Dodgers 7, Rangers 4: The dream stays alive

Given that the Dodgers are bordering on clinching a playoff spot at this point already and that there’s no real advantage anymore to having the best record, all I want is for them to not lose a series, making this game against the Rangers all important.

Thankfully, the Dodgers managed to conquer the cursed field and Ross Stripling to get a 7-4 win to even the series up.

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Facing potential trade deadline target Lance Lynn, the Dodgers got on the board first in the 2nd with some help from the Rangers defense. After Matt Beaty reached with one out on an infield single, AJ Pollock ripped a double down the line in left. Beaty was going to stop at third, but Shin-Soo Choo had a bit of an adventure in the corner, so he ended up scoring the game’s first run to make it 1-0.

In the 3rd they extended that lead behind a Max Muncy two-out double that was immediately followed by a towering Cody Bellinger blast to right to make it 3-0.

That exact lead didn’t last long as Ross Stripling continued to struggle with the long ball, giving up solo dingers in the Rangers half of the 3rd on back-to-back pitches to Ronald Guzman and Leody Taveras to cut the advantage to 3-2.

The Dodgers got some breathing room back in the 5th, though it should’ve been a lot more. Austin Barnes walked to start and Mookie Betts doubled to set the table. With one down. Max Muncy charged one to deep right, but it was caught at the wall due to some weird-ass kink they put into it and so it ended up as just a sacrifice fly to make it 4-2. Worse yet, after a Cody Bellinger walk, Joc Pederson smashed another to that vicinity and it too was caught.

This new Rangers park sucks, man. The aesthetic of the outside is just one big-ass grill, and on the inside it’s dark and generic, with its cavernous and odd dimensions making things feel even emptier than it should. Get a refund.

Anyway, in their half of the 5th, Stripling was already not long for the game. He didn’t help matters when he missed a tag on a dribbler for a single and then issued a walk before being removed. He threw 76 pitches, giving up three runs in four innings, allowing four hits and three walks. Not great.

The three runs is because Blake Treinen entered and allowed a sacrifice fly to make it 4-3, but otherwise got out of the serious jam unscathed. He then continued in the 6th, getting one out before Adam Kolarek entered to complete the frame, giving up just a single.

In the 7th the Dodgers got the run back and then some. Mookie walked and Corey Seager singled, setting up Muncy to get revenge on the dimensions in right for a three-run shot and a 7-3 lead.

Caleb Ferguson entered in the 7th, getting a strikeout and a ground out, but also allowing a fluke double down the line. He then got a grounder to Seager, who airmailed it for an error and an unearned run to cut the lead to 7-4.

Brusdar Graterol entered in relief, allowing an infield single (to Seager), before getting a deep fly out to right to end the threat. He also started the 8th but struggled, allowing a single off the wall in right and then hitting the next batter. However, he rebounded by inducing a double play and then a fly out to escape.

With the offense not getting further insurance, Kenley Jansen entered to handle the 9th. He wasn’t sharp, issuing a lead-off walk on four pitches, but rebounding with two strikeouts and a ground out to notch the win.

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Polarizing guy, but Derek Dietrich is entertaining as hell.

Cody Bellinger swag.

Ballet.

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The Dodgers are now 25-10 on the year. They are now 1.5 games up on the Rays for the best record in baseball and 5 games up on the Padres in the NL West.

The rubber match will be played at the ungodly hour of 8:35 AM HST/11:35 AM PST/2:35 PM EST with Tony Gonsolin facing Kyle Gibson on getaway day.

About Chad Moriyama

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