Published: Wed, October 11, 2017
Sports | By Grace Becker

Bellinger, Dodgers beat D-backs 3-1 to return to NLCS

Bellinger, Dodgers beat D-backs 3-1 to return to NLCS

When the series shifts to Phoenix on Monday for Game 3 at Chase Field, the focus will turn to Greinke, a former Dodger. They didn't know it at the time, but their three losses to the Arizona Diamondbacks were some of the first signs of trouble for a team that was at that moment shifting from historically unbeatable to utterly incompetent with unprecedented swiftness.

The Dodgers are looking to advance to the NLCS for the second straight year after losing to the Cubs in six games in 2016.

"I don't think they're uptight, I just think we're a little frustrated because we haven't been playing Arizona Diamondbacks baseball", said Arizona manager Torey Luvullo before the game. Who does the team want to play?

Yeah, not so much. The Dodgers rolled the Diamondbacks to extend their series lead to 2-0. The Diamondbacks put only one runner on base in those four innings and managed to get only two balls out of the infield. Greinke threw 29 pitches in the first inning and finished with 105.

Darvish, who has made mechanical adjustments and tightened up his repetoire since going to the Dodgers before the trade deadline, sliced through the D-backs lineup easily through five innings, retiring 13 hitters in a row. But those mistakes finally caught up with him in the fourth.

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Instead, I will give a hand to team-mates and to the coach", the 2006 FIFA World Cup victor and 2012 Euro runners-up added. Having won everything in Italian football, he moved to United States in 2015 for pastures new. "I'm not angry.

Yes, those were "Let's Go Dodgers" chants that ultimately swept the building as the Dodgers' swam only in champagne.

Bellinger's homer-which made him the youngest Dodger ever to do so in the postseason at 22 years, 88 days, 75 younger than Corey Seager-was just the Dodgers' second of the series, after Justin Turner's three-run shot in Game 1. It wasn't the last time Bellinger would make his presence known, as he was involved in a couple brilliant defensive plays, and the solo home run gave them some welcome insurance. "Tonight is the most important one", he said, prior to Game 3. "After another decisive Game 2 win on Saturday, Roberts" faith in his bullpen appears to be restored.

Austin Barnes shook his right fist toward the dugout.

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Puig, in the eighth spot of the batting order, is 5 for 9, including a double and triple, and has driven in four.

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Good, just not great results - a fate Goldschmidt and the D-backs now must take into a long winter, as the Dodgers march on.

The D-Backs could be encouraged by how they've handled the Dodgers' starting pitching in the first two games.

Los Angeles' defense has also been superb, as exemplified by severalhugeplays from Bellinger in Game 3 at Arizona.

Mounted police guarded the Chase Field pool after Game 3.

The Dodgers of midsummer didn't have Yu Darvish, for starters.

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Even if they do turn things around and defeat Ecuador , victory may not be enough to guarantee them a spot in Russian Federation . Ecuador had a solid run in this CONMEBOL region, now eighth with 20 points but its World Cup aspirations are already over.

With the D-Backs facing elimination, Monday's Game 3 is obviously extremely important.

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