Justin Turner’s return to the lineup was the best thing that has happened to the Dodgers so far this season. Although the Dodgers dropped the first two games, he played an important role for the offense in all three games. Turner lit the fire that would get the Dodgers to actually score with runners on base and in scoring position. It’s only a matter of time before things start to actually pick up for this team. Unfortunately, they travel to Washington D.C. to face a Nationals ball club that has gone 13-2 in their last fifteen games. To top it off, the first starter the Dodgers will face will be reigning National League Cy Young award winner, Max Scherzer.
As I was saying, Justin Turner returned to the lineup on Tuesday night. Logan Forsythe joined him as well. The two had played rehab games together last weekend with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. Forsythe was returning to action but Turner was making his season debut.
On Tuesday night, the Dodgers faced Wei-Yin Chen, a pitcher with an ERA over ten and a pitcher who had given up thirteen runs in his previous two starts. You would think the Dodgers would be able to capitalize on this struggling pitcher and snap their four game losing streak. The Dodgers would do no such thing and they’d make him look like a Cy Young candidate! For some reason, the Dodgers are unable to capitalize on struggling pitchers and get shut out or limited to barely any hits or runs.
Anyways, the starting pitcher for the Dodgers was Alex Wood. Making his ninth start of the season and still searching for his first win, Wood came up short in that contest. In the bottom of the first inning, the Marlins scored a run on an error by Logan Forsythe. Forsythe was attempting to turn a double play and threw the ball into the dirt in front of first baseman Cody Bellinger. Brian Anderson was safe at first and Martin Prado came in to score the first run of the game. The inning should’ve ended but oh well, score at the end of the first was 1-0.
The scoring was at a stand still until the bottom of the fourth when Miguel Rojas hit a Sacrifice Fly. This allowed Brian Anderson to come in and score, the score at the end of the fourth inning was 2-0. Alex Wood was pitching alright, he was grinding out the innings but just couldn’t get any offense to help him out. However, the Dodgers didn’t have plans of getting shut out in this game.
Yasiel Puig hit his second Home Run of the season in the top of the seventh inning. The Solo Home Run cut the Marlins lead to just one run. Now the Dodgers were finally in business and could potentially come back to win.
Just when the Dodgers start to get close to winning a game, the bullpen has to come in and just screw it up. JT Chargois came into the game in the bottom of the seventh inning and instantly started to give up more runs. With Yadiel Rivera, JT Realmuto doubled to bring the runner in. Two batters later, Brian Anderson singled to right field and drove in JT Realmuto. The score at the end of the inning was 4-1. Going into the top of the ninth inning, Cody Bellinger tried to keep the Dodgers in the game. He did so by hitting his sixth Home Run of the year. Unfortunately, no one was on base and no one would score afterwards. The Dodgers lost the first game, 4-2.
Now that Walker Buehler is a mainstay in the Dodgers rotation, for the time being, he made his fifth start of the year. Buehler didn’t have the best start and this was his worst start of his Major League career. Nonetheless, he pulled through and tried to get through as much of the game as possible. Buehler’s final line on Wednesday night was: 5.0 IP, seven hits, five runs but only four earned, two walks and seven strikeouts.
The Dodgers tried something new during this game and had Cody Bellinger start the game in center field. Replacing him at first base was Max Muncy. Maybe the change was necessary as the Dodgers scored five runs.
Once again the Marlins scored in the first inning. Brian Anderson singled to drive in Martin Prado. At the end of the first inning, the Marlins lead the game 1-0. Then the Marlins would score again in the third inning. This time Starlin Castro drove in Martin Prado. Just like the game before, the boys in blue would attempt to come back and they somewhat did. Yasmani Grandal homered, his seventh of the year. Cutting the lead back down to just one run.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth that things started to get out of control. Walker Buehler surrendered a 2-Run Home Run to Justin Bour which increased the lead to 4-1. Later on in the inning, Miguel Rojas would collect another RBI on a Sacrifice Fly.
Then out of nowhere, the Dodgers offense suddenly started to do their job!
In the top of the sixth inning, the Dodgers managed to storm back and tie the game at five! Joc Pederson led off the inning with a double (which is a shocker) then the hot hitting Yasmani Grandal singled to bring Joc Pederson home. After that, Cody Bellinger doubled, advancing Grandal to third base. Following a Marlins pitching change, Chris Taylor singled to bring home Yasmani Grandal. To top off the inning, Max Muncy hit a ground-rule double to bring in Bellinger and Taylor.
WOW! The Dodgers tied the game and showed signs of potentially winning the game. But, remember when I was talking about the bullpen being bad? Yeah you’re already guessing what I’m going to say and you’re guessing right.
Pedro Baez came into the game in the bottom of the sixth inning and immediately blew the lead. JT Realmuto crushed a Solo Home Run to break the tie and take the lead. The final score of the game on Wednesday night would be 6-5. Since the Dodgers tied the game in the sixth inning, Walker Buehler got a No-Decision instead of a loss. Pedro Baez was charged with the loss, his second of the season.
So since Justin Turner returned to the lineup, the Dodgers were 0-2. However, there were signs that the team had somewhat improved, offensively. Time would tell if the improvement would continue.
The final game of the series, there was two types of thunder in Miami: a storm and Justin Turner’s bat. That sounds kind of lame, oh well, its true. Turner’s performance was one that the Dodgers and their fans were missing desperately.
Kenta Maeda started the game on Thursday and pitched masterfully. At one point he had retired thirteen batters in a row. This was a performance that the Dodgers bullpen definitely needed in order to get some rest. The only pitcher in the game was Kenley Jansen. Maeda’s final line on Thursday was: 8.0 IP, 2 hits, no walks and 8 strikeouts. Along with that, those eight innings were all shutout innings.
The game was fairly quiet until the third inning. Puig walked and was moved to second base via a Sacrifice Bunt by Kenta Maeda. Then Chris Taylor and Austin Barnes walked. Here’s where the party starts. Justin Turner came up to bat and delivered in a huge way! With bases loaded, Justin Turner cranked a double to left field and cleared the bases. The clutch hit finally happened. Right after Turner’s double, Matt Kemp hit a ground-rule double and brought in Justin Turner. At the end of the third inning, the Dodgers were leading 4-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, Yasiel Puig hit his third Home Run of the season. Once again, it was only a Solo Home Run. The Dodgers in the month of May have hit fourteen Solo Home Run’s, they can’t seem to get that big hit with anyone on base, it’s strange. Later on in the inning, with two runners on base, Justin Turner came through once again! Turner doubled for the second time, Chris Taylor and Austin Barnes would come around to score. Making the score 7-0.
The seven run lead was all the Dodgers and Kenta Maeda would need to win the game. After eight innings, Maeda came out of the game and a well rested Kenley Jansen came in. Although the appearance wasn’t a save opportunity, Jansen hadn’t pitched in a while and needed to get some sort of work. Jansen went to the mound and pitched a scoreless ninth inning. He also struck out three batters along with giving up two soft hit singles.
The Dodgers snapped their six game losing streak and finally won a game.
Now the Dodgers head to Washington to face the red hot Nationals. Well, hopefully they get the chance to face them. There has been terrible weather in DC this whole week and there is a 100% chance of rain in the forecast for this weekend. That’s definitely something that the Dodgers would rather avoid but avoiding Max Scherzer on Friday night wouldn’t be such a bad thing either. If the Dodgers aren’t able to play the Nationals this weekend, the soonest they would play is Monday night back in Los Angeles against the Colorado Rockies.