Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
The Los Angeles Dodgers entered the National League Division Series as the heavy favorites over the Arizona Diamondbacks, but two games in they find themselves on the brink of elimination from their opening playoff round for the second consecutive season.
The Dodgers dropped the first game in embarrassing fashion, losing 11-2 behind Clayton Kershaw allowing a six-run first inning. On Monday, the Diamondbacks came with a three-run first against Bobby Miller and went on to win 4-2.
Inside the clubhouse, players all shared the same feeling: frustration and disappointment in their performances to open the NLDS.
“I think it’s more frustration on ourselves,” Freddie Freeman said. “Fifth and sixth innings, I think a lot of us aren’t going to be able to sleep tonight. A couple pitches I missed that will make me not sleep. Go get them on Wednesday.”
Although the pitching put the game mostly out of reach in Game 1, the Dodgers offense had multiple opportunities to tie the game, or at least build some momentum for a comeback. But by game’s end, they left seven on base, going 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
“Probably lean toward frustration,” Max Muncy said. “We had some opportunities that we didn’t cash in, and that’s on us. We’ve got to just get prepared to go out there and win the next game.”
L.A. is now one loss away from an early postseason exit as they head to Arizona for two potential games at Chase Field. They have the talent to mount a three-game winning streak, which is what it’ll take to move on to the NL Championship Series, but things need to change quickly.
“I don’t know,” Mookie Betts said. “I mean, obviously we’re all frustrated. But nothing we can do now. Just got to focus on the next game. Just can’t get any momentum. They’re pitching well and we’re just not hitting. Obviously it’s frustrating, but you turn the page. You don’t want to keep harping on the things you didn’t do.”
Bobby Miller shares Dodgers’ frustrations
Miller had a strong rookie season and earned the trust of the Dodgers to start Game 2. Some of that was out of the circumstances, but his elite stuff and demeanor also made the right-hander an enticing option to pitch big innings in October.
However, Miller struggled in a short start, throwing just 1.2 innings while giving up three runs. He also walked two, compared to just one strikeout. His poor performance left him both frustrated and angry with himself.
“Both. All of the above,” Miller said. “As a starter, especially after losing Game 1, you want to go out there and set a tone for your offense, get them in a good mood. And I didn’t help the bullpen out either. They did a great job of getting my back.”
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