Dodgers shut down Murphy
and that was about all they did right on Monday, losing to the Nationals 8 – 3 leaving them having to play must win baseball on Tuesday.
On the pitching side, things went wrong from beginning to end. Starter Kenta Maeda made it three straight poor starts by the Dodgers, and Kenley Jansen had what was arguably his worst major league inning.
On the scoring side for the Dodgers, it was Corey Seager once again getting the Dodgers off to a fast start by slamming a double off the RCF wall to plate Turner for the 1st run of the game. That would be the highlight of the Dodger offense until Carlos Ruiz blasted a two-run pinch-hit home run in the 5th to bring the Dodger to within one run at 4 – 3. That would be the last time the Dodgers scored. The score stayed that way until Kenley Jansen entered the game in the 9th inning.
On the pitching side, Kenta continued his poor pitching of late giving up four runs in only three innings. Kenta gave up five hits and two walks and seemed to be getting squeezed by plate umpire, Ron Kulpa. With no margin of error, the Nationals hit his strikes and Roberts was forced to bring in the bullpen in the fourth. Once again they proved to be the best part of the pitching staff this series shutting down the Nationals from the 4th to the 8th.
Everyone contributed except Kenley Jansen and Ross Stripling. Pedro Baez, Grant Dayton, Josh Fields, Luis Avilan, and Joe Blanton put up zeros before Roberts had to turn to Kenley Jansen because he had no one left but Stripling. With the score 4 – 3 Jansen watched Jayson Werth hit a home run about as hard as a home run can be hit. Still, it was just 5 -3 but it would get much worse. Murphy walked and Harper’s jersey was grazed to make it 1st and 2nd. Rendon would pop up, but Zimmerman hit a deep fly ball that Josh Reddick couldn’t handle as the ball hit the wall below his glove bringing in both runs as Zimmerman cruised into 3rd base.
To make matters worse, Josh Reddick had been brought in as defensive replacement because Toles had pinch hit for Puig in the bottom of the 8th. Roberts has decded that Puig can no longer be allowed to face right hand pitchers. This move blew up in his face as Toles made an out anyway and Reddick butchered the ball that Puig would certainly have caught, as most right fielders would have caught. Hell, Matt Kemp might have even caught that ball.
Ross Stripling replaced Jansen and Roberts had emptied his bullpen. Ross got his outs and the Dodgers went meekly in the 9th setting up game four tomorrow.
When the Dodgers were winning with a five-inning rotation it was because the rotation was at least giving the team a fighting chance. The starters have given up 3 runs, 4 runs, and 4 runs before the bullpen has come to the rescue in the 6th, 5th, and 4th inning.
You can’t win a postseason series that way.