The Dodgers found themselves as surprising losers of three of their last four games, failing twice to draw even with the rival Giants when given the chance, both times on Kenley Jansen blown saves. Well, Kenley has now blown his third save in a row in a 5-3 loss, though this time it wasn’t entirely his fault.
Things started out roughly for Walker Buehler, with the Giants starting with a double and a steal of third, and eventually scoring that run via a Mike Yastrzemski sacrifice fly to make it 1-0. In the 2nd, he gave up two singles but worked out of that jam and settled in after that, as we’ll see later.
On the other end, Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani has been elite against every other team he’s faced besides the Dodgers. Needless to say, things didn’t get any easier for him tonight. Chris Taylor and Max Muncy started things with two lined singles, and Justin Turner made it three in a row by poking one the other way to tie the game at 1-1.
He quickly rebounded by getting three outs in the next two batters to escape major trouble, and ended up setting down eight in a row. That roll ended suddenly in the 4th, as JT led off with a single, and then Will Smith elevated a pitch down in the zone for his 13th homer, a two-run shot to make it 3-1.
After two scoreless innings, Zack Littell took over in the 7th, finding himself immediately in trouble due to AJ Pollock grounding to short and reaching on Thairo Estrada‘s two-base throwing error. A walk to Billy McKinney followed, but a strikeout and foul pop put the Giants on the verge of escape. Jose Alvarez entered and got a comebacker to end the threat. He continued on in the 8th, getting a clean frame to close the book on the Dodgers.
With Buehler there weren’t a whole lot of updates to give, and I guess “settling in” doesn’t quite do it justice. He faced the minimum over his next 13 batters after the single in the 2nd, surrendering just a walk that was erased on a double play. That streak ended in the 6th, thankfully in hilarious fashion as McKinney, while making his Dodger, debut made a diving and rolling attempt at a catch, then threw the ball into the ground a la Raul Ibanez.
Buehler escaped that blip with a ground out, then came back out in the 7th and struck out the side. He came back out for the 8th, getting a ground out to start, but then giving up a single and being yanked: 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 9 K, 99 Pitches.
Despite throwing 27 pitches last night, Roberts made the call to put Kenley Jansen back on the mound immediately in the 9th. He got off to an ideal start with a three-pitch strikeout, but gave up a single off the end of the bat. Kenley then rebounded with a strikeout, but threw a cutter right down the middle for a double, and walked the next batter to load the bases.
He then induced a ground ball that seemed to end the game, however, on review the runner was ruled safe. It was close, but for a situation like that both Taylor and especially Sheldon Neuse seemed to take things comically casually.
Then the next batter came up and was involved in a deep battle, but on a check swing call that would’ve ended the game, it instead led to the tying run scoring due to this being ruled a non-swing.
For whatever reason, Jansen was allowed to continue and gave up a two-run single to make it 5-3.
Why did Bob Geren allow him to pitch? I do not know.
Anyway, it sucked.
The Dodgers fall to to 59-39 with the loss, falling to 3 games back of the Giants in the NL West.