Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Angels – Series 11

Los Angeles Dodgers (18-17)  |  Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (15-18)


“You can almost taste the pressure now.”

– Vin Scully

Game 3:


Dodgers vs Angels
Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

After scoring 14 runs on Saturday, the Dodgers score one on Sunday as the Dodgers offense goes quiet yet again, and they drop the series to Angels.

After scoring 14 runs on Saturday, the Dodgers only put one run across the board on Sunday as they lost to the Angels, 2-1.

The lone run came from the Dodgers in the third inning. Justin Turner and Max Muncy both reached with a walk, bringing up Chris Taylor with two outs. On a 2-1 pitch, Taylor singled to center field, bringing in the first run of the game.

As I mentioned, that would be it for the day. Outside of that single from Taylor, the Dodgers had only three other hits all day, all coming from Corey Seager. They still had their chances, though. The Dodgers went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners on base. L.A. had nine walks, but they just couldn’t capitalize with runners on base.

They had a prime opportunity in the ninth inning as they had two runners on with only one out. Justin Turner and Will Smith couldn’t deliver the much-needed hit to tie the game, and the Dodgers lost their 15th game in their last 20. This is now the fifth straight series they’ve lost.

Trevor Bauer gave the Dodgers six strong innings. With the exception of the third inning, he was in cruise control the entire way. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Bauer allowed four consecutive Angels to reach base, as they took the 2-1 lead. After that, they couldn’t get anything off him. He retired the final 10 hitters he faced, striking out half of them. He finished the day with nine strikeouts.

“I’m pissed,” Bauer said. “I freaking hate losing. That’s why I came here. We’re not playing up to our capability. I’m mad. I’m not going to speak for anybody else.

“You can say it’s early and there’s no need to panic, and it’s all true. At the end of the day, we’re not just going to roll out the bats and balls and win baseball games. We’re not going to sleepwalk our way to winning the division and winning the World Series again. That’s not how it works. You got to go out there and beat somebody every day. We haven’t been good at it and we need to get better.”


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Aaron Slegers (2-0 / 3.77 ERA)

LP: Trevor Bauer (3-2 / 2.50 ERA)

SV: Raisel Iglesias (5)


The Dodgers are off Monday as they get ready to take in the Seattle Mariners in a two game series that starts on Tuesday. The Dodgers will send Walker Buehler to the mound while the Mariners will start Yusei Kikuchi. You can watch the game on SpoersNetLA or MLB Network if you are out of market. First pitch is at 7:10.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Angels
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

The Dodgers offense finally gets going and bails out another forgettable performance by the bullpen. An 8-run 4th inning helped build a cushion to mask another horrific relief performance.

Inconsistency has been the hallmark of the Dodgers offense this season, but Saturday night came out on the positive end of the spectrum. The scoring in the Dodgers’ most prolific inning of the season began with a painful spark and helped build a cushion against a terrible bullpen in a 14-11 win over the Angels in Anaheim.

Neither team had a hit through the first three innings, but after a Mookie Betts walk to open the fourth, Corey Seager singled to put runners at the corners against Dylan Bundy. With one out, Max Muncy hit a grounder up the third-base line that was rolling foul as Betts retreated to third base. José Rojas tagged Betts just in case, but in doing so got him in a delicate, apparently cup-less spot.

Betts was able to smile through the discomfort and had more reason to smile a few pitches later when Muncy singled him home for the first run of the game.

The Dodgers found their potency after they broke the seal, adding two more singles and a Matt Beaty double to chase Bundy with four runs in, but they weren’t done yet.

The inning reached the sublime once Steve Cishek entered, beginning with Joe Maddon’s inexplicable decision to intentionally walk Gavin Lux with first base open, loading the bases with one out. After hitting the ball hard against Bundy, Cishek’s first three batters faced all had Treinen-esque soft contact.

All three were singles, including a two-run cue-shot single from Betts, who didn’t belt it but that’s allowed after getting below-the-belted earlier in the frame.

The fourth inning also provided many chances for the Dodgers to turn around a season-long issue. Entering Saturday, the Dodgers had a runner on third base with less than two outs 92 times this season, by far the most opportunities in the league (the next-highest team had 79 such chances). But only 30 scored a 32.6-percent rate that ranked dead last in the majors.


Dodgers vs Angels
Photo Credit: True Blue LA

Last year, for instance, the Dodgers scored 54-percent of those runners, sixth in MLB.

But in the fourth inning alone, with the merry-go-round nature of the rally, the Dodgers actually put six different runners on third base with less than two outs. All six scored.

Eight runs in the fourth marked the Dodgers highest-scoring inning (beating the six runs they scored in the eighth inning April 28 against Cincinnati) but then added five more runs in the fifth.

The Dodgers have seen some extremes in the first nine games of their 10-game road trip. Two wins featured 16 and now 14 runs scored, while the seven losses combined for 18 runs.

All that scoring removed any of the pressure off Clayton Kershaw, making his first regular-season start on three days rest of his career. He didn’t need nearly that much support, allowing only two singles and a walk in his five scoreless innings.

He was pulled after only 71 pitches, after an animated dugout discussion between Kershaw and Dave Roberts in the top of the sixth that was shown on the SportsNet LA broadcast.

“Five innings is nothing to write home about, honestly. But the team, and Doc, felt that was what’s best coming off short rest,” Kershaw said. “Any time you pitch five innings, you don’t feel like you did your job, but in this situation it seemed to make the most sense.”

Armed with a 13-run lead, Roberts turned to the low end of the bullpen totem pole, and Dennis Santana, Mitch White, and Garrett Cleavinger showed very little to suggest they should be in the majors right now.

Santana retired one of his six batters faced and allowed four runs in the seventh. White allowed five hits and a walk to his 11 batters faced, allowing six unearned runs with a little help from an error by Austin Barnes, playing second base as three starters were already out of the game by then.

Cleavinger relieved White with two out and two on in the seventh, and immediately allowed a home run to Rojas, turning a once 13-run lead into a three-run game. What looked like a sure night off for the high-leverage relievers went out the window.

“You’ve got to come in and throw strikes. The game, a 13-run lead, we’ve got to be able close out four innings. There’s no other way to look at that,” Roberts said. “I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I wasn’t pleased with the fact that you’ve got to get leverage guys into a ball game.”

Victor Gonzalez retired all three batters he faced in the eighth, and Blake Treinen struck out two Angels in the ninth, recording his first save of the season. He’s the fifth Dodgers pitcher with a save this season.

The win, even though much closer than expected after the early lead, snapped a four-game Dodgers losing streak.

“Obviously you don’t want that to happen, but beggars can’t be choosers,” Betts said. “We’ll take any win we can get.”

At the very least, this game helped show why a bullpen game with the current Dodgers personnel is untenable and should be avoided at all costs.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Clayton Kershaw (5-3 / 2.62 ERA)

LP: Dylan Bundy (0-4  / 5.03 ERA)

SV: Blake Treinen (1)

HR: José Rojas (1)



Trevor Bauer starts this afternoon as the Dodgers try for their first series win in three weeks while the Angels counter with Jose Quintana. First pitch is scheduled for 1:07 pm and can be seen SportsNet LA, Bally Sports West, MLB Network.



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Angles
Photo Credit: OC Register

The Dodgers lost again, this time to the Angels, but at least the game didn’t go into extra innings.

Most of the Dodgers losses have been in close games this year, sometimes excruciatingly so. They lead the majors with nine one-run losses, two more than any other team. But this one was a butt whooping, 9-2 in Anaheim.

Through most of this now 4-14 skid, the Dodgers have had an underperforming offense and a shaky bullpen, but a starting rotation that has mostly kept them in games. Last night, all three facets went south.

Julio Urías had a rare clunker on Friday, getting touched for five runs in five innings. The big inning came in the second when he allowed home runs to Justin Upton and Taylor Ward and a double to Drew Butera, fueling a four-run inning.

Urías allowed more homers and runs on Friday night than in his last three starts — four runs and one home run, in 19 innings — combined.

“Julio didn’t have his A stuff,” said catcher Will Smith. “He had that one bad inning.”

Friday also marked the first time Urías was credited with a loss since Game 4 of the 2019 NLDS. Between losses, the left-hander pitched 105⅔ innings in 23 games, including 18 starts, going 11-0 with a 2.98 ERA.

To top things off, AJ Pollock left the game in the sixth inning after suffering an apparent leg injury in left field.

That necessitated a few things. Sheldon Neuse had to move from designated hitter to left field, just the fourth game he’s played in the outfield as a professional or in college. His previous experience in the outfield came with Triple-A Las Vegas in 2019, when he started three games in left.

Losing the DH put the pitcher in the lineup, and since Edwin Uceta finished the game with 2⅓ innings on the mound, his spot came up in the eighth inning. Uceta grounded out but also became the first Dodgers pitcher ever to bat at Angel Stadium.

Angels reliever Patrick Sandoval recorded the final 10 outs for his first major league save.


Dodgers vs Angles
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

The top of the sixth inning provided an overview of the Dodgers offense on the night. Pollock had two pitches that appeared to be in the strike zone called balls, including that one above, and this followed a pair of one-out hits on plays that should have been made by Jared Walsh — any time the box score describes a play as “doubles on a pop up to the first baseman,” you know it’s bad — and José Rojas.

But despite the favorable scoring chance, Pollock struck out, then the pinch-hitter Neuse struck out, keeping the inning scoreless.

On the night, the Dodgers stranded seven runners in scoring position and had another (Corey Seager) picked off second. If it’s any consolation, even if all of the stranded runners scored, the game still would have only been tied.


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Griffin Canning (3-2 / 5.19 ERA)

LP: Julio Urías (4-1 / 3.59 ERA)

HR: Mookie Betts (4); Justin Upton (6), Taylor Ward (1)


The Dodgers and Angels were right back at it at 6:07pm with Clayton Kershaw going on three days rest for the Dodgers, while the Angels counter with Dylan Bundy. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA and Bally Sports SoCal.


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