A little home cooking did this team a whole lot of good on Sunday night.
Being tied with the Atlanta Braves at one game apiece in their National League Division Series, every one in an L.A. Dodger uniform knew all too well that Game Three was a most pivotal contest.
Manager Don Mattingly was confident that the Dodgers’ followers in Chavez Ravine would rally around their team in a very loud and enthusiastic way, and the 54,646 blue towel-waving fans, mocking the Braves’ tomahawk chop (which, incidentally, was stolen from Florida State) did not disappoint as the team overcame a weak outing by Hyun-jin Ryu to slug 14 hits in their 13-6 walloping at Dodger Stadium.
Capitalized by a three-run home run by Carl Crawford in the second inning and a two-run shot by Juan Uribe in the fourth, as well as Hanley Ramirez‘s double and triple among his three hits – he’s batting an unreal .538 in the series – the Dodgers tied a team record for most runs in a postseason game set in Game Two of the 1956 World Series, when the Brooklyn version of the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees.
The 13 runs did break a 39-year old record of most postseason runs in a game at Dodger Stadium, though; the old mark was 12 in the 1974 NLCS.
A significant thing about this win – besides the fact that they can wrap up this series tonight – was that the Dodgers were able to pick up Ryu’s poor performance on the mound as he not only gave up four earned runs and six hits in three innings, he also failed to keep his foot on the first base bag on an attempted double play in the third inning.
Plus he threw to the wrong base in that same inning, throwing home on a ball hit to him even though he didn’t have a force play, to let in another run.
However, given the Dodgers’ offensive attack and Chris Capuano‘s three scoreless frames on Sunday night, Ryu can be forgiven, but…
L.A. may very well need that kind of attack again in Game Four, as Ricky Nolasco, who has thrown like a batting practice pitcher these past few weeks as he has given up 19 runs on his last 12 innings, is scheduled to pitch.
The Braves will be most motivated and desperate, dearly wanting to send this NLDS back to Atlanta for Game Five.
Nolasco will need to have a great game to keep the pressure off his teammates to bail him out with their bats as they did with Ryu. Can he do it?
Can the Dodgers finish off the Braves, send them to the golf course, and advance to the NLCS?
Tune into TBS at 6:30 p.m. tonight and find out.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Evidently the Dodgers want to end this series as soon as possible, because they just announced that Clayton Kershaw will start Game 4 against the Braves tonight.