Dodgers 3, Giants 1: Walker Buehler’s dominance leads to mini-sweep of rivals

Despite at times seemingly extreme ups and downs in June, the Dodgers finished the month with a flurry, winning five straight after a 3-1 victory to complete the mini-sweep over the rival Giants.

The Dodgers went 17-9 in June, which is their best month this season.

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Giants starter Kevin Gausman entered the game looking like a Cy Young Award front-runner. While he still is, the Dodgers didn’t seem too intimidated by the season he was having.

With one down in the 1st, Max Muncy walked, Justin Turner got hit by a pitch, and Cody Bellinger then walked to load the bases. Chris Taylor then proved his Barrels Are Overrated mantra by jamming one down the line in right to plate two runs.

In the 3rd, Muncy continued to clown on the Giants, smashing a high fastball over the wall in center for his 17th dong to make it 3-0. In just nine games against the Giants in 2021, Muncy has a whopping seven dingers against them.

Gausman continued to be under threat, though he dealt with it well. In the 4th, a single and sac bunt put a RISP, but there was no damage. Then in the 5th, he walked two batters and CT3 gave one a ride to left, but his fly ball died at the warning track. The Dodgers did succeed in making him throw 90 pitches in the five frames, which knocked him out early.

Opposing Gausman for the Dodgrs was Walker Buehler, who was excellent in relying a lot on his cutter as well as flashing his change. Through three innings he faced just one over the minimum as he looked locked in tonight.

Bellinger continued to help out the pitching staff on defense as well.

While he did allow a one-out double in the 4th, the runner didn’t advance further in the inning after back-to-back infield pops. In fact, Buehler retired 10 in a row after the double before a runner reached with two outs in the 7th on a Gavin Lux error. That was cashed in on a double by Steven Duggar down the line in right that cut the lead to 3-1 and led to Buehler’s exit. Despite the less than ideal ending, Buehler was outstanding: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 113 Pitches.

Joe Kelly took over for Buehler looking to stop the bleeding and he did just that, getting four straight batters that included a strikeout.

Meanwhile, Jose Alvarez, Zack Littell, and John Brebbia closed the book on the Dodgers in the last three innings, getting nine straight.

That set things up for Kenley Jansen in the 9th, looking to secure the win with a two-run lead. Things started ominously with a hit batter and a walk starting the frame, but he rebounded nicely after finding his release point, getting a strikeout, infield fly, and another strikeout to end it.

Happy flight!

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The Dodgers improve to 49-31 on the season for a 99-win pace and cut the Giants lead in the NL West to 1.5 games.

After a day off tomorrow for travelling to the East Coast, the Dodgers will play at the Nationals starting at 1:05 PM HST/4:05 PM PST/7:05 PM EST. Tony Gonsolin will look to continue his recent success as the training wheels begin to come off, and he’ll face the struggling Patrick Corbin.

About Chad Moriyama

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