2015 NLDS (Someone Cover the Bag)
Los Angeles Dodgers fans were granted a reprieve in the 2015 NLDS instead of watching the St. Louis Cardinals crush the Dodgers spirits and Clayton Kershaw. They got to watch the New York Mets an upstart who rode a 36-19 August/September record to take the National League East title.
Carrying a collection of young arms to complement their ace Matt Harvey. Despite again starting the series at home the Dodgers settled for a split losing game one with Kershaw on the mound an winning game two with Zach Greinke pitching, just like in 2014.
The script stayed the same with the Dodgers losing game three and calling on Kershaw to pitch on short rest to try and stave off elimination. For fans expecting the worst, Kershaw flipped the script.
Given a 3-0 early lead Kershaw made it hold up going seven innings striking out eight, the only blemish a solo home run to Daniel Murphy (remember that name). The win gave the Dodgers a chance at home to win a winner take all in game five.
In their history in Los Angeles, the Dodgers had never lost a game seven or game five and they would be throwing Greinke out on the mound. Greinke would finish that year in second place in the Cy Young voting as the best pitcher in the league. He posted a 1.66 ERA the lowest in a non-strike shortened season since Dwight Gooden‘s 1.53 in 1985.
Greinke was the best player to have on the mound, but these are the Dodgers and things started auspiciously when the Mets Curtis Granderson got on base thanks to an infield single. Then Murphy hit a double to plate the first run of the game.
The Dodgers got back two runs to make it a 2-1 going into the fourth inning. Murphy (yep him again) singled. The infield employed a a shift to combat the left handed Lucas Duda, Greinke walked Duda the only walk Greinke would give up in the series.
What happened next was a comedy of errors, while Murphy was moving to second neither Greinke or shortsop Corey Seager covered the unoccupied third base. Instead of stopping, Murphy made the smart play and took third base.
Of course, the Mets took advantage scoring Murphy on a one-out sacrifice fly. The score remained the same until the sixth inning when Murphy hit a go ahead home run. 3-2 was final margin and the Los Angeles Dodgers lost with their best pitcher on the mound for the third year in a row. All because someone forgot to cover third base.