Coming off a series sweep over the contending/pretending Padres, the Dodgers returned home to face the Rockies, who are notoriously terrible on the road. Well, not so much tonight as they shutdown the lineup of the Dodgers and homered three times to take a 4-2 victory.
For the quasi-pen game, the Dodgers went with an opener in Brusdar Graterol, which seemed rather pointless to me since there wasn’t any handedness advantage gained or anything like that.
Anyway, things didn’t go as planned, with Connor Joe starting the game with a single and Charlie Blackmon later lining a homer to right for an early 2-0 lead for the Rockies. Graterol did strikeout two in his inning, continuing a promising trend of increasing whiffs.
For the Rockies it was Kyle Freeland, who has been a solid lefty rotation option this year, the kind of guys the Dodgers seem to struggle with a lot.
Things started that way with Freeland retiring the first seven batters he faced, but it was Will Smith once again who changed that as he smashed his 21st homer of the year off the fair pole in left. Following the lineup turning over, Trea Turner did almost the exact same thing, yanking a dong to left (his 20th) to tie the game at 2-2.
Tie game? Two good. pic.twitter.com/XbnDJaa06N— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 28, 2021
Two Tío Albert hugs. pic.twitter.com/FLCaHA85Pa— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 28, 2021
Freeland didn’t give up anything further in his final three frames, however, and the Dodgers actually didn’t even have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position against him.
Bulk guy time!
Andre Jackson was tonight’s effective starter for the Dodgers, filling a similar role to his MLB debut. Jackson surrendered just a pair of singles in his first three innings before facing a jam in the 5th. He issued a lead-off walk, Freeland sacrificed the runner to second, and another walk followed. However, Andre bared down, getting a pop out and a ground out to keep things tied.
Andre Jackson’s changeup plays. pic.twitter.com/J7ltHmveAX— Fabian Ardaya (@FabianArdaya) August 28, 2021
Unfortunately, he was not able to continue this in the 6th, when he gave up a no-doubt shot to C.J. Cron on a changeup left up in the zone to make it 3-2 for the Rockies. Jackson got the next two batters and probably should’ve got out of the inning on an bunt single that took an awkward bounce on Albert Pujols, but ended up being removed after that.
4.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K.
Justin Bruihl took over and did his job, getting a strikeout to end the 6th.
Shane Greene had an eventful 7th inning in which he faced the minimum, striking out Rio Ruiz on a pitch that hit him, actually hitting Joe, and then inducing a double play thanks to the umpire ruling that Joe ran out of the baseline to evade Trea’s tag.
Greene also got the first two outs of the 8th, getting a groundout and punctuating his outing with another strikeout.
He gave way to madman reliever Alex Vesia, who continued his success with a strikeout and then storming off the field. That didn’t continue into the 9th, however, when he surrendered a solo shot to Elias Diaz off the glove of AJ Pollock to extend the deficit to 4-2.
Vesia also issued a walk, but otherwise closed the book on the Rockies. Honestly hard to understand why he went 20+ pitches in what the Dave Roberts sure treated like a casual April game at times.
Again though, the culprit of this game was the lineup, who didn’t get anything going. Jhoulys Chacin carved three batters in the 7th, while Daniel Bard gave up a generously scored infield single in the 8th but that was it.
Carlos Estevez looked to close things out in the 9th, but gave up a single to Mookie Betts that started things off. After a wild pitch that gave the Dodgers their first runner in scoring position, he rebounded by striking out Max Muncy on a 3-2 change out of the zone. Corey Seager followed suit by chasing a change on a 3-0 pitch to get Estevez back into the count, and even when the Dodgers didn’t swing at ball four the umpire screwed them.
In their last gasp, Pollock struck out on check swing to end it.
The Dodgers are 81-48 on the year and remain 2.5 games back of the Giants in the NL West.
The two teams do it again tomorrow at 3:10 PM HT/6:10 PM PT/9:10 PM ET with David Price (3.82 ERA/3.94 FIP/3.81 xERA) facing Jon Gray (4.13/3.98/3.78).