Game 4 is here today and gone tomorrow
By Cary Osborne
For a Dodger team with a mantra that has been “Win the day,” the Dodgers have a couple of tomorrows left in them.
And by tomorrow, the news of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series will all be what the British would call “fish-and-chip paper.”
We know the scenario for the Dodgers to win this series now, and even after a deflating 10-2 loss that saw the Dodgers both unlucky and underwhelming, that scenario is still ideal.
The Dodgers are tied at 2-2 with the Cubs in the NLCS and will have Kenta Maeda going in Game 5 in the National League Division Series — at home — with the opportunity to send the National League West champions to Chicago with a 3-2 lead in the series and Clayton Kershaw on the mound in Game 6.
“It happens and obviously it’s more magnified in the postseason, but we haven’t had a game like that in a long time,” said Dave Roberts. “It wasn’t to be. So I think for us it’s one of those things you have to brush off and get ready to go tomorrow.”
What bearing will four errors, a replay that didn’t go the Dodgers’ way in the first inning and a short outing by Julio Urías have on the Dodgers later in this series?
The Dodgers got lengthy outings — by the 2016 Dodgers standards — from Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill in Games 2 and 3, so if anything the Dodger bullpen needed the work it got on Wednesday. The five relievers the Dodgers used Wednesday didn’t appear in Tuesday’s game.
If there’s any concern, maybe it’s that some hibernating Cubs hitters woke up. Anthony Rizzo, who was 2 for 26 this postseason coming into Game 4, went 3 for 5 with a solo home run that put the Cubs up 5-0 in the fifth. Addison Russell was 1 for 24 before his 3 for 5 day. He hit a two-run homer off Urías in the Cubs’ four-run fourth.
Urías, who became the youngest pitcher to make a start in postseason history at 20 years, 68 days old, was impressive in innings one through three. He retired the side in order in the first inning, got out of a second-inning jam and worked a mostly clean third.
But the fourth was his undoing. Ben Zobrist led off with a bunt single and then Urías surrendered back-to-back soft singles — the second gave Andrew Toles a chance to get Zobrist at the plate, but he threw it wide left and to the backstop. After an RBI groundout by Jason Heyward, Russell homered and ended Urías’ day.
The Dodgers’ best opportunity to jump back in the game was the bottom of the fifth after Cubs starter John Lackey departed following back-to-back walks to Toles and pinch-hitter Andre Ethier. After a Howie Kendrick single and Corey Seager strikeout, Justin Turner knocked them both in with a one-out, two-run single off reliever Mike Montgomery’s glove. Montgomery got groundouts by Adrián González and Kiké Hernandez to end the inning, though, stranding a pair of Dodger runners.
Two Dodger errors helped contribute to the Cubs’ five-run sixth.
You can also look back and shake your head on the second inning when Toles singled and González was thrown out at the plate — a play that was upheld by replay, but could have gone either way.
It was a forgettable game, one you can be sure the Dodgers have cleared out of their memory already.
And here’s another positive to look forward to. After Kenley Jansen threw 21 pitches on Tuesday, the blowout kept him out of Wednesday’ game.