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Resilient Dodgers return to dominant form, and to the NLCS

Resilient Dodgers return to dominant form, and to the NLCS

But, sure enough, Cingrani induced lefty hitting David Peralta into a double-play grounder, at which point he was quickly pulled for righty Brandon Morrow, who proceeded to retire Ketel Marte on a grounder and then retire the heart of the Diamondbacks order in the seventh.

First #postseason homer for @Cody_Bellinger? The Dodgers completed the sweep and are heading to the National League Championship Series for the second consecutive year.

The Diamondbacks went from 69-93 a year ago to 93-69, a wild-card game win over Colorado and a place in the NLDS. All three games went deep into the night, forcing fans on the East Coast to choose baseball or sleep. Darvish limited the damage to the lone run after a spectacular inning ending catch by Bellinger as he caught it falling over the dugout railing.

Ethier considered the kindergarten math - four more wins to get to the World Series, eight to win it all - and could say with more conviction than any other Dodger how big those numbers truly are.

In came Kenley Jansen, looking to end the series, the Dodgers closer started the inning off by striking out Grégor Blanco.

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Zack Greinke sat at the far end of the visiting clubhouse at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night after Arizona had just lost to Los Angeles, 8-5, to fall behind by two games to none in its best-of-five National League Division Series. He was also was tremendously efficient with his slider (27 pitches, 21 strikes, five swings and misses), and his cutter (21 pitches, 15 strikes, four swings and misses); the latter was a pitch the Dodgers encouraged him to emphasize. He is 1-2 in four starts against the Dodgers, posting a 3.65 ERA across 24 2/3 innings with 24 strikeouts and 10 walks.

Maybe the Snakes were more anxious about random Dodgers fan trying their luck. Clayton Kershaw - who didn't even need to pitch in relief in this particular NLDS after his memorable turn previous year against the Nationals - can start the NLCS opener Saturday on seven days' rest, with Rich Hill, Darvish and Alex Wood all well-rested and ready to take their turn. He dialed his four-seam fastball as high as 97.8 miles per hour, averaging 95.2 and generating 11 strikes from among the 14 he threw, three of them swings and misses.

And that begins with pitching aggressively. All followed by a 10 pitch at-bat to Yasiel Puig forced Greinke to throw 29 pitches in the first inning. Darvish has a 2.44 ERA in 92 1/3 road innings this year.

Finally, in his sixth big-league season, Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Patrick Corbin will make his postseason debut. Tuesday night's effort from Zack Greinke was the longest outing for the Snakes with five innings.

Greinke walked five in the first three innings, his season high. "We were relentless every single pitch".