|7:08 PM PT8:08 PM MT9:08 PM CT10:08 PM ET22:08 ET2:08 GMT10:08 7:08 PM MST9:08 PM EST9:38 PM VEN6:08 UAE (+1)9:08 PM CT, October 9, 2017
Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona Attendance: 48,641
Diamondbacks turn to Greinke for Game 3
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PHOENIX -- The Los Angeles Dodgers held home field in the first two games of the National League Division Series, looking very much like the team that two months ago was on a pace to tie the major league record with 116 victories.
Arizona is hoping that a day off and an efficient Zack Greinke start can turn things around.
Dodgers right-hander Yu Darvish will oppose Greinke when the teams meet in Game 3 of the best-of-five series at Chase Field on Monday, after the Dodgers outscored Arizona 17-10 in the first two games at Dodger Stadium.
"If you have to pick one guy to stop this situation that we're in, I think we've found the right guy in Zack Greinke," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's been that guy for us all year long. We've built around him. I know he loves challenges like this. Nobody prepares better."
The Dodgers passed the baton in the first two games. Third baseman Justin Turner had three hits, including a homer, and matched a franchise playoff record five RBIs, in a 9-5 Game 1 victory. That helped the Dodgers flex the muscle that led them to a franchise home run record this season.
They played smaller ball in their 8-5 victory in Game 2 on Saturday, when they strung together patient at-bats to knock out Arizona left-hander Robbie Ray, who had handled the Dodgers well this season. However, he entered after making his first relief appearance since 2014.
"We'll homer when a pitcher makes a mistake," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
"But to spoil pitches and to grind, that's when I think we're at our best. It's that team offense concept. We've got a lot of good players and a lot of good depth. There are so many guys in our lineup that can hurt you. Pass it to the next guy. Have that good at-bat. We can stress the pitcher early, get the pitch count up, get into the 'pen. Putting the ball in play, not punching, taking the walk. We've done that the first two games and we put some runs on the board."
The Dodgers' 6-8 hitters Logan Forsythe, Austin Barnes and Yasiel Puig were 8-for-12 with five RBIs in Game 2, and Puig has a team-high five hits, including a tongue-wagging triple in Game 1.
The Diamondbacks have six homers, four off Clayton Kershaw, who managed his first home postseason victory, regardless.
But the Diamondbacks' starting pitching has not given them much of a chance, something Greinke needs to do to keep Arizona alive in its first playoff appearance since 2011. Arizona has not won a playoff series since the 2007 NLDS against the Chicago Cubs.
The Dodgers are looking to advance to the NLCS for the second straight year after losing to the Cubs in six games in 2016.
Greinke's short outing in the NL wild-card game against Colorado has had a ripple effect in this series. Because Greinke could not get out of the fourth inning an 11-8 victory Wednesday, Ray was forced into action in long relief.
So, the D-backs turned Game 1 to Taijuan Walker, who gave up four runs in one inning, and called on Ray in Game 2 three days after he threw 34 pitches in the wild-card game. Ray was not himself. He gave up two earned runs in 19 2/3 innings at Dodger Stadium during the regular season but gave up four while pitching into the fifth inning despite command issues.
Greinke (17-7, 3.20) was 13-1 at home in the regular season, although he has given up 15 hits and 12 runs in his 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts at Chase Field. He could not hold a 6-0 lead in the wild-card game, giving up five hits and four runs in the fourth inning before being removed.
The Dodgers may know Greinke as well as anyone, inasmuch as he spent 2013-15 with them and, along with Kershaw, helped them to three straight playoff appearances. Greinke made six playoff starts with the Dodgers, all quality starts. He allowed as many as three runs only once.
Los Angeles has swung at fewer pitches outside the strike zone than any team in baseball, the numbers say, something Greinke said he noticed while going 1-2 with a 3.65 ERA against them in four starts this season.
"That's what it seemed like the first couple games (of the NLDS), too," Greinke said. They wait for a pitch to hit and that's an ideal way of hitting. If you get it, you hit it as hard as you can. If it's not a pitch to hit, they take it. I mean, it's pretty simple, but it's harder to do than it sounds like."
Darvish, 10-12 with a 3.86 ERA, joined the Dodgers near the trade deadline and was 4-3 with a 3.44 ERA in nine starts with them. He struck out 10 in five innings of a 5-2 victory over Arizona at Chase Field on Aug. 10, his second start with the Dodgers. He lost both career postseason starts while with the Texas Rangers, to the Baltimore Orioles in 2012 and Toronto Blue Jays last year. Darvish gave up five runs on four homers in five innings of a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays in the second game of the ALDS last year.
The Dodgers led the NL in team ERA, and Arizona was third. Darvish is 2-0 with a 2.75 ERA in three career starts against the Diamondbacks, 1-0 at Chase Field.
"If you look at the body of work from our guys, they're all crazy," Roberts said of his starters. "Yu ... I'm still learning him, but I would say he is the most normal out of all of them."
Updated October 9, 2017
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