After coming off a frustrating series against the Rockies to end their otherwise successful road trip, the Dodgers returned home for their most important series of the season against the Padres and took home probably the unlikeliest of wins in beating Joe Musgrove with Mitch White, 3-1.
In what seemed like a gigantic mismatch on paper, White pitched admirably, as he has really all year. Things didn’t start well, though it really wasn’t much of his own fault, as Gavin Lux misread a Manny Machado fliner to left that resulted in a double, and Nomar Mazara dumped a mediumly-hit fly against the outfield shift for a single to make it 1-0 to the Padres.
The 2nd saw more mess and a chance to blow the game open as the bases were loaded with one out on a bloop single, walk, and bunt single. However, Chris Taylor stepped up in right by taking a Jurickson Profar liner and drilling a throw to get Trent Grisham at home.
White then allowed only a single over the next two innings, but found a jam again in the 5th. A one-out double was moved to third with a wild pitch, and Manny stepped up. However, White ended his day with a huge strikeout and then handed things over to the pen. Honestly, he was better than even his line given the bad luck on hits: 4.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K, 80 Pitches.
Justin Bruihl continued to look like a LOOGY, getting a strikeout to escape the 5th against a lefty. Then issuing a walk to another lefty and getting a fly out from the next lefty. Bruihl was allowed to face one righty and got him to groundout that advanced the runner to second, but bounced back against his final lefty with a fly out to get through the 6th.
Musgrove has pitched like he wants a huge contract in a walk year, and he looked on his game early. In fact, he retired 18 of the first 21 batters he faced, and really it was 19 because a Max Muncy “single” down the line in right should’ve been a double but he was erased after he popped up on the slide into the bag.
Of course, the other two in that stretch were both Justin Turner, who homered in the 2nd and singled in the 5th.
So things were rolling along until one out in the 7th, when those two guys got Musgrove for real damage. Muncy drew a walk and JT followed by smashing another homer, his sixth of the year for a 3-1 lead.
Musgrove also gave up a two-out “triple” to Jake Lamb past a diving Grisham after striking him out twice on six total pitches and then getting him down 0-2, but he did get through the frame without further damage.
The Dodgers only ended up facing the Padres pen for an inning in the 8th and went down in order.
On the other end, the Dodgers pen continued to work with Evan Phillips getting the 7th on three groundouts, then got a strikeout of Machado to start the 8th. He was relieved by Alex Vesia, who didn’t fare as well, giving up a single and walk but still keeping the game 3-1.
Craig Kimbrel got the 9th and was surprisingly drama-free, with a generous looking strikeout, a pop out, and a strikeout with a fastball on the black to end it.
This isn’t really Dave Roberts since it’s a replay room decision with the help of Bob Geren, but woof.
The Dodgers are now 47-28 on the year and hold a 2.5-game lead over the Padres in the NL West.
Tomorrow’s game should be interesting with Tony Gonsolin facing Blake Snell at 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET. Gonsolin is definitely having a better year than Snell, but memes aside, Snell has always done well against the Dodgers.