Yu Darvish And Bullpen Shine; Dodgers Force Zack Greinke To Labor, Sweep...

Yu Darvish And Bullpen Shine; Dodgers Force Zack Greinke To Labor, Sweep Diamondbacks To Avance To NLCS

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in Game 3 of the National League Division Series to complete a sweep and advance to the NL Championship Series for a second consecutive year and third time in the past five seasons.

While the Dodgers failed to fully capitalize on their opportunities against Zack Greinke, they made him labor through five-plus innings. He failed to get batters to swing at pitches out of the zone, and immediately faced trouble.

Chris Taylor led off with a double and Corey Seager followed with a walk. Each batter forced Greinke to a full count. Cody Bellinger’s RBI groundout gave the Dodgers a lead before the inning came to an end.

Greinke walked Chase Utley with two outs in the second but stranded him. Seager walked and Justin Turner singled in the third, putting runners at the corners with one out.

Yasiel Puig walked to load the bases with two outs but Austin Barnes curiously swung at the first pitch and grounded out. Greinke issued a fifth walk in the fourth inning and was up to 88 pitches but limited the Dodgers to just one run.

Los Angeles at that point was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They eventually broke through on Bellinger’s two-out home run in the fifth inning, and Barnes atoned for his previous at-bat by leading off the sixth with a homer that knocked Greinke out of the game and extended the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.

For as inefficient as Greinke was, Yu Darvish operated on the opposite end of the spectrum. He dazzled through four innings, with only a Ketel Marte bunt single in the first inning the only hit allowed.

After that, Darvish struck out six and retired 13 in a row. He struck out the side, including Paul Goldschmidt and J.D. Martinez in the fourth. The string was snapped on a Daniel Descalso home run in the fifth.

That made Barnes’ line-drive shot off Greinke all the more crucial for the Dodgers. Although Darvish was allowed to bat for himself with one out in the sixth and a runner on second base, his leash was short in the bottom half of the inning.

After nearly hitting the knob of Christian Walker’s bat, which was held up after review, a pitch got away from Darvish and struck Walker on the bill of his helmet. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought the hook, inserting Tony Cingrani, who induced David Peralta into a 3-6-3 double play.

Brandon Morrow then entered to record the final out of the inning, and he retired Goldschmidt, Martinez and Jake Lamb in the seventh. Kenta Maeda retired the side in order in the eighth inning, and Kenley Jansen converted his second save of the series.

He struck out Goldschmidt, who represented the tying run, to end the game. Dodgers relievers backed Darvish’s stellar outing by combining to throw four scoreless innings with only one hit — a single off Jansen — allowed.

The Diamondbacks are now 6-1 all-time when facing elimination in Chase Field.