The Dodgers came into today winners of four in a row and two series in a row, but it felt like they had to sweep the Phillies with the deficit in the NL West growing more ominous by the day. Well, they didn’t and wasted a decent pen game in a 2-1 loss.
Despite all the movement on the roster, the Dodgers still had to turn to Mitch White as a starter this afternoon. All things considered, he pitched well enough.
A Bryce Harper homer in the 1st to left-center gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead, but he faced the minimum over the next two frames. In the 4th he seemed to tire, issuing two walks and eventually giving up a two-out single to Ronald Torreyes to make it 2-0. White would issue another walk to load the bases, but managed to avoid disaster.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers were struggling with Phillies reliever-turned-starter Ranger Suarez. They stranded a single and a walk in the 1st, went down in order in the 2nd and 3rd, and had only a minor chance in the 4th thanks to an AJ Pollock single and stolen base that was eventually stranded.
Enyel De Los Santos then entered and threw a wild pitch that advanced both runners, and the Dodgers got their first run after Trea Turner grounded out. However, the play was controversial as replay showed it was very close to being safe off the bag. After an intentional walk to Max Muncy, he escaped with the lead after Albert Pujols grounded out.
Alex Vesia relieved White in the 5th, continuing his great run with a perfect frame that included two strikeouts. He continued in the 6th, not getting a 3-2 pitch in the zone and walking Harper. Phil Bickford entered and got a strikeout, but then gave up a single sliced the other way. A comebacker resulted in an out but advanced both runners, and an intentional walk to load the bases followed before he induced a grounder to get out of it. Justin Bruihl continued his scoreless run with a perfect 7th, and Kenley Jansen had one of his own in the 8th, completing the pen’s excellent series.
The problem was Hector Neris got a perfect 6th and Archie Bradley got two perfect innings in the 7th and 8th. That set the stage for Ian Kennedy, who got two outs but also walked Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger on … questionable calls. He then hit Will Smith to load the bases, but Billy McKinney couldn’t cash in on the golden opportunity, popping out on a center-cut fastball.
The Dodgers are 69-46 on the year and 4.5 games back in the NL West, probably soon to be 5 back of the Giants.