Dodgers On Deck: Dodgers vs Astros – Series Recap


It was strong decisive outing from the Los Angeles Dodgers as they swept the Houston Astros in a two-game series. They not only put on a show for Dodger fans, but also entertaining the baseball world in the process. The series was the first time the two teams have faced off since the 2017 World Series, now infamous because of the sign-stealing scandal by the Astros.


This two-game series was about one thing, retribution. Though things looked copacetic on the exterior at the beginning, the fire was burning underneath. All it would take would be a simple glance, a motion, or maybe a pitcher unable to find the zone.

Justin Verlander was scheduled to face off against Dustin May in a pitching duel, but with Verlander suffering an elbow/forearm injury, in his place was the LHP Framber Valdez. Instead of Dustin May, who the Dodgers saved for game 2, RHP Walker Buehler was on the mound. 


Los Angeles Dodgers vs Houston Astros



Game 1 – Win 5-2


This game manifested into the most talked-about matchup all over social media, with the main reason being RHP Joe Kelly. Kelly became an incredibly popular figure in baseball this week, and instant fan-favorite, sans Astros fans, of course. All seemingly based on his inability to find the zone in the 6th. Carlos Correa put the Astros on the board first with a home run in the 2nd inning and then hit a single in the 4th, bringing in Michael Brantley for a run. Then the Dodgers came alive in the 5th, putting up five runs. Corey Seager, AJ Pollock, and Enrique Hernandez hit back to back singles to load the bases. 

Reliever Enoli Paredes replaced Valdez, and the Dodgers took full advantage of the pitching change. Mookie Betts walked to bring in a run, then Max Muncy got on base by fielders choice, followed by Justin Turner and  Cody Bellinger both hitting singles, each bringing in runs. Then Chris Taylor was walked to bring in another run; the pressure was just overflowing in the Dodgers favor, putting them in front 5-2.

This was the point where the Dodgers pitching takes center stage, most importantly from Brusdar Graterol. The Red Sox fans watching no doubt felt the pain similar to an ex-boyfriend watching their ex-significant-other win the Pulitzer prize, and start dating Daniel Craig. The 21-year-old Venezuelan pitcher brought the fire with “dancing” fastballs hitting triple digits, and with filthy sliders thrown in for coloring. Graterol produced a damn near perfect inning by striking out two and getting a ground out on 18 pitches.


Dodgers on Deck
Photo Credit: The Comeback

Then we come to the 6th inning, maybe from now on, also known as “the Kelly incident.”

The game has already become a bullpen battle, but it was this inning where the spicy hot sauce was slathered on top for flavor. The 6th inning was all about Joe Kelly, who was down 3-0 facing Alex Bregman and decided instead of pitching around the third baseman, he just decides to go and throw at Bregman’s head instead. 

His plan now was to turn the double play, which was almost successful, got Bregman out at 2nd by way of a force out. Kelly would walk Yuli Gurriel and then had a shaky time pitching to Carlos Correa, and then decides to throw a breaking ball at him, proceeding to strike him out to end the inning. 

On the way to the dugout, Joe Kelly was mouthing off to Correa, making the faces with some expletives added in, and the benches cleared in this post-COVID-19 era of baseball. Lots of shouting, no contact as Dusty Baker went “to bat” at trying to protect his players. During Spring Training in March, Baker pleaded for the MLB to take precautions so that the Astros’ players would be safe from retaliation; you have to give him credit for trying.

Unfortunately, you have to factor in the electronic sign-stealing tactics used to help win the Astros the World Series title. You have to think someone will pay for it in the form of “baseball justice,” even if it results in a fine or suspension (which it did).


Dodgers on Deck
Photo Credit: Leslie Plaza Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Kelly’s heedless demeanor while pitching to Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa was a look at the ugly side of baseball. Kelly is not afraid of backing down or shying away for that matter. His pitching history has proven that without a shadow of a doubt. His frustration gave way to a pitcher that created his own sense of justice, “the code,” where pitchers in the past were sometimes known as headhunters.

Joe Kelly was suspended for eight games (that he has since appealed), and Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was suspended for one game for the punishment of their actions on Tuesday night.


An interesting tidbit some Dodgers fans might forget, in game 1 of the 2013 NLCS, Joe Kelly hit Hanley Ramirez in the first inning with a fastball, breaking his ribs in the process. The repercussions of the hit would go on to have a devastating effect on the Dodgers for the rest of the series and ultimately cost them. Following Kelly’s exit, the Dodgers wouldn’t allow in any more runs for the rest of the way due to the excellent pitching from Caleb Ferguson, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen to close out the game.


Game 2 – Win 4-2

“Oh, the pitching…the pitching!” Or maybe it’s more like, “the hitting…the hitting.” (Marlon Brando’s voice from Apocalypse Now) You have to hand it to the pitching staff on both sides on this night; they were making the other team’s hitters swing as if they were trying to chase butterflies. The Dodgers ended up burning through 8 relievers in game 2 to sweep the series against the Houston Astros. On the mound to start for the Dodgers was the 22-year-old RHP Dustin May, who pitched 3.1 innings, allowing one run, three hits, and three strikeouts. For the Astros, it was the 23-year-old RHP Cristian Javier, pitched 5.2 innings allowing one run, two hits, and eight strikeouts.

Cristian Javier is a name the Dodgers will remember for future reference. Javier struck out the side on his first start in the majors, the batters being Max Muncy, Mookie Betts, and Cody Bellinger. Dustin May had a solid inning to answer back, but then both pitchers allowed runs in the 2nd inning. 

Corey Seager hit his first home run of the season in the top of the 2nd, seemingly to start the trend of offense to follow. Unfortunately, that did not happen. The Astros got a run in the bottom of the 2nd when Myles Straw singled and brought in Michael Brantley for an RBI, similar hope that this would be the start of an offensive onslaught of situational hitting. Nope, that didn’t happen either.


Dodgers on Deck
Photo Credit: myMotherLode

Both teams would not score until the 11th, locked in a stalemate of either great pitching or lousy hitting. At the top of the 11th, Mookie Betts would hit a double bringing in Enrique Hernandez for a run. Carlos Correa would tie the game again at the bottom of the 11th, hitting a single to bring in a run and earn himself an RBI.

At the top of the 13th inning, the hero finally emerges in designated hitter Edwin Rios. Rios hit a home run with Enrique Hernandez on 2nd (per new extras innings rule)  to take the lead. RHP Dennis Santana picked up a double play and a strikeout to finally end the marathon game and earn the win in extra innings.

The Dodgers struggled to produce only five hits in total, and only 4 through 11 innings. The Dodgers and Astros must be that perfect rival matchup where each team knows one another so well, somewhere in the same context of Batman and the Joker, where “they are destined to do this forever.” This game could provide a concerning look in that the Dodgers offense just isn’t there yet. Thankfully, their bullpen is.



Preview Of The Diamondbacks Series

Dodgers on Deck
Photo Credit: 9News

The Los Angeles Dodgers (4-2) will travel to Arizona for a four-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks (2-4). The Diamondbacks are coming off a series split with the Texas Rangers, and are looking to get some wins under their belt, after some tough losses in their first two series.

A player to look out for is on the mound is  RHP Merril Kelly, who had a no-hit bid going into the 7th, against Texas during his start. He put on a dominant pitching display to lead the Diamondbacks to a 4-1 victory game one of the series against the Rangers.


Tonight, 7/30 scheduled to pitch in game 1


The Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (1-0). / Diamondbacks: LHP Robbie Ray (0-1)

The Dodgers have not released who will be pitching in games 2 or 4, depending on the if Clayton Kershaw is released from the IL, it is still unknown when he will be added back to the rotation. 

On Friday, 7/31 scheduled to pitch in game 2


The Dodgers: is still TBD. /Diamondbacks: RHP Zac Gallen (0-1),

On Saturday, 8/1 scheduled to pitch game 3


The Dodgers: LHP Julio Urias / Diamondbacks: RHP Luke Weaver 

On Sunday, 8/2 scheduled to pitch in game 4


The Dodgers: TBD/ Diamondbacks: RHP Merril Kelly (1-0)

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