After a disastrous 1-2 stretch for the Dodgers by their recent dominant standards, they avoided potentially losing a series after defeating the Brewers in a 2-1 nail-biter.
A pitchers’ duel for the most part, a pair of homers for the Dodgers and the pen avoiding a late meltdown this time was the difference.
Eric Lauer is a solid pitcher, but one that has a career ERA above 4. But not against the Dodgers, where he has a 2.56 ERA and an OPS against 29 percent lower than his norm, which is even odder given that the Dodgers have been running out some great lineups in his time.
Still, things started extremely promising with Mookie Betts drawing a walk, stealing second, and advancing to third on a wild pitch. Trea Turner then walked to corner the runners and it had me thinking the Dodgers might finally break through … well, then Freddie Freeman didn’t plate the run on a shallow fly to center and back-to-back strikeouts from Justin Turner and Chris Taylor ended the dream of getting anything.
In fact, after the first two batters he faced, Lauer retired nine in a row. That was broken up by an infield single in the 4th, but still faced the minimum thanks to a double play. He also allowed a single in the 5th, but faced the minimum there too thanks to a strike ’em out, throw ’em out double play.
Fortunately, Austin Barnes exists, and he led off the 6th with his fifth homer of the year for the game’s first run because of course he did.
The lead was doubled in the 7th thanks to Max Muncy continuing his hot hitting with his 15th homer of the year to make it 2-0.
All of that was more than enough for Tony Gonsolin, who looked dominant and went deep into the game again.
He retired the first 10 Brewers he faced before giving up a walk in the 4th, but faced the minimum anyway thanks to a double play. Gonsolin surrendered a single in the 5th and 6th innings as well, but got all three batters in an 11-pitch 7th to complete his day.
Gonsolin’s ERA drops to 2.12 as he has bounced back after a bit of a rough patch (by his standards): 7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 95 Pitches.
That brought in the pen, and Dave Roberts went to Caleb Ferguson with Evan Phillips likely unavailable. He started with back-to-back strikeouts and looked to be in cruise control, but then lost the zone. He issued back-to-back walks against the bottom of the order, bringing up Christian Yelich, who singled to left to plate a run just ahead of CT3’s throw.
That cut the lead to 2-1 and was the first run Ferguson allowed all year. He was lucky to get out of the inning with the lead intact as a lineout ended the 8th.
As the Dodger bats couldn’t provide insurance against the Brewers pen, it was then on Craig Kimbrel in the 9th to protect a one-run lead. He actually started out looking great, staying around the zone and getting back-to-back groundouts. However, he then allowed a soft liner single against the shift, a stolen base, and then walked a batter to put him in trouble. Thankfully, he got a groundout to end it and secure the victory.
This is just amazing content.
It’s just gold.
81-35 is quite nice.
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