Astros 3, Dodgers 0: The atmosphere was as advertised, the lineup was not

This short series isn’t the first time the Dodgers and Astros have met since the latter’s cheating scandal was exposed, but it is the first time since fans have been allowed back in stadiums. The atmosphere was as electric as advertised, but the Dodgers came out on the losing end of a 3-0 loss that was tight throughout.

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This is a metaphor or something.

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Walker Buehler was on the mound for the Dodgers, looking to build his resume for a potential Cy Young Award to end the season. And boy, was the atmosphere absolutely outstanding. Big fans of Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa.

After Altuve led the game off with a single, Buehler got a double play and then struck out Correa to end the inning. He worked around a double in the 2nd, but couldn’t do the same in the 3rd. A Martin Maldonado double to start was on the verge of being stranded, but Michael Brantley came up with a two-out, two-strike double to give the Astros a 1-0 lead.

Buehler found trouble in the 4th after giving up a single, walk, and intentionally walking the bases loaded, but escaped after getting the opposing pitcher. He then rebounded in the 5th with his first 1-2-3 frame, thanks in part to an outstanding Mookie Betts play at second.

Buehler also got a scoreless 6th to close out his outing, giving the Dodgers all he had in what was a great start: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 113 Pitches.

Unfortunately, there weren’t many updates from the offense up to this point. 2017 World Series Game 7 starter Lance McCullers Jr. was on the mound for the Astros, and he worked around a single and walk in the 1st. They also got a minor scoring chance in the 2nd after a single was advanced by a ground out, but nothing further came of it, and they went quietly in the 3rd. Umpires were helping.

They sorta got something started in the 4th with a walk and then a hilarious combo error from Correa and Altuve, but they squandered that chance as well.

McCullers gave up just a single to Buehler in the 5th, and then got the order in the 6th. In the 7th, a single from AJ Pollock off his ankle and an error put a runner in scoring position, and then a walk to Mookie ended his start. Dusty Baker then turned to Blake Taylor in relief, and after getting behind 3-0, he came back to strikeout Max Muncy on a chase, which was shocking.

In relief of Buehler, Blake Treinen took over in the 7th, facing the minimum with a strikeout because after an Altuve single he picked him off. Victor Gonzalez took over in the 8th and continued to struggle, issuing a walk and then giving up a lined homer to Yordan Alvarez to make it 3-0.

Brusdar Graterol closed the book on the Astros in the 9th. He gave up a double that should’ve been a single and an out, as Cody Bellinger threw a seed after playing the ball off the wall but it was dropped by Corey Seager. Regardless, he kept the score intact after an intentional walk.

The Astros then looked to close things out. Kendall Graveman entered for the 8th, giving up a single and hitting a batter before, and stop me if you’ve heard this before, getting out of it without damage. Ryne Stanek closed the game in the 9th, and he did so in 1-2-3 fashion.

The Dodgers shit themselves in an unideal spot, going 0-for-16 with men on and 0-for-8 with RISP.

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The atmosphere was … exciting.

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The Dodgers drop to 64-44 on the season, but remain 3.5 games back in the NL West thanks to the Diamondbacks beating the Giants.

They’ll try to salvage a split tomorrow at 3:40 PM HT/6:40 PM PT/9:40 PM ET with Max Scherzer making his debut against Jake Odorizzi.

About Chad Moriyama

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