The only thing standing between the D-backs and another pool party tonight? Lance Lynn and the Dodgers in Game 3.
Arizona stunned Los Angeles by taking Games 1 and 2 of this best-of-five National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium. Now, the Dodgers need to repay the favor by beating the D-backs in Arizona. Otherwise their 100-win season is headed for an early end.
The scene shifts to Chase Field on Wednesday for the first postseason game at the downtown Phoenix ballpark since the Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of Arizona in the 2017 NLDS. This time, it’s the D-backs with a 2-0 lead, looking to secure their first trip to the Championship Series since ‘07.
“We will take nothing for granted,” said manager Torey Lovullo. “We will continue to stay humble and work very hard.”
The Dodgers, meanwhile, will look to become just the third team in the 2-2-1 Division Series format to drop their first two games at home before rallying to win three straight. In all best-of-five postseason series, teams that took a 2-0 lead have gone on to win the series 78 of 88 times (89%).
“[It’s] not what we envisioned, to be two down. But that’s where we’re at,” Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman said. “We’ve got 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 is the game and how can I watch it?
Game 3 is Wednesday at 9:07 p.m. ET/6:07 p.m. PT and MST at Chase Field on TBS.
All series are available in the U.S. on MLB.TV with authentication to a participating Pay TV provider. Games are available live internationally (except in Canada). Full game archives are available approximately 90 minutes after the game ends.
Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: RHP Lance Lynn (13-11, 5.73 ERA)
Lynn was the Dodgers’ biggest addition in the rotation before the Trade Deadline, and the veteran will be tasked with keeping the team’s World Series hopes alive with his best performance of the season. Lynn will need to limit the homers on Wednesday, as he gave up 44 dingers this season, the most by any pitcher in the Majors.
D-backs: RHP Brandon Pfaadt (3-9, 5.72 ERA)
Pfaadt will be making his second postseason start after getting the ball in Game 1 of the NL Wild Card Series. While Lovullo has given veterans Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly a longer leash, he has not done so with his younger pitchers like Pfaadt in the season’s final month. As Lovullo has said, Pfaadt will likely get 18 batters, give or take four.
What are the starting lineups?
Dodgers: With the offense trying to get something going at the plate, the Dodgers made a handful of changes from their Game 2 lineup, shifting James Outman to the bench in favor of Kiké Hernández while flipping J.D. Martinez (third) and Will Smith (fifth) in the order.
D-backs: With his offense clicking, Lovullo is opting to go with the same nine in the same order he did in Game 2 in Los Angeles. D-backs hitters have been on a roll in the postseason after slumping toward the end of the regular season. The biggest reason is their refusal to chase pitches outside the strike zone.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Dodgers: Manager Dave Roberts approached Game 2 like it was an elimination game. You can expect the same in Game 3, given that it is actually an elimination game for the Dodgers. Ryan Pepiot could piggyback Lynn if he doesn’t look sharp early in the game, but the Dodgers’ goal is to get to Brusdar Graterol, Ryan Brasier and Evan Phillips in the back end of the bullpen. They were all sharp in Game 2.
D-backs: Lovullo will have a short leash with Pfaadt and could turn to right-hander Ryne Nelson or lefty Joe Mantiply early. The D-backs’ high-leverage relievers have been outstanding over the past couple of months. Right-hander Ryan Thompson and lefty Andrew Saalfrank get the sixth or seventh, Kevin Ginkel the eighth and Paul Sewald the ninth.
Any injuries of note?
D-backs: Pham is still battling turf toe, but he has been playing through it for weeks now, and there’s no reason to think he won’t continue to do so.
Who’s hot, who’s not?
Dodgers: The Dodgers’ season will come to an end if Betts and Freeman don’t get going at the plate. The two superstars have been neutralized in this series, going a combined 1-for-13 with no extra-base hits. Smith and Muncy also need to get going, but the Dodgers go as Freeman and Betts go.
D-backs: Carroll has not looked like a rookie this postseason. After a 2-for-5 night in Game 1 of the NLDS, he followed it up with a hit and three walks in Game 2. When he’s on base at the top of the lineup, it’s trouble for the opposition. Pham has put together a nice series, as well, picking up four hits in Game 1, including a homer, and another two hits in Game 2.
Anything else fans should know?
Dodgers: The last team to come back from a 2-0 hole after losing the first two games at home was the 2015 Blue Jays, who came all the way back against the Rangers.
D-backs: The last time the D-backs won four straight postseason games was in 2001, when they won the World Series.