Walker's early exit was catalyst for defeat — Arizona Diamondbacks

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The Diamondbacks believe they're the better team, having taken 11 of 19 against the Dodgers during the regular season. The game had a lot of entertainment value thanks to Yasiel Puig. That's about par for the course for a Rich Hill postseason appearance: prior to Saturday's outing, he made four appearances with the 2007 Cubs and 2016 Dodgers and only tossed a quality start once.

"He hit a good pitch", on the homer, Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. Six of those came while a member of the Dodgers, pitching in the 2013, '14 and '15 playoffs. When they have advanced to the National League Championship Series, they have not. "He said he felt fantastic".

Hendricks made just one start against the Nationals in the regular season.

Puig later tripled, then wagged his tongue toward the celebrating Dodgers dugout, a gesture he demonstrated for the postgame media gathering.

For Los Angeles, small ball has been the name of the game all season long.

Puig went 2 for 5 in the Dodgers' win, with a double, a triple and two RBI. The Dodgers scored the next seven runs, with Barnes doubling in two runs during a four-run fifth.

The reset button was on. Check the scoreboard above and click on the stats link.

While Greinke and Ray will certainly strike fear into the Dodgers' hitters, the other three starters aren't nearly as imposing. "They weren't swinging at the low ones this time".

His most recent start against the Dodgers was especially brutal.

After the Game 1 loss, Lovullo admitted as much. He was placed on the disabled list July 29 because of a concussion suffered a day earlier when he was hit in the head by a batted ball.

"They grind out their at-bats, no matter who is at the plate", Lovullo said.

Does Kershaw melt when the stage gets bigger?

Clayton Kershaw, P, Dodgers: Despite giving up 4 home runs, Kershaw looked impressive on the night going 6.1 innings with 7Ks.

For three mysterious weeks this season, everyone in the baseball universe puzzled over the struggles of the seemingly invincible Dodgers. Before Saturday's Game 2 at Dodger Stadium, the Diamondbacks did not want to confront what a best-of-five series could mean for them.

Hitting eighth has been good for him. This series is one to be excited about.

And there's the internal contribution as the antithesis of the button-down professionals that inhabit the Dodger clubhouse.

The Los Angeles Dodgers can advance to their second straight NLCS with a road victory here.

A St. Louis left-hander named Larry Jaster faced the Dodgers five times that season. "You start to press a little bit".

Jaster beat Don Drysdale and Claude Osteen twice apiece.

The Diamondbacks have two NL MVP candidates in first baseman Paul Goldschmidt (who hit a three-run homer Wednesday) and outfielder J.D. Martinez.

What's in store tonight?

Farmer struck out in his first ever career postseason at-bat, but not before Ray threw a wild pitch, allowing the tying run to score.

In his senior season, Kershaw posted a 13-0 record with an ERA of 0.77, recording 139 strikeouts in 64 innings pitched. It's natural to wonder if he'll be compromised in any way.

"It's part of baseball", he said. Kershaw will take the mound for game one and is expected to exercise some of his postseason demons.

Pitchers have unshakable routines for a reason. Ray finally escaped by striking out Corey Seager, but his 27-pitch inning ran his pitch count to 84. It doesn't matter how many games you win. No one needs home runs for that. But Games 3-4 are still out there.