Criticized as a team that is overly dependent on slugging home runs, the Los Angeles Dodgers erased a 1-0 deficit in Game 5 of the National League Division Series without going deep and by predominantly relying on the proverbial small ball.
A double by Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig’s hustle double in the eighth were the Dodgers’ only extra-base hits in a 5-2 victory that has them on the brink of a trip to the World Series for a second straight year.
Puig and Justin Turner were the lone Dodgers to produce a multi-hit game; each also drove in a run. “I think that’s something we talked about the whole series,” answered Turner when asked if the Dodgers placed a premium on simply putting the ball in play.
“Today we actually did a better job of doing it. They obviously have good arms in their bullpen and it’s not easy stuff. I thought we did a lot better job from Austin’s at-bat on, the quality of bats were unbelievable compared to the rest of the series.”
Austin Barnes’ RBI single up the middle tied the game in the fifth inning and represented the Dodgers’ first breakthrough on the day against Brandon Woodruff, who entered after Wade Miley faced just one batter.
Barnes was set up by Chris Taylor reaching on an infield single and moving into scoring position thanks to Orlando Arcia’s ill-advised throw. Taylor then stole third base without a throw on Woodruff’s first pitch to Barnes.
“It was huge to get there to third base, less than two outs, give us a shot to do some things,” Turner said. “And him going to second base on the errant throw was big. It’s no big surprise to us, he’s a gamer, he’s a grounder, and it was huge.”
Turner is aware there’s hardly room for the Dodgers to let up heading into Game 6 of the NLCS. Should the Brewers stave off elimination Friday night, Miller Park would also host a decisive Game 7.
But the All-Star third baseman did find some solace in the Dodgers taking a 3-2 edge in the series. “We’re battling, scrapping, grinding, trying to find ways to scratch runs across,” Turner said. “And I’ll tell you, it’s a lot better feeling getting on the plane tomorrow going there up three games to two than it would be if we were down two games to three.”
Want to get your content COMPLETELY AD FREE? Click here to follow us on Apple News!