After helping fans to shed optimism early in the day with a loss in the first game of the doubleheader, the Dodgers followed it up by seemingly laying another complete egg in the second game until they showed signs of life by mounting a comeback and then taking the lead with late dongs. However, they then blew the lead they got in extras and then gave up a walk-off to continue the suffering in a 4-3 loss to the Cubs.
Trevor Bauer faced early trouble, issuing back-to-back walks to start his game but then worked out of trouble and the only damage was 26 pitches. He also faced minor trouble in the 2nd and 3rd frames but managed to escape both times. Bauer was not as lucky in the 4th, giving up a no-doubt solo shot to Jason Heyward to make it 1-0.
Further mess then followed with a walk and a single to put runners at the corners. A sacrifice bunt, or what I think was an attempted safety squeeze, advanced a runner to second but did result in the first out. After a strikeout, Bauer hit a batter to load the bases, and then went 3-2 on Kris Bryant before piping a fastball to escape.
Bauer returned in the 5th and gave up a lead-off triple, though it did bounce off Chris Taylor‘s leaping attempt in center. After getting the next out, he exited after not being at his best today but not getting terrible results: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K, 90 Pitches.
Victor Gonzalez relieved him and got a grounder with a drawn-in infield to Max Muncy who got the runner at home, and Victor followed that with a strikeout to keep the deficit at one. Blake Treinen got the 7th and was extremely unlucky. He gave up back-to-back singles to start on two soft rollers that found holes against the shift, then induced a grounder to Edwin Rios, who booted it to load the bases with nobody out. However, he rebounded with a infield pop and back-to-back strikeouts.
Of course, there were no updates on the other side because there were no runs. Keegan Thompson was making his first start in the majors this afternoon, and I’ve never heard of him before, which of course made me worry that he was about to throw a shutout. Things started quickly with Mookie Betts leading off with a double and Corey Seager drawing a walk, though as things have gone for the Dodgers of late, they devolved just as fast. Chris Taylor grounded to third in a way that was perfect for an unassisted 5-3 double play, and then Will Smith flew out to end the threat in the 1st. Thompson settled in from there and ended up going 3.2 innings while keeping the Dodgers scoreless.
Thompson exited in the 4th with a runner on second, but Rex Brothers entered and struck out Max Muncy to keep the scoreless tie intact. Ryan Tepera was next and cruised through the 5th on just eight pitches. After some maneuvering, Andrew Chafin started the 6th and allowed a two-out single but nothing else.
That left things up to a revitalized Craig Kimbrel in the 7th, but he ended up hopefully revitalizing Max Muncy, who crushed a towering dong to right for the first run against Kimbrel this year to tie it at 1-1.
Kenley Jansen then looked to keep the score tied in the 7th, walking a batter but facing the minimum thanks to a double play.
Dillon Maples took over in “extra innings” for the 8th, and got a slow roller for an out to advance the runner to third. That led to a run as Maples uncorked a wild pitch about 10 feet outside for a 2-1 lead.
Justin Turner followed by smashing a towering shot to left through the wind for a pinch-hit solo dong to double the lead at 3-1.
Mitch White, apparently their best arm left (and it’s sadly hard to argue), entered to get the save in the 8th. He got a ground out, threw a wild pitch, and then got a strikeout. However, with two down Javier Baez got an elevated fastball and crushed one out to left to tie the game at 3-3. White was able to complete the inning but the damage was obviously done.
Justin Steele took over for the 9th against the Dodgers, issuing only an intentional walk while keeping things scoreless.
There’s a bunch of questions to be asked, like why Matt Beaty was burned as basically a decoy, or why Edwin Rios continues to start, or why not walk Bote to face a lefty for a strikeout attempt, all valid questions at the margins. But the overarching problem in the struggles of the Dodgers is still that players who are given a chance to execute and win games just can’t get the team across the finish line no matter who it is.
Joc Pederson says hi.
The Dodgers fall to 17-14 on the season, and are closer to 4th place than 1st place in the NL West.
The series finale against the Cubs will be tomorrow at 1:30 PM HST/4:30 PM PST/7:30 PM EST, with Walker Buehler going up against Adbert Alzolay in another matchup that should hypothetically favor the Dodgers but it’s been hard to tell over the last couple weeks.