack of work or preparation,” repeated Roberts. “I don’t have an answer.”The answer must now come from a Dodgers bullpen-pitched game against Braves’ ace Max Fried, and that’s just the first of three steps, and the defending World Series champions are on the brink like never before.

“It’s going to be a big day tomorrow, we got to regroup,” said Pollock. “We got to get after it and anything can happen if we win tomorrow.”Anything should have happened Wednesday, which began with Vin Scully appearing on the giant video board leading the fans in a pregame cheer.

The crowd was buzzing. The stadium was shaking. The music was deafening. “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” shouted 50,000 voices.Dodgers center fielder Gavin Lux reacts after striking out in the fifth inning Wednesday.(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Turns out, maybe it’s not. The evening of such promise ended with such insult, after Freddie Freeman’s double in the ninth inning drove in Dansby Swanson from second and gave them a 6-2 lead.From behind home plate, there arose that racist chant from fans doing the tomahawk chop.

“Guys are showing up ready to play,” said Pollock. “We’re excited to play and we just didn’t execute.”That lack of execution was obvious from the beginning, from the mound. By the time Urías had thrown 23 pitches, he was down 2-0 and had thrown nearly as many balls as strikes while giving up consecutive home runs to Eddie Rosario (left) and Adam Duvall (center).

Then in the third it got worse, after Freeman’s leadoff homer gave the Braves a 3-0 lead. Urías showed his frustration not only at himself, but at teammate Gavin Lux.Eddie Rosario misses out on cycle, but hits two homers to power Braves’ winEddie Rosario missed chance to become only the second player in MLB history to hit for the cycle in a playoff game in Braves’ 9-2 win in NLCS Game 4.

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First, Eddie Rosario hit a ball in the right-field corner and stunningly legged out a triple as Mookie Betts failed to field the ball cleanly off the wall. Then, after an intentional walk to Duvall set up a highly favorable left-lefty matchup with Joc Pederson, somehow Joc poked a 1-and-2 pitch to center field where it fell peacefully at the feet of tentative Lux and easily scored Rosario.

That was it. Urías had seen enough. He turned toward center field and spread his arms out in frustration like, why didn’t you catch that?“Obviously they’re playing with a lot of confidence, but we have to come out tomorrow and play a game,” said Urias. “We have another game tomorrow.”

This game was epitomized in the seventh inning, with the Dodgers still trailing just 5-2, when Albert Pujols led off with a pinch single to left, Walker Buehler ran for Pujols, and up stepped Justin Turner.Once again, like Tuesday night, the crowd roared, the stadium shook, but this time…Turner hit the ball right to second baseman Ozzie Albies, who stepped on second and threw to first for the double play.

Photos: Dodgers lose to the Braves 9-2 in NLCS Game 4Photos from Game 4 of the National League Championship Series between the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night.Cacophony, then silence, then Turner slowly limping off the field after injuring his hamstring and ending his season. That described the night, possibly the penultimate night in the 2021 season of the defending World Series champion Dodgers.

Read more: Los Angeles Times »

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BillPlaschke Wow Bill. Trying to make something out of nothing. Same story and MO as last year. The sky is falling. Just change the date from 2020 to 2021. BillPlaschke is he still bored lmao BillPlaschke Yep. Nailed it. BillPlaschke It’s over!—Bill Plaschke BillPlaschke My encounter with Geoffreypreud actually change my life and for that I'll keep upgrading people for his good job thanks once again Geoffrey

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