Dodgers stunned again as Diamondbacks complete shocking NLDS sweep – Orange County Register

PHOENIX — Lightning does strike twice and the Dodgers are the charred victims, left smoking and unrecognizable as the 100-game winner they were during another pointless regular season.

For the second consecutive year, the Dodgers were eliminated in their first playoff series despite facing a team that finished a distant second behind them in the National League West. The Arizona Diamondbacks will move on to the NL Championship Series after hitting a postseason record four home runs in one inning and beating the Dodgers, 4-2, on Wednesday night to complete a shocking three-game sweep in the NL Division Series.

The Dodgers have lost six consecutive postseason games since winning Game 1 of their ill-fated NLDS against the San Diego Padres last fall. Twenty-two games better than the Padres during the 2022 season, they were 16 games better than the Diamondbacks during the 2023 regular season. They went 1-6 against those two teams in October.

The first team in baseball history to win 100 games or more in four consecutive full seasons (2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023), the Dodgers have been utter failures in the postseason those same years. They followed those epic regular seasons with first-round exits in three of the four postseasons, advancing only in 2021 when they stalled out in the NLCS instead.

The Diamondbacks led at the end of all but two innings in this series, dominating the Dodgers in every phase.

The Dodgers’ three starting pitchers – Clayton Kershaw, Bobby Miller and Lance Lynn – recorded a total of 14 outs between them while allowing 13 runs.

According to Elias Sports, the 4⅔ innings from their starters are the fewest by the starting pitchers in the first three games of a postseason series in MLB history.

But the Dodgers were able to outhit their pitching problems all season thanks in large part to their two MVP candidates – Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman. But Betts and Freeman were no-shows in the postseason. They went a combined 1 for 21, the lone hit an infield single by Freeman in the first inning of Game 2. Over the two NLDS losses to the Padres and Diamondbacks, Betts has batted .080 (2 for 25). Stretching back to 2021, he is 3 for 38 in his past 10 postseason games.

An offense that has averaged 5.4 runs per game over the past two regular seasons (first in the majors in 2022, second this season) has managed just 2.6 per game in two postseason series.

The Dodgers were 4 for 38 (.105) with runners in scoring position during last year’s NLDS defeat (including an 0-for-20 stretch). This year, they slipped in the clutch again, going 4 for 17 (.235) with RISP against the Diamondbacks. Only four consecutive two-out singles in the seventh inning (producing their only runs of Game 3) buoyed this year’s number.

Only the bullpen performed up to its regular-season standard, holding Games 2 and 3 close with 7⅓ scoreless innings in Game 2 and 5⅓ scoreless innings in Game 3.

Out of it after the first innings of Games 1 and 2, the Dodgers at least stayed in this one until the third inning.

Lynn held the Diamondbacks scoreless for the first two – the only two innings in this series during which the Dodgers didn’t trail by multiple runs.

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