LOS ANGELES — The D-backs delivered an early haymaker. It wasn’t a knockout.
Arizona’s stunning nine-inning victory in the first game of the National League Division Series on Saturday night will decide the wildly unpredictable second game on Monday at Dodger Stadium. Think you know where this series is going? Think again.
“We have to do it all over again,” D’s first baseman Christian Walker said. “This is just the beginning.”
Despite all the problems from Game 1, the Dodgers can get right back into the series by winning Game 2. Meanwhile, the D’s send ace Zac Gallen to the mound with a chance to take a dominant series lead.
Across from Gallen, the Dodgers turn to rookie Bobby Miller in game two. Technically, this isn’t a must-win game for Los Angeles. But it’s definitely getting close. In the best-of-five postseason series history, five teams with a 2-0 lead have won 78 of 88 times (89%).
“You just gotta get this one out as fast as you can,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “11-2, 2-1, all of them were playoff losses. It doesn’t matter if you lose, it’s still a loss. We have to come back on Monday.”
Here’s what you need to know about Game 2:
When is the match and how can I watch it?
Game 2 airs Monday at 9:07 p.m. ET/6:07 p.m. PT and MST at Dodger Stadium on TBS.
All series are available in the US on MLB.TV after authentication with a participating pay-TV provider. Games are available live worldwide (except Canada). Full game archives are available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Gallen is the D-backs’ ace, and after finishing fifth in the Cy Young voting last year, he’ll be a top-five finisher again this year. The right-hander faced the Brewers in Game 2 of the NL Wild Card Series and struggled in the first game, allowing two runs before shutting out the Brewers for the next five innings.
Miller has been the Dodgers’ top prospect for several years, and his rookie season did not disappoint. The power-hitting right-hander has been tested a lot this season, but his first career postseason start will be as close to winning as the Dodgers can get. Miller says he feels ready for the postseason lights and the stage will be set on Monday.
What are the starting lineups?
D-backs: With right-handers picking the Dodgers, the D’s again placed Ketel Marte at second with Corbin Carroll leading the way. The pair turned in the first, with lefty Clayton Kershaw taking the mound.
Dodgers: With another right-hander on the mound in Gallen, the Dodgers are sending their Game 1 lineup back to Game 2, hoping for better results.
How will the bullpens stack up after the starter?
D-backs: The D’s didn’t use any of their plus loads because they had such a big lead in the first game, so they have a completely tanked bullpen. Lovullo wasn’t as aggressive when he went to his bullpen with Merrill Kelly or Gallen on the mound.
Dodgers: As the Dodgers hope to avoid an 0-2 hole in the series, manager Dave Roberts will be extra aggressive in utilizing his power forwards who received no action in the first game. Ryan Brasier, Brusdar Graterol and Evan Phillips will be used in key moments of the game.
Who’s hot and who’s not?
D-backs: The entire D-backs lineup seems hot right now. They scored 22 runs in three games against Corbin Burnes, Freddy Peralta and Kershaw. The D defenders play a wave offense, and now they are on a wave.
Dodgers: Despite losing the first game, the Dodgers came out encouraged by Smith’s hitting, going 2-for-4 with a two-RBI triple in the eighth inning. Smith is one of the most important pieces on the Dodgers’ roster, but he struggled in the second half of the season. If the All-Star catcher can return to his usual game, the Dodgers will be confident in his ability to score runs.
Anything else fans should know?
D-backs: The D’s played at home in 14 consecutive postseason games, beginning with Game 3 of the 2007 NLCS against the Rockies. This ties them with the 2020-21 Dodgers and 2017-18 Astros for the second-longest such streak in history.
Dodgers: The Dodgers are the 16th team to lose the first game of a postseason series by nine or more runs. They want to become just the seventh team to come back and win the series after a lopsided loss in the first game.
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