After needing a late comeback walk-off win just to salvage one game from their four-game series last week against the Phillies, the Dodgers rolled into Philadelphia winners of five straight and quickly made it six with a 4-1 victory to start this set.
A very different looking game from those in Los Angeles.
Ranger Suarez went deep into his start a week ago against the Dodgers, but couldn’t replicate the feat tonight.
Things got rolling quickly as a single from Freddie Freeman was followed by back-to-back walks from Trea Turner and Will Smith to load the bases. After a rough call against him that changed his at-bat, Justin Turner still managed to drive in Freddie with a soft grounder the other way, but that was all they would get even though they drove his pitch count to 34 pitches.
Suarez’s struggles continued in the 2nd, as a Hanser Alberto single and Mookie Betts double set the table, then Freddie cashed them in after an outstanding at-bat with a single to push the lead to 3-0.
While Suarez ended up facing the minimum in the 3rd thanks to a double play, he still threw 84 pitches to that point and was removed as a result.
The Dodgers had a bunch of chances to extend the lead against the Phillies pen, stranding a runner on third in the 4th, stranding the bases loaded in the 5th, and stranding runners at first and second in the 7th.
They finally added insurance in the 9th, basically thanks to Freddie’s efforts, as he singled, stole second, advanced to third on a throwing error he induced, then scored on a Trea sacrifice fly to make it 4-0.
Meanwhile, after getting shelled by the Phillies at home, Julio Urias took the mound again and shut them down. With a rested pen he didn’t go deep, but he was impressive and was never really under seige.
In fact, three of his first four innings were clean and he didn’t face a runner in scoring position until a double in the 5th. But they still couldn’t get to him in what was a rebound for Urias: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K, 80 Pitches.
The pen entered in the 6th starting with Yency Almonte, who was fortunate to keep his perfect ERA intact last time out. However, he looked extremely sharp today, tunneling a running fastball with a sweeper while staying in the zone. Almonte got four straight outs, but then gave up a single and was relieved by Alex Vesia for matchup reasons, and he proceeded to close out the 7th with a couple of outs.
Evan Phillips sorta surprisingly got the 8th, and in a way it was encouraging that he got through it with just a bunt single and a walk when he didn’t have his best slider, which was hanging a bit.
While Craig Kimbrel was getting warm, the offense conspired against him yet again, so it was Phil Bickford in the 9th. But after getting two quick outs, he then allowed back-to-back doubles (the latter on a razor close replay review) to make it 4-1 and Kimbrel got his chance.
He entered the game and gave up a check swing infield single to bring the tying run to the plate, but then got a strikeout to end it.
The Dodgers are now 26-12 on the year, which is a 111-win pace, and puts them temporarily 2 games up on the Padres in the NL West.
Tomorrow the game is an hour earlier at 12:05 PM HT/3:05 PM PT/6:05 PM ET with … uh, somebody on the mound for the Dodgers against Aaron Nola.