Sunday, 22 October, 2017

D'backs look to former Dodger

Cody Bellinger, Dodgers Complete Sweep of Diamondbacks, Advance to NLCS D'backs look to former Dodger
Spencer Simpson | 11 October, 2017, 00:24

This could be a bad matchup for the Dodgers, putting them up against the one team that they probably didn't want to face in the divisional series round.

Through his first two postseason games, Cody Bellinger had shown very little of the form that produced an NL rookie record 39 homers and a.267/.352/.581 line.

Instead, the Dodgers will advance to their third National League Championship Series in the last five years, sweeping their divisional rivals out of the postseason.

Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts had already said that his players wouldn't be celebrating in the pool, but the Arizona Diamondbacks made an all-out effort to ensure that it wouldn't become a Dodgers monument once again! He broke his right middle finger in July, but plans to play in an instructional league game Saturday. The Dodgers got to him for a run in the first inning, and kept putting the pressure on in the early innings as Greinke's pitch count mounted. Four relievers - including starter-turned-post-season-reliever Kenta Maeda - gave up nothing more than a one single by David Peralta in the bottom of the ninth. For the second time in four years, the Arizona Diamondbacks watch on as the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate at Chase Field. He allowed one earned run on two hits with nine strikeouts and no walks over seven innings in a 9-3 home win over the Padres his last regular season start. He struck out four and walked five. A solo shot by the struggling Bellinger extended the Dodgers lead to 2-0.

The Dodgers lead 2-0 and can eliminate the Diamondbacks when the National League Division Series moves to Phoenix on Monday.

Darvish's fastball averaged about 94 miles per hour this season, the highest of his career, but whether because of the dialed-up October adrenaline or the 14-day layoff he had had between starts, Darvish's heater had some extra giddy-up to it Monday night, sitting at 96 and touching 98.

Veteran Daniel Descalso, who provided a major boost off the bench and as a part-time starting second baseman this season, said the Diamondbacks can still get better.

The trouble began when Taylor smoked that leadoff double into the leftfield corner on Greinke's sixth pitch. His ERA is a full run better at Wrigley Field than on the road (2.90 versus 3.87).

Darvish, who has made mechanical adjustments and tightened up his repetoire since going to the Dodgers before the trade deadline, sliced through the D-backs lineup easily through five innings, retiring 13 hitters in a row. Logan Forsythe and Austin Barnes had the key hits in that pivotal fifth inning, and Puig followed up to drive in two more runs. Tuesday night's effort from Zack Greinke was the longest outing for the Snakes with five innings.

From there Greinke walked a batter in the following three innings. He was hit on the bill of the helmet two pitches later. Poor Fernando Rodney, the Diamondbacks closer, not only never got to fire a single arrow, he never even got to pitch in the series.

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