The Dodgers dropped the finale in Monterrey to the Padres, falling to 15-19 on the season. It certainly wasn’t for a lack of opportunities as they had at least one baserunner in each of the first eight innings. However, they struck out 12 times in the game and stranded 13 runners on base. The pitching put forth a valiant effort, but the Padres broke through in the fifth to win the finale and win a series for the first time since mid-April.
Matt Kemp had the Dodgers’ first hit of the day with a two-out double in the first inning. Eric Lauer stranded Kemp at second as he struck out the side in the first.
Austin Barnes led off the second with a single that nearly decapitated Lauer. After a pair of fielders’ choices, Tim Locastro singled to right and moved Alex Verdugo to third. However, Ross Stripling grounded out to end the threat.
Kemp stroked another two-out single in the third and Cody Bellinger legged out an infield single, but Barnes hit a ball right at the left fielder to end the inning.
The Dodgers wasted another opportunity in the fourth after a single, walk and fielders’ choice put runners on the corners with two outs. Chris Taylor grounded out to keep the game scoreless.
Bellinger beat out another infield single with two outs in the fifth and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Barnes hit a ball right at the right fielder this time to end the inning.
Verdugo reached on an error in the sixth, but once again the Dodgers stranded him there. Through six innings against Lauer, the Dodgers had nine baserunners and six in scoring position, but failed to score off a pitcher that entered the game with more runs allowed (9) than innings thrown (8) this season. Not ideal, IMO.
Fortunately for the Dodgers, Lauer was pulled after the sixth. They worked a two-out rally off Craig Stammen in the seventh after a Kemp infield single and Bellinger walk. Barnes did not line out sharply this time, but he did stare at a pitch right down the middle to strand two more runners.
Joc Pederson led off the eighth with a sharp single off Kirby Yates. Yates struck out Verdugo, but walked Max Muncy to bring up the potential tying run. However, both Breyvic Valera and Taylor struck out on three pitches to strand two more baserunners. That’s 0 for 9 with RISP, 13 men left on base. They didn’t leave anyone on base in the ninth, as Brad Hand tossed a 1-2-3 inning to end the game.
The Dodgers’ disabled list woes forced Stripling into his second start of the season, despite arguably being one of their best relief pitchers so far this season. Stripling faced the minimum in the first despite walking Eric Hosmer thanks to a double play.
Stripling’s command was a bit shaky in the second, as he fell behind 3-0 on the first two hitters. He started off with a strikeout, but Franchy Cordero drilled a single to left field. After another single, Stripling fell behind 3-0 again and walked the bases loaded for old friend A.J. Ellis. Ellis popped out for the second out, and Stripling struck out Lauer to escape.
The third inning was much easier for Stripling, as he needed nine pitches to retire the side in order. He allowed a pair of singles in the fourth, but added a pair of strikeouts and got Ellis to ground out to end the inning.
The fourth ended the outing for Stripling, who was pulled with 68 pitches. All things considered, Stripling did very well to keep the Padres off the board despite working through traffic for a good chunk of the game. This start definitely went better than his previous start in Arizona, when he allowed four runs in four innings.
Tony Cingrani was the first reliever out of the bullpen in the fifth. He allowed a one-out single to Travis Jankowski before allowing a massive home run to Hosmer to break the scoreless tie. Cingrani allowed a bunt single before getting out of the inning, but his struggles have been pretty worrying of late. Cingrani didn’t allow a baserunner in eight of his first 11 outings this season, but has allowed at least a hit or a walk in each of his last six, including today. He was so consistent after being acquired at the trade deadline last year, but has been a huge part of the bullpen’s overall struggles this season.
Pedro Baez worked around a single to throw a scoreless sixth inning. The seventh didn’t start as well, as Jankowski hit a grounder down the first base line for a stand-up triple. He lost his command after that, issuing a five-pitch walk before being pulled for Yimi Garcia. Garcia got the first out on a flyout, but Cordero hit a single to left to make it 3-0. Garcia escaped any more damage by getting a line drive hit at Taylor, who doubled off the runner at second to end the inning.
Brock Stewart, who was called up after Clayton Kershaw was placed on the DL, came in for the eighth inning. Stewart got two quick outs before allowing a double to Ellis, but got a groundout to end the inning.
Overall, Cingrani was the main issue. In terms of a “bullpen game”, allowing three runs isn’t a terrible outcome and if the offense could do anything, it wouldn’t have been a huge issue. It is a little weird to me that JT Chargois wasn’t used in the series, so hopefully he’s healthy.
The Dodgers barely survived their longest roadtrip of the season. They went 4-7 and lost the position player and pitcher with the highest WAR’s on the team last season.
They finally have an off day tomorrow before returning home for a two-game series against Arizona, who just took two of three from Houston. Rich Hill returns from the DL tomorrow to take on Zack Godley.