Let me start this post by saying Thank You to all of our troops and Thank You to all those that have served in the military. We are forever grateful for everything you do for us back home and for the sacrifices you have made.
This past weekend the Dodgers put on a nice pitching and offensive performance. The bats came alive (for the most part) and the pitching did it’s job. Facing the last place Padres, the Dodgers managed to win two of the three games this weekend. Coming off of a two game win streak against the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers turned to Ross Stripling to keep that momentum going.
Friday night’s game started off with a bang for the Dodgers. In the bottom of the first inning, Chris Taylor and Justin Turner walked to start off the inning. Following Justin Turner, the next batter, Matt Kemp, came up to bat and continued his dominance over the San Diego Padres. Matt Kemp hit a fly ball to Center Field that cleared the wall and gave the Dodgers a quick 3-0 lead!
After the bottom of the first inning, Ross Stripling went back to work against the Padres. This time he struck out the side. Villanueva, Galvis and Lopez all went down as Stripling collected his first three Strikeouts of the night. The bottom of the third was quiet as the Dodgers also went down in order. Manny Margot lead off the top of the third inning with a double but advanced to third on an error by Yasiel Puig. After getting Clayton Richard to strikeout, Travis Jankowski grounded out to score Manny Margot. The Padres cut the lead to 3-1. Then, Stripling got Hosmer to strikeout to end the inning.
Justin Turner lead off the third inning with a strikeout. Kemp followed him with a flyout to Center Field. With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, Kiké Hernandez added an additional run. Hernandez homered to Center Field for his seventh Home Run of the year.
During the game, Ross Stripling wasn’t letting up on the Padres lineup. Stripling was mowing everyone down as he struck out 10 batters. A new career high. Ross Stripling’s final line on Friday Night was: 6.2 IP, 6 Hits, 1 Run and 10 Strikeouts. Stripling is definitely holding his own in the rotation and will probably stay in the rotation until Hyun-Jin Ryu comes off of the DL after the All-Star break.
After the third inning, the game was fairly quiet. Nothing happened for the most part, all the action happened early in the game. However, when you have Kenley Jansen as your closer, you don’t need much to get the win. Jansen came in for the top of the ninth inning and shut down the Padres. Jose Pirela flew out for the first out of the inning and then Cordero and Villanueva struck out to end the game. At the end of the game, the Dodgers had struck out a combined fifteen hitters. Kenley Jansen picked up his 11th save of the season and the Dodgers won 4-1.
Now with a three game win streak on the line, Alex Wood went to the mound in hopes of keeping that streak alive. Alex Wood struggled for the first time in a few starts.
Wood started off the game just fine, breezing right through the first inning without allowing a walk or hit. In the bottom of the first inning, Chris Taylor lead off the game with a Solo Home Run. This was his seventh Home Run of the season, Taylor is on pace to hit more Home Run’s this year than he did last year (21). With a 1-0 lead, Alex Wood went back out for the second inning and gave up a 2-Run Home Run to Freddy Galvis. The Padres took a 2-1 lead.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the fourth inning when the scoring would start back up again. Justin Turner lead off the inning with his first Home Run of the season! The ball flew off of the bat to left field and tied the game. Following the Home Run, Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal both singled. Bellinger then grounded out to first as Grandal went to second base. After that, Logan Forsythe singled to bring home Matt Kemp. Then, Joc Pederson grounded out hard enough to score Yasmani Grandal from third. The inning ended with the Dodgers scoring three runs to take the lead.
The former Dodger, Aj Ellis, homered in the top of the fifth to cut the lead to just one run for the Dodgers. Fortunately, Alex Wood managed to get a good couple of plays to get him out of the inning with allowing just the Home Run to Ellis. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Dodgers got that run back on a bases loaded walk. However, with the bases loaded and hoping to get a clutch hit, Logan Forsythe struck out to end the inning. The Dodgers lead 3-5.
As the Dodgers started to pull away from the Padres, Alex Wood started to get lit up. Jose Pirela lead off the sixth inning with a single. After getting Hosmer to strike out, Alex Wood gave up a game tying 2-Run Home Run to Christian Villanueva. This would end the game for Alex Wood. His final line on Saturday night was: 5.1 IP, 6 Hits, 5 Earned Runs, 1 Walk, 7 Strikeouts. Rolling into the seventh inning, Daniel Hudson came in and got two quick outs. Then, Matt Szczur singled which prompted a pitching change. I don’t know why Roberts has to change pitchers so often but oh well. Anyways, Scott Alexander came in and hit Travis Jankowski. Following Jankowski, Jose Pirela singled to give the Padres a 6-5 lead.
Fast forward to the top of the eighth inning and Christian Villanueva did it again. Yep, this time he hit a Solo Home Run to give the Padres a 7-5 lead. Annnnd, that would be the final score as the Dodgers would lose, 7-5.
Sunday’s day game was highlighted by Viva Los Dodgers, Walker Buehler and Home Run’s. Walker Buehler continued his dominance and put on a stellar performance.
It was a typical Buehler start. Lots of strikeouts, hardly any baserunners and no walks. Buehler allowed a double in the first inning before getting out of the top half without any damage. Come second inning, Buehler struck out all three batters he faced. In the third inning, he gave up another double, this time to Travis Jankowski. But still, he got out of the game without giving up a run.
The Dodgers started to score in the bottom of the third inning. Buehler lead off the inning with a single to center field. Following him, Chris Taylor doubled which got Walker Buehler to third. With runners on second and third, Kiké Hernandez singled to score Buehler. After that, Justin Turner grounded into a double play that allowed Chris Taylor to score from third. The Dodgers left the third inning with a 2-0 lead. It wasn’t until the top of the fifth inning when the Padres finally got on the board. It was the only run that Walker Buehler allowed, a sacrifice fly which scored Freddy Galvis from third. In his final inning on Sunday, Buehler struck out all three batters he faced.
After a few innings, the Dodgers finally got something going in the bottom of the eighth inning. Chris Taylor lead off the inning with a single and then Max Muncy followed that with a 2-Run Home Run to right field. The homer was his sixth of the season. After a few batters, with Yasmani Grandal on base, Cody Bellinger homered to center field. The 2-Run Home Run was Bellinger’s eighth of the season and lifted a lot off of his shoulders. Bellinger is definitely in his Sophomore Slump right now but I’m hopeful that he will break out of it and have more success. I don’t think he will hit more than 30 Home Run’s this year, but I think he will hit more than 20 and raise his batting average.
Josh Fields pitched the top of the ninth inning and after giving up a leadoff single to Jose Pirela, Fields retired the last three batters he faced. The Dodgers would win the game 6-1 and Walker Buehler would collect his third win of the season. To top it off, the Diamondbacks and the Giants lost so its a win-win. The Dodgers are now 3.5 games out of first place.
This week, the Dodgers take on the Philadelphia Phillies. A team that is surprisingly doing very well this year. Anyways, the best news one could hope to hear is that Clayton Kershaw is coming off the Disabled List on Thursday. Hopefully whatever was wrong with him is fixed and won’t come back to hurt him later on in the year. Brock Stewart takes the mound tonight against Vince Velasquez. Let’s go Dodgers!