Angels 5, Dodgers 3: Joe Kelly (and the bullpen) happen

I know the MLB tries to sell the Freeway Series as this intense local rivalry or something, but I’m not sure anybody cares all that much about that aspect of it.

What I do care about is the Dodgers being at risk of dropping their first series since the end of April after a 5-3 loss to the Angels.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed his first homer since April in the 2nd inning to Kole Calhoun, but other than that he was excellent yet again, though he did get in some jams late.

In the 5th he got into a bit of trouble by allowing back-to-back singles to start, but then he rebounded with three consecutive outs, punctuated by a strikeout of Mike Trout to end the threat. Then a one-out single and a two-out hit batter in the 6th put him under stress as well, but he escaped again with a strikeout, this time of Jonathan Lucroy.

55 of his last 57 innings have been scoreless, and Ryu “struggled” through one of his worst starts of the year, allowing a run on seven hits and no walks with six strikeouts. His ERA ballooned to 1.36 as a result of this outing.

The offense did back him early in the 2nd, which got into a scoring chance with a one-out Corey Seager double and a two-out Russell Martin hit-by-pitch. Chris Taylor then followed by roping a double to left to plate two runs.

Enrique Hernandez then immediately followed by yanking a double to left himself to plate another run and make it three in total.

They threatened again in the 6th thanks to two singles putting runners at the corners with nobody out, but the Dodgers squandered that chance and were unable to tack on insurance runs.

That would immediately come back to haunt them in the 7th, as the pen was forced to get high-leverage innings without Pedro Baez or Kenley Jansen. First up was Ross Stripling, who allowed just an infield single and struck out two batters. Then came Dylan Floro, who got an out … after Trout demolished a pretty decent slider on the outer half for a game-tying two-run dong.

Valid to question where Baez was and whether Stripling should’ve been left in, but sometimes Trout will do Trout shit.

Despite that turn, the bats generated another chance in the 8th, as they started with a walk and single, but they again got nothing out of it.

Unfortunately, that led to Joe Kelly being put into a tie game for some reason and he performed about as you’d expect. He started by issuing a lead-off walk before rebounding briefly with a strikeout. He then threw the ball in the dirt on a pick-off attempt, moving the runner to second, and leading Dave Roberts to issue an intentional walk.

A wild pitch by Kelly followed and put both runners into scoring position and he actually threw another to the backstop that didn’t advance the runners before walking the bases loaded.

Kelly then induced a grounder to third, which should’ve got him an out and a chance of getting out of the jam, but Max Muncy threw high to the plate and the go-ahead run scored.

Kelly then uncorked another wild pitch, scoring an insurance run to make the deficit 5-3 for the Dodgers before striking out the final two batters to end the nightmare.

I dunno, man.

The Dodgers made an attempt in the 9th to mount a comeback and they almost got something really going after back-to-back singles started it. But they got a bit unlucky on an Hernandez liner that was right at the left fielder and the game then ended after Joc Pederson grounded into a double play.

Game sucked.

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Buy this shirt to drown your sorrows.

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The Dodgers drop to 45-22 on the year, a 109-win pace (panic!!!), and their NL West lead is down to 10 games over the Rockies and Diamondbacks. They are now tied with the Astros for the best record in baseball.

A series split will be on the line for the team as the short series concludes at 4:07 PM HST/7:07 PM PST/10:07 PM EST, with Kenta Maeda (RHP/3.48 ERA/3.83 FIP/3.31 DRA) taking the mound against Felix Pena (RHP/4.53 ERA/4.14 FIP/4.54 DRA).

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times