Dodgers 4, Padres 0: ESPN forces Padres to narrate as Dodgers close out sweep

After a tough outing in his last start against the Giants, Tyler Anderson provided the Dodgers with one of his best of the season on Sunday Night Baseball as Los Angeles closed out a sweep of the San Diego Padres.

While his defense made a few impressive plays later in the game, Anderson cruised through his 7 innings and his offense did just enough, highlighted by Cody Bellinger‘s 3-for-3 game with a pair of home runs to left center. Thankfully, Craig Kimbrel recorded two outs before walking Juan Soto and then ending the game with Manny Machado grounding out.

Impressively, no Padre reached second in the Dodgers’ 4-0 victory.

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After Mookie Betts singled to open the game, Padres starter Yu Darvish retired seven straight batters before Bellinger took a 2-2 sinker to left-center for the first run of the game.

Bellinger’s homer was the first of three straight balls hit 100+ mph, with his at 102.4 and 402 feet before Betts sent the very next pitch 380 feet off the wall for a double at 101.2 mph, and Trea Turner sent another sinker 355 feet into the glove of Soto at 100.9 mph.

After the Dodgers pounded three of five Darvish’s five pitches, Freddie Freeman battled through an eight-pitch at-bat to come away with a two-out RBI. Nearly bringing Betts home on a ball down the left-field line that just landed foul, Freeman got a cutter over the plate and sent it against the shift for a single and the second run of the inning.

As you can see above, all of this happened with Soto being interviewed by Sunday Night Baseball throughout the 3rd inning which became funnier and funnier that they would not let him go as the Dodgers took yet another lead.

It continued to open the 4th inning as Max Muncy took the second pitch of the inning to right field for a double as the broadcast brought in Padres owner Peter Seidler (the grandson of Walter O’Malley and nephew of Peter O’Malley), but the Dodgers failed to cash it in to extend the lead.

ESPN finally stopped interviewing Padres and the Dodgers offense slowed, with just single from Bellinger in the 5th and a single by Muncy in the 6th before Cody got another sinker over the plate, this time by Luis Garcia. Ahead 2-1 with one out, Bellinger put another ball over the left-center wall at 101.2 mph and 395 feet.

Just as he did in the 3rd inning, Freeman cashed in a runner at second with two outs. After Turner rolled a ball to third with Machado electing to hope it somehow took a hard turn foul, he stole second with Freeman at the plate. Down 1-2 in the count, Freeman pulled a a low splitter to right and dropped the ball in front of Soto for a 4-0 lead.

After the Giants hit his cutter and fastball well in his last outing, Anderson bounced back against the Padres with a heavy use of the latter and an even mix of his cutter and change-up.

Needing just 15 pitches to retire the first six batters in order, Anderson allowed his first hit on a cutter in the 3rd around a pair of swinging strikeouts on a four-seamer and a cutter. Through those three innings, Anderson threw just three changes for 16% of his pitches before balancing it out as the game went on.

The changes picked up in the 4th and 5th innings, throwing six on 18 pitches and then four of 13 pitches as he continued to cruise with just a walk to open the 4th against Soto. Immediately after allowing the lead-off single, Anderson put down Machado with a high fastball on a 2-2 count.

Entering the 6th at 63 pitches, Anderson got a little help from his defense as he continued to keep the Padres from even reaching second base.

First, Chris Taylor tracked down a liner off the bat of Austin Nola to open the inning.

Then, after a 100 mph grounder ate up Muncy at third, Anderson induced a double play with Soto sending a cutter to Turner at short to end the inning at still just 75 pitches. Then a nine-pitch 7th inning included a nice play by Betts near the wall after Josh Bell sent a change-up 367 feet.

Done after those 84 pitches, Anderson’s final line came in at 7 innings, 2 hits, 1 walk and 3 strikeouts for his seventh scoreless start this season, all at 6 innings or more.

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The bullpen closed it out with little trouble, as Evan Phillips continued his excellent season. Striking out Jake Cronenworth, getting Trent Grisham to ground out to the mound and Ha-Seong Kim lined out to center.

Because the Dodgers couldn’t run up the score enough, Kimbrel entered in the 9th with a 4-0 lead and of course immediately got a weak grounder that nearly became an infield single. However, the Dodgers got the out and Kimbrel recorded an infield pop up and ground out around the walk to close out the game.

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Seems as though the Dodgers enjoyed this one.

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Now on an eight-game winning streak, the Dodgers (75-33) remain at home for two more games, hosting the AL Central leading Minnesota Twins (57-51) for two games. Julio Urias will be on the mound for the Dodgers against Joe Ryan (3.67 ERA/4.21 FIP/4.47 xFIP) with first pitch at 7:10 p.m.

About Cody Bashore

Cody Bashore is a lifelong Dodger fan originally from Carpinteria, California (about 80 miles north of Dodger Stadium along the coast). He left California to attend Northern Arizona University in 2011, and has lived in Arizona full-time since he graduated in 2014 with a journalism degree. He now works for the university’s athletics department after spending seven years with the local newspaper.