It was Reopening Day 2021 at Dodger Stadium tonight, with the stadium at full capacity for the first time since 2019. A welcome sign of some sort of normalcy returning.
Well, the Dodgers capped off festivities with a nice 5-3 victory over the Phillies, win led by Mookie Betts.
Julio Urias has had a bit of an inconsistent run of late, having alternating good and mediocre starts over his last four outings, but looked to smooth things out tonight. After a scoreless 1st, he gave up a one-out no-doubt homer to Andrew McCutchen in the 2nd to give the Phillies an early 1-0 lead.
Old friend Zach Eflin started for the Phillies, and as he’s slowly becoming a league-average starter type, which actually makes him one of the better players the Dodgers traded away.
He faced trouble in the 1st, allowing back-to-back one-out singles, but snuffing out that rally effectively. He then kept the Dodgers quiet until the 4th when Matt Beaty started the inning with a single, and after two outs it looked like not much would come of it. However, Zach McKinstry hit a gapper for a double to barely score a Chris Taylor, who was on his horse, and then Urias himself followed by trading places with him for another run and his eighth RBI of the year to make it 3-1. Eflin also got a scoreless 5th before his night came to an end.
After cruising through 1-2-3 frames in the 3rd and 4th, Urias was staked to a lead, but gave it back in the 5th even though not entirely through his own fault. After a single to start, he got a grounder to CT3 that looked like it could’ve maybe been a double play, but instead resulted in a throwing error after Taylor was caught between going to the bag or throwing out the runner. After a sacrifice bunt, Odubel Herrera singled sharply to left, where Beaty promptly whiffed on the ball for an error to score both runners and make it 3-3. After getting a line out and issuing an intentional walk, Urias eventually got out of the frame.
Urias could not do the same in the 6th, as a one-out walk was followed by a single, and after he got the second out of the inning, his night was over. He wasn’t great, but he was solid and wasn’t helped by his defense: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 5 K, 96 Pitches. Victor Gonzalez entered to get out of the jam and did just that by inducing a soft liner to end the inning and keep the score tied.
For the Phillies, Sam Coonrod relieved Eflin in the 6th, getting two outs but allowing a single. He gave way to Ranger Suarez and he ended it by striking out Luke Raley, who was red-hot at AAA at least. He continued in the 7th, and got Betts in an 0-2 hole, but it didn’t matter as Mookie smashed his eighth dong of the year to left-center for a 4-3 lead.
Wearing Mookie’s jersey and catching his home run ball? Simply the Betts. pic.twitter.com/HPI4A8j6E9— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 16, 2021
Joe Kelly, who has apparently now ascended into high leverage again, got the 7th. He faced the top of the order and cruised through it with a strikeout, shallow fly, and foul out to a graceful Albert Pujols.
With the pen toast, Phil Bickford came in as the setup man and immediately issued back-to-back walks (with a stolen base between for good measure) to make a mess. After a visit from Mark Prior, though, he got back-to-back strikeouts and then got out of the jam with a high-bouncer to Justin Turner at third to end it.
Archie Bradley, famous pants shitter, entered in the 8th and got into trouble by walking Taylor and giving up a broken-bat single to Pujols. However, a double play put him on the verge of escaping. Thankfully, he couldn’t take advantage after he hit pinch-hitter Andy Burns and then gave up a clean single to Mookie to make it 5-3.
Blake Treinen then entered for the third game in a row, with Dave Roberts deciding to push things a bit. He started the inning by getting two ground outs, and got another that would’ve ended it, but it bounced off Pujols’ glove to a covering CT3, and Treinen couldn’t get his foot on the bag. After a wild pitch, he then got a strikeout on a pitch that everybody thought was a 3-1 count but was apparently a 2-2 count due to a check swing that started the at-bat … I think?
Well, it’s a win and they can’t take it back.
We back? We back.
Dave Roberts meme.
The Dodgers are now 41-26, which is a 99-win pace. Unfortunately, they are still 1 game back of the Giants in the NL West, as they came back to beat the Diamondbacks tonight with a late grand slam.
The series finale of the series will be tomorrow at the usual time of 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. Clayton Kershaw (3.39 ERA/2.72 FIP/3.15 DRA) will face the red-hot Zack Wheeler (2.29 ERA/2.37 FIP/2.74 DRA).