Dodgers 6, Padres 1: Buehler’s dominance plus 8th inning dongs give LA 3rd straight series win

Yasiel Puig doing his best Nick Punto.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller

The Dodgers won their third straight series after shutting the door on the Padres in the Sunday afternoon rubber game at Dodger Stadium. They continued to dominate the Padres, and Walker Buehler continued to dominant on the mound. The rookie right-hander threw an impressive seven innings of one-run ball, striking out eight and walking none on 93 pitches (66 strikes).

Quick shout out to Dieter Ruehle who’s been crushing it this year. He even played Fall Out Boy for my daughter the other night.

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Outfielders for both teams battled the afternoon sun at Chavez Ravine. Matt Kemp was extremely busy in left field during the course of the game, and he had to fight the sun in the first three plays of the game. Kemp made the first two catches for outs in left field, but Jose Pirela‘s fly ball had Kemp crashing into the outfield wall. That’s never a good thing. It was nearly a great catch, but the ball was just off his glove allowing Pirela to end up at second. It was ruled a double, but the Padres weren’t able to cash it in. Buehler got Christian Villanueva to pop out to Chris Taylor at shortstop for the final out. There were no fly balls in the second frame for Buehler who struck out the side. Corey Spangenberg, Franmil Reyes and Freddy Glavis all went down swinging.

The Dodgers got two hits in the bottom of the second, a bloop single to right by Matt Kemp and a Logan Forsythe sharply hit single to third. Unfortunately they ended up stranding two runners in the end, unable to take advantage of Villanueva’s awful defense on a routine double play ball by Cody Bellinger.

Kemp’s rough outfield adventures continued in the third inning when he bobbled a Travis Jankowski double in the corner. The Friars couldn’t seal the deal again, stranding Jankowski.

Matt Strahm went two innings, struck out two and walked one on 31 pitches. Right-handed submariner Adam Cimber would be next on the mound for San Diego. Channeling his inner Clayton Kershaw at the plate, Buehler found a hole down the middle of the field for a full-swinging single to start the home half of the third. The Dodgers were in business with runners at second and third with nobody out after Chris Taylor sliced a double down the right field line. The Dodgers plated the first run of the game with a Enrique Hernandez RBI single. Taylor scored a second run on a double play — nearly a triple play — hit into by Justin Turner.

Buehler then continued to shut down San Diego.

Yasiel Puig was shaken up a bit after he threw his body at first base, beating out the throw for an infield single in the fourth.

Puig immediately got some action in right field on a leadoff Galvis double in the fifth. Galvis moved to third on a Buehler wild pitch, and he tagged up on a Rafael Lopez sacrifice fly getting the Padres on the board. Kemp crashed into the wall again, but managed to make a difficult catch.

The third pitcher to come into the game for SD was Kazuhisa Makita, another right-handed sidearmer. Max Muncy pinch-hit for Kike Hernandez in the fifth, with the left-handed Strahm now out of the game. Muncy struck out anyway, and the one-run game moved on to the sixth.

Buehler struck out the side in the seventh, leaving the rest of the games in the hands of the Dodgers’ bullpen. Makita, for the Padres, stepped up and pitched three perfect innings to keep the game a one-run affair. Wasting the gem by Buehler would’ve been a travesty, guys. Tony Cingrani and Josh Fields thought so too. They pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth to close out the series win for the Dodgers. Cingrani got out of the eighth unscathed despite the antics of A.J. Ellis, pinch-hitter.

In the eighth the Dodgers tacked on four more runs. Muncy’s sixth home run of the season gave the Dodgers two big insurance runs with one big swing, and Bellinger finally broke out of his frustrating slump with a two-run shot of his own and his eighth dong of the year.

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With the win the Dodgers improve to 24-28 overall and 12-15 at home, getting closer to sniffing .500. The Rockies also won, which means they are still 3.5 games back in the NL West.

Next up: The surprisingly good Phillies, led by the former Director Of Player Development Gabe Kapler, come to town for a four-game set. Monday’s Memorial Day series opener begins at 5:10 PM PST. Brock Stewart (3.72 ERA/6.10 FIP) makes his second start of the year while Vince Velasquez (4.18 ERA/4.05 FIP) tries to silence the LA bats with his slider.

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler
Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation and Dodger Blue 1958. She currently contributes to The Hardball Times. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.