Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers score, highlights: Arizona completes shocking sweep with historic homer-filled inning

The Arizona Diamondbacks are heading to the National League Championship Series. Wednesday night at Chase Field, the D-backs used a historic third inning to finish the three-game Division Series sweep of the NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers (ARI 4, LAD 2). The Dodgers won 100 games during the regular season and zero in the postseason.

For the D-backs, this is their first trip to the NLCS since 2007, when they got swept by the Colorado Rockies. They will take on either the Atlanta Braves or Philadelphia Phillies in the NLCS. The Phillies lead that best-of-five series 2-1, though the D-Backs will surely root for the Braves on Thursday. They want that series to go the full five games so their NLCS opponent gets worn out.

Here now are our takeaways from Arizona’s Game 3 win over the Dodgers.

Four homers in the third

In the third inning the D-backs — the D-backs! — became the first team in baseball history to hit four home runs in a single postseason inning. Geraldo Perdomo, Ketel Marte, Christian Walker, and Gabriel Moreno all took Lance Lynn deep. Walker and Moreno went back-to-back, and Moreno went deep one pitch after a near-homer that sliced just foul.

The D-Backs have hit four homers in an inning just once in the regular season in their history, according to ESPN, and their 13 homers are the second most ever through a team’s first five postseason games. Only the 2020 New York Yankees hit more. They had 14 homers through five postseason games.. Here is the Game 3 dinger madness:

Moreno is becoming some kind of player. He always displayed tremendous bat-to-ball ability in the minors, but he hit a ton of ground balls. It sure looks like he’s figuring out how to get the ball airborne consistently now. Wednesday’s homer was his third of the postseason. Alas and alack, Moreno exited Game 3 with a right hand contusion after being hit by a foul tip.

Lynn allowed 44 home runs during the regular season, the most since Bronson Arroyo allowed 46 homers in 2011, and he allowed 20 homers in 66 2/3 innings with the Dodgers between the regular season and postseason. That’s a 2.70 HR/9. They say solo homers can’t beat you, but the people who say that must’ve never seen a pitcher given up four solo homers in one inning.

The Dodgers had rotation concerns coming into the postseason and the NLDS played out to the worst case scenario. Their starters — Clayton Kershaw, Bobby Miller, Lynn — combined to allow 13 runs and get 14 outs in the three games. The offense didn’t have a good series either, but gosh, it’s hard to win when your starters do that.

Lovullo was aggressive with his bullpen

Then again, what manager isn’t aggressive with his bullpen in the postseason? Rookie Brandon Pfaadt faced the minimum through four innings in Game 3, but when Will Smith lifted a one-out double to left in the fifth, D-backs manager Torey Lovullo popped out of the dugout and called for lefty reliever Joe Mantiply. Pfaadt threw 42 pitches in 4 1/3 innings.

On one hand, Pfaadt falling two outs short of qualifying for the win — a postseason win, at that — despite being staked to a 4-0 lead is tough. Couldn’t let the kid get two more outs, Torey? On the other hand, the D-backs had a chance to close out a sweep. The manager must do what gives the team the best chance to win at all times in October and Pfaadt had a 5.72 ERA during the regular season. Lovullo took the 4 1/3 scoreless innings and wouldn’t push his luck any further.

Five D-backs relievers — Mantiply, Ryan Thompson, Andrew Saalfrank, Kevin Ginkel, Paul Sewald — held the Dodgers to two runs in 5 2/3 innings Wednesday. Things got a dicey in the seventh inning when Los Angeles brought the go-ahead run to the plate, but Saalfrank got Austin Barnes to ground out to end the threat. Pfaadt did his job and the bullpen did theirs. Lovullo’s plan worked.

Betts and Freeman had an awful NLDS

Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are, inarguably, two of the very best players in the game. They’re both likely to finish in the top three of the NL MVP voting and deservedly so. That said, Betts and Freeman had a terrible NLDS. They combined to go 1 for 21 with three walks and four strikeouts in the three games, and the one hit was an infield single. Betts went hitless in the series.

In the eighth inning Kevin Ginkel issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to pinch-hitter Kolten Wong, giving Betts and Freeman a chance at redemption. They both batted representing the tying run … and they both struck out. J.D. Martinez then flew out to strand Wong at first base. The Dodgers had the right guys at the plate at the right time and they didn’t even put the ball in play. Rough.

A whole lot of Dodgers didn’t perform in the NLDS — they were outscored 19-6 in the three games — but Betts and Freeman drive the offense, and when they don’t contribute, Los Angeles has a tough time putting runs on the board. Credit the D-backs for shutting the two MVP candidates down. That’s as much a reason for their sweep as pounding the Dodgers’ starters in all three games.

D-backs’ first NLCS trip in 16 years

This is Arizona’s first trip to the NLCS since 2007 and only the third in franchise history (2001, 2007, 2023). The Dodgers, meanwhile, will now head home for the offseason. They have to figure out why their rotation crumbled and why they have been eliminated by 80-something win teams each of the last three postseasons. Let’s call a spade a spade here. This was a really weak showing by Los Angeles. They did not hold a single lead in the three games.

Below is our running commentary and analysis throughout Game 3.

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