It’s hard to complain too much about an eight-game winning streak coming to an end, though certainly if you’re a Dodger fan you’d prefer it to come at the hands of almost any other team but the Astros. Yet that’s what’s happened tonight as the bats of the Dodgers went cold and the pen faltered late in a 5-2 loss.
As if the Dodgers and Astros didn’t have enough beef on their own, Trevor Bauer brought his own personal history into the picture, making things extra spicy. And things certainly got off with a bang, as Jose Altuve led the game off for the Astros with a solo shot to left. After an out, Bauer then issued back-to-back walks, and with two outs eventually walked the bases loaded before finally getting out of it by striking out Taylor Jones.
Opposing Bauer, Luis Garcia got the start and cruised through the first two innings. But the Dodgers got a rally going in the 3rd, with Yoshi Tsutsugo coming up with a one-out single and Mookie Betts reaching on a fielding error on Garcia with two outs (could’ve been an infield single, honestly).
That brought up the hottest hitter on the team in Max Muncy, who promptly lined a single through the shift to tie the game. After Justin Turner then drew a walk to load the bases, the Dodgers failed to capitalize as Will Smith struck out to end the threat.
Garcia rebounded strongly from that struggle of an inning, retiring the next nine consecutive batters and getting through six innings for the first time in 2021.
Bauer similarly bounced back after his rocky inning 1st, in which he threw 37 pitches. He retired 13 of the next 15 batters he faced, only running into minor trouble in the 3rd due to a two-out walk and stolen base, but not getting hurt.
In the 6th, after he had a one-out single by Yuli Gurriel erased thanks to a great Will Smith throw and Max Muncy trying to do his best to exact revenge for me personally by blocking Gurriel’s hand off with his leg, annoying face-haver Carlos Correa dug out a slider into the stupid-ass Crawford Boxes in left to make it 2-1.
Bauer did his best to save the pen arms by bouncing back, though he didn’t have his best command or stuff today: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 3 K, 100 Pitches.
Nate Jones then threw gas on the fire a bit in the 7th, though initially through no fault of his own. After getting an out to start, Gavin Lux threw a ball away for an error to put a runner at second. A single followed and Mookie Betts short-hopped Smith from short right, and Jones should’ve had an out instead of a run scoring on him. Aledmys Diaz then immediately followed by yanking a two-run shot to left for a 5-1 lead. Dennis Santana closed the book on the Astros side in the 8th, giving up two singles and hitting Gurriel (one of the few things they did right today), but not allowing further damage.
After Brooks Raley cruised through the 7th, Ryne Stanek got the 8th and did give up a solo homer to Sheldon Neuse to make it 5-2 but avoided any disaster result. Bryan Abreu then entered for the save, issuing two walks to get the tying run to the plate with two outs, hilariously in the form of Albert Pujols. Unfortunately, he struck out to end it.
The loss drops the Dodgers to 30-19 on the year and they are now 1.5 games back of the Padres in the NL West.
The Dodgers will now head home to Los Angeles to start another series with the Giants, this time a four-game set starting at the usual 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. Alex Wood (1.93 ERA/2.93 FIP/3.55 DRA) will take the mound for San Francisco, while the Dodgers will run a bullpen game. Oh joy.