Jon Soo Hoo / LA Dodgers

Dodgers Face an Ace in Game 5: This Is Now Do or Die

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L.A. must win tomorrow or they’re out, spoiling a beautiful season

I guess these Dodgers don’t want me to write about them.

After their 6-1 loss to the Nationals Monday night which leveled the series 2-2 and sent them all back to L.A. for on final game, I’m at a loss.

This is a team that we could root for.

There are the so-called blue bloods whose talent were evident since they were children — the MVP-candidate Cody Bellinger for one. Hell, my boss called him her “other baby daddy.”

Justin Turner’s homer in the first inning in Game 4 was the only scoring they would do. Photo: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers.

But there were the players consigned to the scrap heaps of the MLB who broke out when they put on Dodger blue.

Justin Turner is a prime example. After yet another nondescript season in 2013 with the New York Mets where they tossed him into the open seas of free agency, he came to the Dodgers in 2014 on a minor league deal.

Basically the Dodgers said, “let’s see what you have for us.” By then Turner had changed his approach at the plate. Traditional wisdom said to put the ball on the ground in play, but he decided to eschew that and hit the ball out of the park, as per the new-fangled “launch angles” trend.

It turned the red-bearded fan favorite from a below-average player to an all-star in a blink of an eye. Turner has been the foundation for these Dodger teams since.

Kenta Maeda on this hill at Nationals Park in the NLDS on Monday. Photo: Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Similarly, there were also Chris Taylor and Max Muncy who were practically given to the Dodgers by the Seattle Mariners (in a trade) and Oakland Athletics (via free agency) respectively. Both adopted Turner’s approach and have become vital for the Dodgers in recent years.

Even among pitchers, the Dodgers first noticed Rich Hill, the team’s Game 4 starter, seemingly at
the end of his career in 2015 when he was pitching for the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League.

Although he was already in the midst of a turnaround with Oakland in 2016 when the Dodgers traded for him, he too has also been a vital part of the rotation, finger blisters aside.

Deep down I’m always a Dodger fan, so I would root for them no matter what, but this era
with all their reclamation projects blooming beautifully, it has been extra special.

Dodger catcher Russel Martin gave thanks to above after a beautiful display in Game 3. L.A. fans he will be blessed with more pop in the decisive Game 5 on Wednesday.  Photo: Nicole Vasquez/

That’s why it’s not enough for me for them to be barely remembered as merely World Series participants. If they’re not careful on Wednesday, they may also be known as chokers.

As you might notice, I’m not one for optimism. I find people who are optimistic to be pathological
liars and should not be trusted. So I’m not going to be kumbaya for Game 5.

Yes, Stephen Strasburg must duplicate his Game 2 outing Wednesday night for the Nationals to have any hint of an upset.

Unfortunately for the Dodgers, Strasburg is just the person who can do it.

L.A. will need their bats to come alive and look like the most feared offense in the National League to move on.

They need to keep the pressure on Strasburg and whomever the Nationals decide to put on the mound at any given time.

Apart from an inning here and there, it’s been the Washington pitchers who have made the Dodgers look like a 106-loss team rather than a 106-win team.

I’ve really enjoyed writing about all of this, so I hope I still have a writing gig after Wednesday.

Los Angeleno