Dodgers in a Dickens of a Dogfight

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After an easy first game victory, bats silenced in game two due to two natty pitchers.

It was the best of games, it was the worst of games. It was the thrill of the win , it was the absolute crush of the loss.

It was optimism, it was reality.

It was the tale of two games. 

A picture of two Daves: opposing managers Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals shake hands prior to Game One of the NLDS playoffs. Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

The series opener saw the Dodgers at their typical 2019 best: lights-out starting pitching, enough runs to keep the pressure on the opponent, and the deluge of dingers raining down on the poor saps as they run off with a 6-0 win.

Thank you for participating, we’ll see you again tomorrow. 

It looked like nothing would stand in the Dodgers way especially when you had players like Joc Pederson and Gavin Lux coming off the bench to crush the life out of the baseball. 

Joc Pederson watches as he hits the right field foul pole — which should be renamed the fair pole, because that’s a homer. It extended the Dodgers lead to 6-0 in Game One of the National League Divisional Series. Josh Barber/Los Angeles Dodgers

Then there was Game 2. 

It was the realization of my darkest fears about the Dodgers. Those bats were absolutely silent against Stephen Strasburg through five innings — the only hit through five was Will Smith’s two-out single in the fifth inning.

They were completely outmatched by Strasburg and could not figure out what sort of four-seamer, two-seamer, change, slider was coming at them and where. This looked nothing like the 2019 Dodgers that I knew. 

Dodgers bats were silenced thanks to two of the best hurlers in baseball, which silenced the fans. Carrie Giordano/Los Angeles Dodgers

Finally in the sixth inning, there was some hope.

The Dodgers finally managed to get the ball in play against Strasburg, and in came a run!

And even better was when the Nationals went to the bullpen in the seventh inning which saw Max Muncy murder a fastball from Sean Doolittle. 

Max Muncy with the swing, the bat toss, and the jog around the bases. Video by L.A. Dodgers

There it was, the start of the typical Dodger comeback. And against this garbage dump of a Nationals bullpen. This inevitable story was writing itself… 

Except, the Nationals then went to starter Max Scherzer in the eighth inning.

He of the three Cy Young awards.

Whatever comeback the Dodgers hoped to have, that was extinguished very quickly. In a rare appearance in relief, Mad Max threw 14 pitches and struck out the side.

Never one to give up, in the ninth the Dodgers rallied against Daniel Hudson — the reliever the Angels cut in spring training who has become the Nats’ closer. They loaded the bases, but Corey Seager struck out to end the game. 

What a willy-shrinker. 

Fans didn’t have a lot to celebrate Friday night in Game Two of the NDLS. The Dodgers now travel to Washington D.C. for games 3 and 4. Carrie Giordano/Los Angeles Dodgers

Now, I’m not expecting the Nationals to be able to duplicate this feat in this series. They needed extraordinary performances by two starters to keep the Dodger bats mostly quiet.

And Clayton Kershaw and his declining arm will probably not see the field again in this series.  

But when I imagine the Dodgers possibly facing the Astros in the World Series with their Gerritt Cole and Justin Verlander duo, it does cause my gut to churn. 

So I’ll probably spend the off-day watching some soothing pretentious French cinema or gay porn or whatever.

The two teams will face off in the heart of our country’s dysfunction on Sunday at 4:45 pm where I expect a repeat of Game One. 

Los Angeleno