With a buzzing crowd in Los Angeles on Sunday, the Dodgers hosted their first playoff game since 2009. Game 3 of the NLDS started as a back-and-forth affair, but the Dodgers ended up breaking away in a dominant 13-4 victory over Atlanta.
Dodger starter Hyun-Jin Ryu had a rough outing starting from the first inning. He gave up a double and two singles putting the Dodgers down 2-0 before they even touched the bats.
He got a chance in the second inning to make up for the damage he allowed in the first. With bases loaded Ryu hit a sacrifice fly to deep right field to score Yasiel Puig from third base.
Carl Crawford followed Ryu by poking a three-run homer into the right field stands. It did not look like a home run off the bat, but it just kept sailing, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. It was just Crawford's second home run since May 6th.
That 4-2 lead did not last long. Ryu had an awful inning in the third, giving up three consecutive singles to load the bases with no outs. He then had a couple of errors, missing the tag at first base on a perfect double-play ball, and then he threw home, way behind the runner, on a non-force play tying the game up 4-4.
Both starters were removed from the game in the bottom of the third, at the same moment. Ryu came to bat with two on and two outs, but Michael Young came in to pinch-hit for him. As Young was brought in the Braves took Julio Tehran out of the game.
Ryu finished with three innings pitched, six hits, four earned runs, one walk and one strikeout on 68 pitches. Tehran lasted just 2.2 innings with eight hits, six earned runs, one walk and five strikeouts.
After three innings, the Dodgers and Braves had combined for 10 runs and the game was already one-hour, thirty-minutes long.
The fourth inning was where the game turned around. Chris Capuano was brought in as long relief and pitched three scoreless, hitless innings.
This was the exact situation that earned Capuano a spot on the playoff roster. He walked the first batter he faced in each inning, but he did not let anybody else on base.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Dodgers broke the game open to take a six-run lead. The inning was punctuated with a Hanley Ramirez RBI triple off the wall to score Crawford, a Puig single to score Ramirez, and a two-run jack from Juan Uribe to put the Dodgers up 12-4.
With the big inning and some great pitching out of the bullpen the Dodgers kicked it in cruise control the rest of the game. They used J.P. Howell, Ronald Belisario, Paco Rodriguez and Kenley Jansen to close out the game.
The four relievers gave up four hits, with five strikeouts, on the way to a Game 3 victory. Rodriguez struggled in the ninth, giving up three hits with a two-run homer.
The final score was 13-4. They tied the Dodgers franchise mark for most runs scored in a postseason game. The last time they scored 13 was in the 1956 World Series.
During the Dodger Radio broadcast on Sunday, they iterated several times that in a five-game series, tied at 1-1, the winner of Game 3 has won the series 14 out of the last 15 times. Hopefully, up 2-1, the Dodgers can wrap this thing up in front of the home crowd on Monday in Game 4. Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to face Freddy Garcia of Atlanta in the possible elimination game.