After a 6-3 victory over the Giants, the Dodgers have now won six games in a row, four series in a row, and are 11-2 since Mookie Betts got his nuts smashed. Walker Buehler, a pair of homers, and timely late hitting keyed the victory.
Scott Kazmir not only made his return to the majors since 2016, but prior to his return in 2021, he hadn’t even pitched in affiliated ball since 2017. Quite frankly, I had no idea he didn’t retire.
Well, I suppose it was only appropriate then that he gave up just one run over four innings, though at least that one was a splash shot by Max Muncy.
Nick Tropeano faced and handled a minor threat in the 6th, but he continued in the 7th and that was a different story. A Gavin Lux single started the frame, and after a strikeout Matt Beaty stepped up and doubled (should’ve been a triple) to right to plate Lux. DJ Peters then followed with a bloop single for his first multi-hit game and a 4-0 lead.
On the other side, thankfully there was nothing going on for the most part, which is the reason for the lack of mention. Buehler started and saw just two over the minimum through six innings, and faced just two at-bats with RISP, both of which came in the 3rd.
The 7th was a bit of a mess, however. Brandon Crawford started the inning with a double off the wall, and after getting one out it looked like he got Evan Longoria to pop into a second one, but it ended up falling between three Dodgers for a “single” to put them at the corners. Alex Dickerson then singled the other way to make it 4-1 before Buehler got back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.
Buehler didn’t miss as many bats as he usually does, but he got them when it counted: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K, 105 Pitches.
Jose Alvarez took over for the Giants in the 8th and was welcomed rudely with an error (that maybe could’ve been a double) by Justin Turner and then an oppo single by Muncy to put runners at the corners. Albert Pujols then decided to not hit a ground ball and elevated for a single to center to drive in JT. After a ground out left them at the corners, Barnes squared around and safety squeezed another run in to make it 6-1. Alvarez also pitched a scoreless 9th.
Alex Vesia took over for Buehler in the 8th, and he ran into trouble after getting the lead-off man on one pitch. Issuing a four-pitch walk, he then fell behind 3-1 to Buster Posey, who turned out a fastball and deposited it into the stands for a two-run shot that cut the lead to 6-3. To his credit, Vesia did rebound and finish the rest of the inning.
Kenley Jansen was thus given the 9th due to the save being in play, cruising through a perfect inning on a fly out, strikeout, and ground out, with nothing other than the routine.
The Dodgers are now 28-18, which is a cool 99-win pace.
The series finale against the Giants will be tomorrow afternoon at 10:05 AM HST/1:05 PM PST/4:05 PM EST with Julio Urias (3.04 ERA/2.94 FIP/3.59 DRA) facing off against Anthony DeSclafani (2.03 ERA/3.30 FIP/3.62 DRA).