Plaschke: The improbable might occur. The 111-win Dodgers are one defeat away from disintegrating.

One loss would be enough for the 111-win Dodgers to fold.

One loss would be enough for the 111-win Dodgers to fold.

justin turner 10 los angeles dodgers 1
One loss would be enough for the 111-win Dodgers to fold.

It’s inconceivable. It’s inconceivable. Never could it happen. Nine innings remain before it happens. The Dodgers are now on their last legs only one week after finishing a regular season with 111 wins. The Dodgers are in danger of losing everything in four nights after dominating baseball for six months.

The greatest Dodger squad in franchise history can soon turn into the most dismal one. The astonished Dodgers wandered into what may turn out to be yet another nightmare to their most recent dream on a night when thousands of fluttering yellow towels filled their sight and thousands of “Beat L.A.” cries flooded their ears.

The seemingly hopeless and helpless Dodgers suffered a defeat Friday at a jubilant Petco Park against a revitalized San Diego Padres squad. In the best-of-five National League Division Series, the score was 2-1, leaving a two-game deficit.

They are doomed if they lose Game 4 on Saturday night here. They will be eliminated if they triumph on Saturday but lose the decisive Game 5 on Sunday at Dodger Stadium. They are one game away from the most unlikely of eliminations, whichever way.

Dave Roberts, the manager, answered, “Yeah, that’s where we are.” It was a highly successful regular season, but as we’ve mentioned before, none of it counts because the series will be won by the club that plays the greatest baseball. They have performed better than we have up to this point in the game.

In a five-game series that was level after the first game, the series champion won 72% of the time. , thus it doesn’t seem promising. In fact, it’s looking quite terrible for the Dodgers, who are playing in a game that they absolutely must win.

It’s either win or leave, said Roberts. “We need to play better baseball,” was said As, in Game 2, the Padres prevailed thanks to brilliant pitching and timely hitting. Due to terrible hitting and erratic pitching, the Dodgers lost, just like they did in Game 2.

When facing Tony Gonsolin and Andrew Heaney, the Padres and Blake Snell quickly built a 2-0 lead. They then held on while the outstanding bullpen once again shut down the Dodgers.

Only Trea Turner was able to get on base out of the twelve Dodger hitters that faced the Padres relievers, and even then, it was only thanks to an infield single. In 13 innings, the Dodgers have not scored against a Padres bullpen that was not among the best in the league during the regular season.

Mookie Betts of the Dodgers, who has only had two hits in this series, said, “I’m not at all shocked. They have good ball players. They are performing well while we are not.

Not surprised? At all? The only one is him. The Dodgers were the only club in baseball history to have won more regular-season games. . Their run difference was the largest since the 1939 New York Yankees. They are not just the favorites to win the tournament; at points this year, they also appeared unstoppable.

And now they are about to lose a series to a group that was 22 games inferior to them in the standings?

Freddie Freeman, who stranded three of the Dodgers’ seven runners left on a base amid an offense that went hitless in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position, said, “We’re still in it, we’ve got tomorrow, we’ve got a game tomorrow, it’s not over.”

He’s correct. It has not ended. The Dodgers have a chance to win the next two games and go to the National League Championship Series. However, that reversal of fortune was It became more and more impossible to conceive that the Dodgers would even manage to get the ball out of the infield against Padres closer Josh Hader as this game rightly came to a finish.

Hader strikes out, strikes out, strikes out as the crowd screams as he pounds his glove with his fist. And what’s this? Game 4 will feature another pitching battle that seems to favor San Diego on Saturday night. Joe Musgrove, who last week faced off against the New York Mets in the decisive game of the wild-card series, threw seven innings of one-hit, shutout ball.

Tyler Anderson, who went 15-5 with a 2.57 ERA this season but has only made one playoff start in his career, will counter for the Dodgers. We have a lot on our plates, Roberts added. The city of San Antonio and the Padres were prepared for this. The Dodgers weren’t, though.

It was the Padres’ first postseason game played at home in 16 years, and maybe for the first time in those 16 years, Dodgers supporters had not taken over the stadium. The Dodgers appeared frightened by the surroundings also for the first time. Two hours before the game, two minutes before the kickoff, and almost every two seconds after that, the crowd yelled “Beat L.A.”

They occasionally shouted while a drum beat. Occasionally they chanted to the sound of an organ grinding. However, they consistently chanted, their anger from 16 years of being overshadowed by their enormous neighbors exploding in fury and keeping the chilly night warm. The charming ballyard was transformed into an enraged, sweeping flame by their continuous wave of yellow towels, which they did while standing and flapping.


Padres manager Bob Melvin praised the crowd, saying, “It was a very fantastic atmosphere to play in, and they had a huge say in what went on today too.” It seemed like there was so much energy in the stadium over the last few innings that it was difficult not to succeed. In fact, the Padres and their supporters did everything in their power to annoy the Dodgers, including attempting to boo them.

Yes, the Padres saw it as a sign when a goose briefly landed in the right field of Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, and they came out on Friday night with two. ceramic geese living in a pit. In the meanwhile, “San Diegoose,” a mural featuring a massive goose was created outside the stadium. Don’t chuckle. It succeeded.

Three pitches into the game, when Betts hit a single up the middle against Snell, the Dodgers momentarily quieted the fans. Trea Turner then struck out, and after Betts advanced to second on Snell’s wild pitch, Will Smith and Freeman did as well.

The Padres took the lead early in the game, which further boosted the noise of the fans. Juan Soto singled into the right-field gap against Gonsolin with one out, and Manny Machado followed by a walk. One out later, on a full count of two strikes Jake Cronenworth singled to center after a fastball, bringing Soto home.

Gonsolin was removed in the second inning with runners on first and third and after having thrown 42 largely bad pitches. He wouldn’t even survive another complete inning. Keep in mind that since August 23 Gonsolin had only pitched once and was still healing from a forearm injury. In his seven postseason appearances during his career, he also had a 9.45 ERA.

Heaney, who spent the first part of the season out due to shoulder problems and afterward failed to rediscover himself, was brought in to fill in for him by Roberts. Trent Grisham hit a Heaney fastball into the right-field seats to give them a 2-0 lead, ending their difficulties on the opening pitch of the fourth inning.

Are you about to now? Do you share the opinions of the majority? Incredibly, a club with 111 victories would need to rely on a haphazard pitching lineup for the third game of the postseason. This is what happens when your starting pitcher blows out his elbow and you don’t trade for a replacement before the trade deadline. Back in July, the Dodgers may have lost this game and their season by failing to account for Walker Buehler’s absence.

For the record, a crazy Trayce Thompson swing and miss concluded this game, in case you couldn’t tell through all the waving yellow towels. But the horror could only be getting started.

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