What’s the only thing standing between the D-backs and another pool party Wednesday night? Lance Lynn and the Dodgers in Game 3.
Arizona shocked Los Angeles by winning Games 1 and 2 of a best-of-five National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium. Now, the Dodgers need to beat the D-backs back and forth in Arizona to cover the Dodgers. Otherwise their 100-win season will end prematurely.
The scene shifts to Chase Field on Wednesday for the first playoff game at the ballpark in downtown Phoenix since the Dodgers swept Arizona in three games in the 2017 NLDS. This time, the Defenders took a 2-0 lead and looked to secure a spot in the Championship Series for the first time since ’07.
“We’re not taking anything for granted,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “We will continue to stay humble and work hard.”
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are expected to become the third team in the 2-2-1 divisional format to lose their first two games at home before rallying to win three in a row. Of all best-of-five playoff series, teams leading 2-0 have won 78 of 88 games (89 percent).
“(It’s) not what we thought it would be, down two runs. But that’s where we are right now,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “We have to take it one game at a time and go get them on Wednesday.”
Here’s what you need to know about Game 3:
When does the game take place and how to watch it?
Game 3 will take place on Wednesday at 9:07 PM ET/PT and 6:07 PM CDT at Chase Field on TBS.
All series are available in the United States on MLB.TV and are subject to verification by participating pay TV providers. Games are available for instant viewing worldwide (except Canada). The complete game archive will be available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: RHP Lance Lynn (13-11, 5.73 ERA)
Lynn is the biggest addition to the Dodgers’ rotation at the trade , and the veteran will be tasked with keeping the team’s World Series hopes alive with his best performance of the season. Lynn needs to limit the home runs on Wednesday because he has allowed 44 homers this season, the most among major league pitchers.
Pfutter will make his second postseason start after getting the ball in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series. While Lovullo gave veterans Zach Gallen and Merrill Kelly a longer leash, he didn’t do the same with young pitchers like Pfeat in the final month of the season. As Lovullo said, Pfaadt will probably get 18 batters, give or take four.
What is the starting lineup?
Dodgers: Don’t be surprised to see the Dodgers make a move or two in the starting lineup as the offense tries to make a difference at the plate. But for now, we expect Los Angeles to roll out the same lineup that scored over 900 points in the regular season.
D-back: With his offense playing well, expect Lovullo to hit the same nine pitches in order that he did in Game 2 in Los Angeles. The backstop hitter performed well in the postseason after declining late in the regular season. The biggest reason is their refusal to chase balls outside the strike zone.
How will the bullpen line up after the start?
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts treated Game 2 like it was an elimination game. You can expect the same thing in Game 3, as this is effectively the Dodgers’ elimination game. Ryan Pepiot can carry Lynn if he doesn’t look sharp early in the game, but the Dodgers are targeting the back end of the bullpen to find Bruce Dahl Graterol, Ryan Blashill and E. Vin Phillips. They were both sharp in Game 2.
D-back: Lovullo’s relationship with Pfatt was short-lived and he could turn to right-hander Ryan Nelson or left-hander Joe Mantipouli early. The D-back’s high-leverage relievers have performed extremely well over the past few months. Right-hander Ryan Thompson and left-hander Andrew Salfranc finished sixth or seventh, with Kevin Kinkel finishing eighth and Paul Sewald ninth.
Are there any injuries worth noting?
Dodgers: not any.
D-back: Pham still struggles with turf toe, but he’s been doing it for a few weeks now and there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to do so.
Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: If Betts and Freeman don’t get on base, the Dodgers’ season will be over. The two superstars were outgunned in this series, going a combined 1-for-13 without any extra-base hits. Smith and Muncy need to move on as well, but the Dodgers will move forward with Freeman and Betts.
D-back: Carroll hasn’t looked like a rookie this postseason. After going 2-for-5 in Game 1 of the NL, he had a hit and drove in three in Game 2. When he gets on base in the starting lineup, it causes problems for opponents. Pham also had a good series, tallying four hits, including a homer, in Game 1 and two more in Game 2.
Is there anything else fans should know?
Dodgers: The last team to come back from a 2-0 deficit after losing their first two games at home was the 2015 Blue Jays, who came back all the way against the Rangers.
D-back: The Defenders last won four straight postseason games in 2001, when they won the World Series.