Los Angeles Dodgers @ Arizona Diamondbacks (9/10/20) — Final: ARI 5, LAD 2
The bullpen gave them a chance, but poor execution by the Los Angeles Dodgers offensively holds them back, as they lose the series finale to the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5–2
Corey Seager singled off of Madison Bumgarner in the opening frame, but that was all. On his second pitch of the night, Dustin May was hit on the foot with a comebacker, resulting in a leadoff single and a visit from the trainer. He stayed in the game, and while another batter reached on an infield single, May was able to work out of the jam thanks to a great running catch by AJ Pollock. A struggling Cody Bellinger’s uplifting single in the second was followed by a sharp knock from Will Smith. However, Bumgarner got fly-outs of Kiké Hernàndez and Austin Barnes, both being caught a few feet in front of the warning track, to strand the runners and end the frame. May went out for the bottom of the second to test his left foot in hopes of continuing; however, after throwing a few warm-up pitches, he subtly limped off the field. Being called upon earlier than expected, Victor González’s day commenced with an infield single by David Peralta. On a pitch in the dirt, Barnes’ throw down to 2nd was wild, allowing Peralta to take 3rd before González struck-out Nick Ahmed. Making some very good pitches, González worked a pair of soft pop-outs to strand the runner 90ft from home. On consecutive pitches in the third, Seager and Pollock hit back-to-back home runs that opened a 2–0 lead for LA. Alex Wood was given the home frame, and a misplayed grounder allowed the first batter he faced to reach on yet another Dodger error — their seventh of the series. Runners were on 2nd and 3rd after Josh VanMeter’s double up the line, and Christian Walked tied the game with an extra-base hit of his own. Wood managed to mitigate the damage against the heart of the Diamondbacks lineup, including a punch-out to end the inning. Hernàndez led-off the fourth with a 2-strike single, and Smith ripped a double to give LA a great opportunity. Barnes flew-out to shallow center for the first out, unable to bring a run home, and Bumgarner intentionally walked Betts to load the bases. It proved to be the right move, as Seager grounded into an inning-ending double-play, and the Dodgers failed to regain the lead. Tony Gonsolin, after it was announced this morning that he would be pitching majorly out of the bullpen for the remainder of this season + October, entered for the bottom of the fourth. Ahmed and Carson Kelly each singled, but Gonsolin was able to escape unscathed. Bumgarner was a strike away from his first clean inning of the game, but he walked Taylor. Crushing a line-drive that ricocheted off of Bumgarner right to 1st base for the final out, another unlucky result for Bellinger ended the top half in frustrating fashion. Gonsolin, topping it off with a strike-out, worked a 6-pitch frame to conclude the fifth. Riley Smith walked Hernàndez to open the sixth before W. Smith singled up the middle. Hernàndez took 3rd, but Smith was tagged out attempting a return to 1st after hesitating a few steps towards 2nd. Barnes walked on 4-pitches, and with Betts at the plate, LA attempted to steal home. Barnes stole 2nd, and the throw was relayed back to the plate, cutting down Hernàndez from 3rd. If this series (and better yet… this year) hasn’t been weird enough already, a five minute delay and an on-field review during Betts’ at-bat determined that he had actually taken ball 4 a pitch after it had happened. Following all that chaos, Seager grounded-out and the game reminded tied 2–2. Ahmed‘s 1-out knock preceded Daulton Varsho’s RBI triple off of Gonsolin that gave Arizona their first lead of the game, 3–2. Kelly subsequently hit a 2-run homer that extended the D-Backs advantage to 5–2. The Dodgers went down looking in order in their half of the seventh, and Gonsolin worked a 1–2–3 frame that sent the game to the eighth. Still facing R. Smith, Hernàndez walked with 1-out and W. Smith’s infield single gave him his first career 4-hit performance, while also bringing the tying run to the plate. Pinch-hitting for Barnes was Edwin Ríos, but he struck-out on 3-pitches. Betts flew-out, adding to the sum of runners left stranded. Gonsolin, selflessly saving the bullpen, went back out for a fifth inning of work and wrapped up the eighth with a scoreless frame. Pollock’s walk was all for LA in the ninth, who fell short and lost the ballgame.
The boys in blue are unable to sweep the Diamondbacks, losing the finale. While they won the series, injuries to Walker Buehler and Dustin May this week, plus a large amount of work from the bullpen, causes a bit of worry. Tomorrow, they’ll have an off-day and head back to Los Angeles before opening a 2-game weekend set against the Houston Astros. While hitting with runners-in-scoring-position is paramount, they’ll also need to pick up their recently sloppy defense. Julio Urías, 3–0 with a 3.86, gets the ball looking to build momentum headed into the postseason. Framper Valdez, 3–3 with an ERA of 3.61, starts for the Astros who have lost 8 of their last 10. 5:07pm first pitch Saturday. Go Dodgers!