After all the drama yesterday and tensions from the off-season boiling over, today’s affair was equally tight though not nearly as combative, with both offenses proving generally impotent in taking a 1-1 game into extras.
It was unlikely, but the last men in the Dodgers pen held the Astros‘ powerful lineup at bay to give Edwin Rios time to absolutely annihilate a two-run bomb in the 13th that led to the Dodgers’ 4-2 victory.
Javier was almost perfect otherwise, however, as he struck out seven of the first nine batters he faced. He ended up striking out eight in his 5.1 innings, giving up just the solo dong, a single, and a walk in his time. Impressive, to say the least.
The offense didn’t get a runner into scoring position in the 6th, when both Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger failed to get anything done with runners on first and second and one out. They then threatened again in the 8th after a double by AJ Pollock, who advanced to third on a wild pitch. But Austin Barnes was allowed to hit for whatever dumb reason and struck out, and Max Muncy grounded out to end the threat. And that was it in regulation.
Meanwhile, Dustin May marked another short outing for a Dodger starter, as he labored through 3.1 innings against a veteran and patient Astros lineup. He struck out three, but walked two and threw 76 pitches, fortunately limiting the Astros to one run on three hits.
Jake McGee took over in relief in the 4th with runners on first and second and one out, promptly inducing a pop-up and getting a strikeout to escape. After getting an out but giving up a hit in the 5th, he was relieved by Dylan Floro, who carved up Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman, just like the Dodgers planned, I’m sure.
Pedro Baez took over and gave up just a single in a scoreless frame, and Caleb Ferguson was next, continuing to dominate in a perfect inning. So far this year he has faced seven batters and struck out five.
Blake Treinen then entered and continued his resurgence, allowing a ground-ball single but not allowing a run in his inning. Kenley Jansen was tasked with the 9th, and he walked two batters but manage to get out of trouble with his cutter actually cutting, so that was positive.
After the Dodgers went meekly in the 10th, Scott Alexander then hilariously entered in the extras to stop the heart of the Astros order, and all he did was strikeout Altuve on three pitches, issue an intentional walk, and then induce a double play.
Eventually, the top of the order did come through, as Betts smashed a double in the 11th to put the Dodgers ahead 2-1.
Unfortunately, Alexander was still pitching and he then started to do Alexander things, giving up back-to-back singles to tie the game, 2-2. He did manage to get two outs before exiting with runners on the corners for Dennis Santana, who got us into the 12th by striking out George Springer. The Dodgers struggled to get anything done offensively for a while, but Santana manged to hold down the fort.
That gave enough time for Rios to bust out the big stick with a two-run dong and a 4-2 lead.
Santana then continued in the 13th, but issued a lead-off walk to put the tying run on base. Fortunately he then got Carlos Correa to ground into a double play. Mercifully, he then ended it with a strikeout to secure the victory.
Never in doubt, folks.
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