Braves rocked, Dodgers roll, fans jazzed, team’s got soul

That was like Sisyphus getting ready for another long, hard push up the mountain – and then Zeus changing his mind and just handing him a beach chair and a Mai Tai instead.

Too wacky? Maybe so, but wacky suits what happened tonight for the Dodgers. who shrugged off Hyun-Jin Ryu’s uphill outing and bam-smashed the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the National League Division Series, 13-6.

The Dodgers tied their all-time postseason high in runs, set in Game 2 of the 1956 World Series (breaking their Los Angeles record of 12 in Game 4 of the 1974 National League Championship Series) and can eliminate the Braves with one win in their next two games. The game also set a record for most combined runs ever at Dodger Stadium in the postseason.

After allowing two runs in the first inning, the Dodgers came back in the second inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Ryu and Carl Crawford’s marvelous three-run homer, their biggest hit of the playoffs so far. And then, after Ryu gave up two more runs in what would prove to be his final inning, Los Angeles struck for two more runs in the bottom of the third and four more in the fourth to all but put the game out of reach.

The Dodgers tacked on three runs in the eighth, building their lead to nine before Jason Heyward hit a two-run homer off in the ninth off Paco Rodriguez, who couldn’t finish the inning in what might be a sign that his usefulness this season is over. Kenley Jansen came in to get the final out, four hours and a minute after the game began.

Nearly every Dodger starter had a say in the game, but none more than Crawford (2 for 5 with three runs), Hanley Ramirez (walk, single, double and triple), Yasiel Puig (three singles) and Juan Uribe (single and two-run home run). Oh, and Chris Capuano, who had one of the oddest relief outings you’ll ever see, walking the leadoff batter in three consecutive innings but allowing no other baserunners, on his way to earning the win.

The game deserves more ink than this, but some of us are going to rest up for the week ahead.

Ricky Nolasco will now probably take the ball in Game 4 of the playoffs Monday against Freddy Garcia, with Clayton Kershaw prepared to start Game 5 on Wednesday or, if not necessary, Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday.

  • Spence

    If the Dodgers win tomorrow and the Pirates win their series, this will be a long home stand for the Dodgers. They got home late friday night, and would be there till at least next monday.

    • WinnipegDave

      So the Dodgers would have home field against the Pirates even though Pittsburgh had a better regular season record? That could be quite helpful, because PNC will be rocking for every Pirate home game.

      • XJill

        I was trying to figure that out, too. I thought the Pirates would have home field, how is that determined again?

        • Spence

          Wild Card teams arent allowed HFA even if they have a better record than a division winner.

          • XJill

            AAhh, thank you for the answer!

  • leekfink

    So, if Game 4 looks like Game 3 (our back-of-the-rotation starter gets into hot water early, but we are still tied or ahead), who is our long reliever? And is he a former and nearly-certain 2013 Cy Young winner?

    • SaMoDodger

      No, because then you can’t use him in game 5.

      • leekfink

        But if we are tied or ahead, we don’t plan to use him in Game 5.
        (And if we go to Game 5, we have Greinke on regular rest.)

  • SaMoDodger

    Paco looks like he has a tired arm. After honeycutt came out to talk to him, he only reached 90 mph once, on the hit. It was almost as if he was limited to using his offspeed stuff.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Night’s most random trivia: Capuano is second Dodgers playoff P w/3 IP, 3 BB and 0 H. First was Alejandro Pena http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN198810090.shtml

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    2013 playoff OPS: Crawford .833, Ramirez 1.802, Gonzalez .928, Puig .962, Uribe .916, A.J. Ellis 1.386.

  • SaMoDodger

    Marmol actually has pretty god numbersvagainst lefties. Could prove useful against Alvarez and Morneau if Bucs advance to LCS.

  • ASW1

    Somewhat surprising that Russell Martin has as many RBI’s (6) as Hanley in this postseason.

  • RBI

    What a game. Absolutely crazy out there. Our seats were in right field, and we watched, if not willed, both Crawford’s and Uribe’s home runs as they sailed by. The noise after CC’s HR was unforgettable. Ryu’s arm looked tired, but oh how the hitters smiled and hit!

    • John_from_Aus

      The atmosphere at the park looked great. The stadium looks great at twilight

      • foul tip

        Sure does, on camera. I’d like to see a game at DS sometime. Only ever driven by the outside once, just to say I’d been there…for that matter, only ever in LA that one time.

        Trip plans back then slightly adjusted because my wife spent most of 3 days in motel with Montezuma’s Revenge. But we wound up hitting most of the places we’d planned.
        Just one restaurant hit back.

  • John_from_Aus

    Any news on Puig looking very sore running up the first base line in the 7th?

    • RBI

      Seemed fine after that…

  • WinnipegDave

    Full day of baseball tomorrow. Could have 3 of the 4 series wrapped up and NLCS teams worked out if things go a certain way.

  • ASW1

    I’m not overly worried about Nolasco’s late-season rough patch. The division was wrapped up and maybe Nolasco was experiencing a tired arm. He’s had plenty of rest and this is his dream come true. Nolasco grew up one hour east of Dodger Stadium in Rialto, and the Dodgers were his team, regularly attending @ 15-20 games a season as a kid. If any pitcher is ready to take the mound for the Dodgers tomorrow night, it’s Ricky Nolasco.

    …and besides, Kershaw’s waiting in the wings for a game 5 start if needed….

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Just got finished unpacking and now I’m settled in
    WHAT A GAME!!!!! should have been the elimination game though…The place was rocking and the a group where I was sitting in the reserve level started that mock tomahawk chop and it spread like wildfire

  • XJill

    Very fun game to attend, that’s for sure. Given how rough Ryu looked I thought we were doomed but no!! I don’t think I’ve ever heard a stadium gasp as loudly as when Crawford went ass over teakettle getting that ball. Man. And Paco. Well, epic fail I must say.

  • John_from_Aus

    Jack Dawkins and Berkowitz (excuse spelling) might be particularly interested in this article (others too) :)
    It’s about how cricket is trying to catch up with viewing technology that is currently available for Baseball.

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/670523.html

  • foul tip

    Has CC been in postseason before?

    • btimmer

      With Tampa Bay

  • foul tip

    Chuck Todd just noted the Dodgers’ “first attempt to close out the Braves” on MSNBC.

  • ASW1

    “Turning to Freddy Garcia with the season on the line” :

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/turning-to-freddy-garcia-with-the-season-on-the-line/

    • ASW1

      This comment by “Dutch” below the article gave me a chuckle :

      “If the Braves are as committed to this as they seem, then they have to suck it up and start BJ Upton. Pairing Garcia with Evan Gattis rumbling around left field is just too much to contemplate.”

  • thescrounger

    I’d have liked to see Mattingly done this last night: Start of the ninth inning, send out Punto to replace Hanley, FedEx to replace AJ, and SVS to replace Crawford or Puig. Not only would this have reduced injury liability but three players who richly deserved it would have gotten ovations and three other players who contributed all season would have gotten their name in the box score. It would have been a nice touch…

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Little early to worry about curtain calls, but for the health reasons I might have made those moves, as they did with Punto.

  • Adam Luther

    With Ricky starting, any scenario where Kershaw comes out of the ‘pen?

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      That question has been posed earlier. I would say only in extra innings. They still have plenty in the bullpen to cover an early knockout.

      • Adam Luther

        He came out of the pen to start the game – crazy!!

  • WBBsAs

    Presuming Fredi González sticks with García instead of Medlen, I love the idea of Gattis in LF.

  • ASW1

    “Carl Crawford hit a three-run home run and also scored twice more, giving the Dodgers a potent shot at the top of the batting order. With that day at the plate and on the basepaths, Crawford is the sixth leadoff hitter in postseason history with a three-run, three-RBI game. The names, and games: George Brett (1978 ALCS, G3), Lenny Dykstra (1993 WS, G4), Jose Offerman (1999 ALDS, G4),Juan Pierre (2003 NLDS, G2), and Dustin Pedroia (’07 ALCS, G7).”

    Jose Offerman!
    Juan Pierre!

  • das411

    woah seeing an awful lot of Twitter chatter that KERSHAW IS STARTING TONIGHT

  • dalegribel

    Looks like Kershaw tonight and not Nolasco. No real surprise to me.

  • dalegribel

    Kershaw as confirmed by the Dodgers twitter account. Also Dylan Hernandez, Jayson Stark, Ken Gurnick, and Bob Nightengale.

  • NoahUCLA

    The Kershaw question is definitely an interesting one. Kershaw on 3 days rest is better than Nolasco on any rest in all likelihood and Greinke is not a bad choice for game 5 or game 1 of the next series with Kershaw in game 2 on regular rest. But, Kershaw on regular rest is better than Greinke, especially against a lefty heavy team like the Braves. So, it’s not an easy decision. I would probably pitch Kershaw tonight myself, because he gives you the best chance to win today and I would worry about game 5 or game 1 tomorrow.
    By the way, nice to see that DT was well represented last night. It was a great experience and a lot of fun to be with 55,000 of my closest friends. I came very close to catching those homeruns for DT, but they were just a bit out of reach (I was in the reserved section down the 3rd baseline).

  • ASW1

    I don’t like the decision to have Kershaw try something he’s NEVER DONE, already up 2-1.
    Smells of unnecessary panic.

  • scooplew

    I strongly hope Kershaw doesn’t start tonight. Here is why: I don’t believe he’s ever started on three days of rest, our backs are not against the wall (those of the Braves are), he made 124 pitches on Thursday, if we win tonight with Nolasco starting Kershaw can start Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday on long rest, and if Kershaw starts tonight and we don’t win, the Braves will be at a tremendous psychological advantage on Wednesday as Kershaw won’t be available.

    • ASW1

      Besides the fact that Nolasco is eventually going to be needed to start a game if the Dodgers advance – why not now when he’s ready and rested, instead of putting your franchise player out there on 3 days rest after throwing 124 last time out. Terrible move.

    • twaseverthus

      I’m torn myself, but I reckon the issue is that if Nolasco falters – which based on his September, there’s a strong chance he will – there’s no long man in the bullpen, having burned thru Capuano last night. This would be less of an issue if Kershaw hadn’t pitched a pointlessly high number of pitches on Thursday. Let’s put this one away, I say.

      • ASW1

        Withrow can go 2, even 3 if needed.

  • isb77

    The announcer on the Pirates-Cards game just announced that Kershaw would be starting tonight. That sent me scurrying over here to check.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      I imagine if they don’t win tonight with Kershaw, and Greinke wins game 5, they will again use Kershaw on short rest for NLCS game 1. Not the best of scenarios.

  • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

    After last night’s hit parade you’d think Donnie had faith in them putting some runs up against Garcia, don’t like the move either. I mean it’s Freddy Garcia.

  • NoahUCLA

    I like our chances Kershaw v. Garcia. Greinke for game 1 Friday if we win and Kershaw saturday. We have the best 1-2 punch in the game, let’s use them as much as possible. That’s 5 of 6 games with Kershaw and Greinke on the mound. I like it.

    • http://www.twitter.com/ElJefedor Jeffrey Thomas III

      That scenario sounds fine, but what happens if they don’t win tonight?

      • ASW1

        Then Greinke faces Medlen in game 5 and our huge advantage with a well- rested Kershaw goes up in smoke.

        • NoahUCLA

          But we have ahuge advantage tonight, at home, with Kershaw v. Garcia. Why not take the advantage when it’s given to you? Greinke v. medlen is still a pretty good advantage, although I would suspect we would see minor and not medlen.

  • ASW1

    This would be like rushing Kenley out of the bullpen with two outs in the ninth inning with a seven run lead….

    …oh, wait….

    • NoahUCLA

      Why save Kenley if he’s more than available tonight? He’ll also feel more relaxed the more he gets easy postseason experience.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT