For the first time ever, the Dodgers swept the Angels in Anaheim.
This is such a shocking fact but I can’t help but believe it somehow. Whenever the Dodgers play the Angels, whether it be at Chavez Ravine or at the Big A, the Angels always decide to play like a World Series team.
Last year, split between two different two game series, the Angels swept the Dodgers and gave the unbearable Angel fans temporary bragging rights. However, those bragging rights didn’t get them far as the Angels finished the season with a record of 72-90 and wound up in fourth place.
The Dodgers ended up with a record of 106-56, won their division and made the playoffs.
Anyways, that was then and this is now. The Dodgers completed a three game sweep over the Angels this past weekend that saw the Dodgers score a total of 38 runs and limit the Angels to only 14.
Clayton Kershaw took the mound for game one against Patrick Sandoval. Friday night’s game was full of MVP players with a total of FIVE players having won an MVP award.
Those players included: Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols. A combined NINE MVP awards between the five players. That is amazing.
Clayton Kershaw bounced back from his previously weak start and tossed seven innings of one run baseball. That one run and the only hit he allowed was a solo home run from Anthony Rendon. Other than that, Kershaw was consistently hitting 93 MPH and struck out six batters while walking two.
It took a few innings for the Dodgers to score but they eventually broke through in the third inning with a RBI single from Justin Turner that gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Shortly after, AJ Pollock grounded out to score another run and extended the Dodgers lead to 2-0.
Later on in the sixth inning, the struggling Cody Bellinger hit a 2-Run home run for his third of the year. Bellinger would hit another 2-Run home run in his next at bat in the eighth inning. Extending the Dodgers lead to 7-1.
Cody Bellinger has struggled so far this season but he is starting to see the ball better and get on the right track. I think it is only a matter of time before we see the 2019 NL MVP regain his form and blast home runs more often.
The Dodgers bullpen finished the last two innings but not before the Angels attempted to mount their own comeback. Pedro Baez, whose velocity has been down this season, gave up two earned runs that brought the Angels to within four. Then Dylan Floro took over and got one out but gave up two hits to the following batters.
From there, Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen worked the eighth and ninth inning to seal the Dodgers victory and win the game 7-4.
Saturday night was a different story. The Dodgers played in their second extra innings game of the season and a risky stolen base ended up being the decision.
Walker Buehler pitched on Saturday night and was as rusty as he’s looked this whole season. In the bottom of the first inning, Buehler gave up a 2-run home run to the reigning AL MVP, Mike Trout. It’s something you can’t be mad about, Trout is just really really good at this game called baseball.
The 2018 AL MVP, Mookie Betts, quickly tied the game in the following inning. An RBI single tied the game at 2-2 which lead to the Dodgers gaining momentum and starting to add more runs.
Max Muncy singled to score two runs making it 4-2. Anthony Rendon followed that with a ground rule double that brought the Angels within one run.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Tommy La Stella tied the game on a RBI single and then Mike Trout gave the Angels a 5-4 lead with a groundout.
Just when it seemed like the Dodgers were going to let this one slip away, the hero, Mookie Betts saved the day and hit a solo home run to tie the game. Mookie Betts now has eight home runs on the season and is one away from being tied for the National League lead.
The game remained tied all the way into the ninth where LHP Jake McGee held the Angels and sent the game into extra innings.
With Chris Taylor starting the inning on second base, he stole third base on what could have been an insanely costly move but was ruled safe. With no outs, all Max Muncy had to do was drive the ball far enough to where Chris Taylor could safely score, and thats what he did.
Muncy’s RBI sacrifice fly gave the Dodgers a 6-5 lead that would eventually lead to the win. Kenley Jansen pitched the bottom of the tenth inning and struck out two batters including Mike Trout. Jansen struck out Trout on three straight pitches that he didn’t even swing at.
Over his career, Mike Trout is 1-8 against Kenley Jansen with one home run and six strikeouts. Safe to say, Kenley has his number.
Trying to finish off the Angels, the Dodgers sent Dustin May to the mound on the excruciatingly hot Sunday afternoon in Southern California.
Prior to the game, the Dodgers recalled their one of their top prospects, Keibert Ruiz. Ruiz has been a name that has been floating around the Dodgers system for a few years now and is a player that lots of teams were asking for in trade talks last summer and over the winter.
It is a good thing the Dodgers held onto him as he hit his first career home run in his first Major League at bat on Sunday. That home run tied the game at 1-1.
From there, the offense took off. Max Muncy hit his first home run in what seems like forever, a 2-Run shot that gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead in the third inning. Following the third inning, the offense did not stop as Mookie Betts continued to punish the baseball and singled to drive in another run.
Then, Corey Seager crushed a 3-Run home run to extend the Dodgers lead to 7-1 and essentially end the game. All the Dodgers would have to do is hold onto that lead. Which for the most part, they did.
Dustin May did allow a solo home run to Anthony Rendon and an RBI single to Max Stassi in the first inning but other than that, the Angels could not figure him out.
The only other runs that were scored on Sunday came from solo home runs from Matt Beaty for the Dodgers and Brian Goodwin for the Angels.
The Dodgers won 8-3 and completed their sweep of the Angels. The Dodgers extended their divisional lead to two games and have now won five in a row. Additionally, their run differential has increased to +60 on the season.
Dave Roberts and his Dodgers team have yet to lose a series this season and are the lone team that has not done so. They will look to extend their wins and lead tonight when they face the Seattle Mariners at home.
Ross Stripling is scheduled to pitch against Justin Dunn.