Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: Pen games continue to be effective, but bats go cold with the help of great Cards defense

After ending a losing streak yesterday, the Dodgers were prevented from getting anything going against the Cardinals today in a 3-2 loss. The pen continued to generally thrive in these games, but the bats couldn’t muster any support, and a bizarre Dave Roberts decision ended up costing the Dodgers late.

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David Price started hopefully what will be the last of the pen days for the foreseeable future and had a bit of a rough time. He allowed a run in both the 1st and 2nd innings, and pitched well to only give up those after allowing two doubles, three singles, and a walk while getting just five outs. However, in his defense, none of the hits were squared up aside from the double to start the game.

Joe Kelly relieved him and got out of the 2nd with a strikeout, then followed by hurling a perfect 3rd with two more whiffs as he had one of his good days. Phil Bickford then entered and got a 1-2-3 frame of his own with two strikeouts in the 4th, also getting an defensive assist from Max Muncy.

Nate Jones then entered and got a perfect 5th with some luck on hard-hit balls, and then in the 6th almost got another 1-2-3 frame if not for a comebacker that he botched, but he rebounded with a strikeout to end his night. The man has a career walk rate approaching 10%, and it’s been 15% since 2019, but he’s walked nobody as a Dodger.

Mitch White continued the pen depth’s impressive run, striking out the side and preventing Matt Beaty from embarrassment after he dropped a routine fly ball in left.

John Gant entered this game riding a stellar 1.81 ERA and he continued to roll tonight. He allowed two hits in both the 2nd and the 6th, but escaped without damage, especially saved to end his outing by a sliding play in center to prevent a tie game. Overall he faced just three batters with RISP and got them all.

Giovanny Gallegos entered in relief and looked to continue the success of Gant, but with one out he issued a walk to Albert Pujols and then Matt Beaty yanked a hanging breaking ball over the wall in right to tie the game at 2-2. The dong was Beaty’s third of the season. Gallegos also stayed in for the 8th and got a scoreless frame.

In a very good sign, Blake Treinen entered for the 8th after not being able to get ready yesterday and got a 1-2-3 inning. In a bit of an odd decision given whatever malady he was suffering from, Treinen remained in for the 9th, giving up a single, stolen base, and then another single to put the Dodgers behind 3-2. After a strikeout, Treinen’s night finally came to an end.

Kenley Jansen then entered, and instead of a clean inning was down a run with a runner on second, a situation he famously loathes. Anyway, he got a ground out and a foul pop to end the inning, but obviously at that point it was too late.

The Cardinals then turned to Alex Reyes in the 9th, who retired the first two batters before issuing a walk to Yoshi Tsutsugo and giving up a single to Cody Bellinger. That brought up Mookie Betts with the game on the line, and he ripped a hanging slider down the line in left, but he too was robbed by the defense of the Cardinals through a jumping catch on the track to end it.

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The Dodgers fall to 32-23 with the loss and miss a chance to gain a game on both the Padres and Giants.

The series will conclude tomorrow a bit earlier than usual at 3:10 PM HST/6:10 PM PST/9:10 PM EST with Walker Buehler facing Carlos Martinez.

About Chad Moriyama

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