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.