The Dodgers played a rocky series against the Washington Nationals. This comes off the heels of a series loss against the Los Angeles Angels. While the Dodgers did manage to win the series against DC, it wasn’t the prettiest of series victories.
Friday night’s game was a nail biter all the way until the 8th inning when Justin Turner broke the 1-1 tie with a 3-Run Home Run. A Home Run that was significant for Justin Turner because it was his 100th Career Home Run. In addition to that, he joins a list of 28 other Dodger players that have accomplished the milestone. Soon, Cody Bellinger will be joining that list as he is just a handful away. The 3-Run Home Run would prove to be a critical hit because Jansen almost blew the save in the bottom of the 9th inning. After getting two quick outs, Jansen gave up a single, walked two batters and hit a batter. All of that brought the score to 4-3. Thankfully, Kenley Jansen struck out Howie Kendrick to end the game.
This appearance of Kenley Jansen prompted many questions from fans and critics. Jansen isn’t the same anymore and he has had a rough time as of late. All of this is making the job of Andrew Friedman even harder than it is because he doesn’t know if he can trust his closer with certainty when the playoffs come around. Trading for an effective reliever is on the table for Friedman and we all know that something will happen between now and the July 31st Trade Deadline. Will that acquisition be Felipe Vazquez? Who knows, but the Dodgers Front Office is losing leverage in trade talks every time Jansen pitches a poor inning.
Saturday’s game was extremely different from the first game of the series. Recently recalled Catcher, Will Smith, was in the lineup and instantly made an impact on the Dodgers. Smith hit an opposite field Home Run in his first plate appearance since being sent down a little over a month ago. Then, he had a sacrifice fly and a bases clearing double to cap it all off. Will Smith did more at the plate in his first game back than Austin Barnes or Russell Martin have been able to do much of this season. Fun fact: Will Smith’s Home Run yesterday was the first by a Dodgers catcher since he got sent down to Triple A.
Along with Will Smith having a career day at the plate yesterday, Clayton Kershaw excelled with 6.0 IP, 3 Hits, 3 Walks and 9 Strikeouts. Recently, Kershaw’s Strikeouts have been going up and it is a sight that all of us Dodger fans missed. The Dodgers would go on to win Saturday’s game by a score of 9-3. Clayton Kershaw moved to 9-2 and will pitch in the upcoming Colorado series.
The series finale against the Washington Nationals was horrendous by all means for the Dodgers. Errors cost them a lot of runs and spotty pitching from Walker Buehler and crew were no help. Not to mention, Stephen Strasburg took a Perfect Game into the 5th inning. Matt Beaty was the first Dodger with a hit and that was an RBI Double. At this point, the Dodgers looked like they were going to take control of the game but that quickly faded. Everything went downhill from there. Buehler allowed 7 runs (4 Earned) in the 6th inning.
With a score of 11-1 in the Top of the 9th inning, the Dodgers still had a chance to pull off an insane comeback. Muncy and Martin both walked, Tyler White (making his first Dodgers appearance) popped out, Verdugo flew out and finally Corey Seager was up to bat. Seager drilled a 3-Run Home Run to Right Field and cut the lead to 11-4 in the Top of the 9th inning. That would be it for the Dodgers, though. They would lose the game 11-4 and will now head to Colorado to take on the Rockies.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t think many are too worried about this series. I think the Dodgers players and staff are more interested in waiting till the Trade Deadline passes. Not that there are lots of Dodgers names being floated around but, the lingering feeling of potentially being traded is still there for some players. Joc Pederson being one of them.
Until a big trade happens with the Dodgers, and it will, we just have to sit and anxiously refresh our Twitter feeds.