It’s that time of the year when the Dodgers play the Angels in the Freeway Series. Instead of playing a four game series against each other, the two clubs are hosting each other for three games a piece on separate weekends. The first series took place in Anaheim…or Los Angeles…or California…or Disneyland? I don’t know take your pick of which location they played at this past weekend.
As usual, the Dodgers being the overall better team, cannot seem to beat the Angels during the Freeway Series. They split the series but never sweep the Angels, which is what they should do but the Dodgers forget how to baseball when they play the Angels. I say this because on Friday, the Dodgers blew the game with two outs and a one run lead. They didn’t just blow the game by giving up a Home Run, they blew the game by two separate errors. Oh well!
Kenta Maeda was the starting pitcher on Friday night and looked to continue his success. Maeda did just that. His final line of the night was: 5.2 IP, 3 Hits, 1 Earned Run, 2 Walks and 9 StrikeOuts. Once again, a great starting pitching performance. Unfortunately, the game fell apart in the ninth inning.
Recently named 2018 All Star reliever, Kenley Jansen, came into the game for the bottom of the ninth and things went well for the most part. Until Jansen walked Shohei Ohtani with two outs. Then, while Ohtani was stealing second base, Yasmani Grandal pretty much air mailed the ball into center field, allowing Ohtani to make it to third base. No problem, right? Jansen will get Angels rookie Nathan Fletcher to StrikeOut or groundout, right? Sike. Nathan Fletcher would sneak a ground ball right through to left field and Ohtani would come in to score the tying run.
With the winning run on first base, there’s no way Jansen would give up another run. Normally that’s the case except against the Angels. Ian Kinsler would hit a fly ball to Yasiel Puig who makes the catch nine times out of ten except he didn’t make the catch Friday night. Puig played it on the bounce and threw it all the way to home where Grandal was not able to catch the ball. Above all else, Jansen wasn’t behind Grandal to back him up as Fletcher came in to score the winning run. The Angels would walk it off and win the game by a score of 3-2.
Those two Dodger runs were produced by 2018 All Star Matt Kemp! Kemp went 2-4 with both RBI’s.
Ross “The Boss” Stripling started Saturday night against Deck McGuire for the Angels. McGuire only lasted three innings but only gave up one hit and struck out six Dodgers. Stripling on the other hand threw six innings, allowing three hits including a Solo Home Run to Mike Trout and struck out seven batters. To cap off the night, Kenley Jansen came in to redeem himself by recording three outs, two via StrikeOut and collecting his twenty-fourth save of the season.
Along with Stripling and Jansen, the Dodger bullpen got their fair share of work. Edward Paredes, Eric Goeddel, Daniel Hudson and Scott Alexander all came in to hold the game.
The game remained scoreless until the fifth inning when Justin Turner singled to score Yasiel Puig and Kiké Hernandez. Advancing to second on the throw was Justin Turner. As I mentioned before, Mike Trout hit a Solo Home Run in the bottom of the sixth inning, his twenty fifth of the season. For added insurance, Yasiel Puig crushed a Solo Home Run in the top of the ninth inning, making the game 3-1. Dodgers would go on to win the game and even up the series.
Finishing up the series on Sunday were starters Alex Wood and Andrew Heaney. Fans of both teams are desperately hoping that their favorite team will so they can go to work the next day and brag about being the superior team. Unfortunately, only one team can win and for one fanbase, it would be a disappointment.
Yasiel Puig gave the Dodgers the lead in the second inning when he hit a 3-Run Home Run for his eleventh of the season. The Angels would answer back in the bottom of the third inning and chip away at the Dodgers lead. Justin Upton singled with the bases loaded to score Martin Maldonado and David Fletcher.
Trying to get to the bullpen with the lead still intact, Alex Wood gave up a Solo Home Run to tie the game to Albert Pujols. This was Pujols’ 629th Career Home Run. One more and he will be tied with Ken Griffey Jr.
After Alex Wood left the game, the Dodgers decided to bring in JT Chargois who was recently called up from Triple A Oklahoma City. Chargois has talent but he’s slowly turning into Pedro Baez. He would give up the tie breaking run, Shohei Ohtani would homer to center field to give the Angels a 4-3 lead. Once again, the Dodgers bullpen blows the game. Angel fans get to go to work Monday and brag about their team being better…for the time being. This coming weekend, the Dodgers will host the Angels in Los Angeles.
Starting Monday night, the Dodgers head to San Diego for a four game series against the Padres. Clayton Kershaw takes the mound on Monday and is aiming for his second consecutive win!
On Wednesday I will discuss all the players chosen for the MLB All Star game. In addition to All Star game nominations, I’ll talk about a few trade rumors since the trade deadline is at the end of this month.
In other news, Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen have been elected to their third All Star games! For Matt Kemp, this is his first All Star game appearance since 2012 when he was playing for the Dodgers the first time. As for Kenley Jansen, this is his third consecutive All Star game appearance. Both players are well deserving of their achievements this season!
Dodger fans have an opportunity to get another player to the All Star game in Max Muncy. Muncy’s name is on the Final Vote ballot along with four other potential All Star candidates. Last year, Dodger fans set a record with 21 million votes for Justin Turner in the Final Vote campaign, get out and vote!