Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Athletics – Series 2 Recap

Los Angeles Dodgers (5-2)  |  Oakland Athletics (1-6)


“It’s time for Dodgers baseball”  – Vin Scully


Dodgers vs Athletics
Photo Credit: OC Register

The Los Angeles Dodgers came to Oakland as winners of three straight games after their Opening Day loss to the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers had yet to put together a complete game, but they still are better than almost any team in baseball. To put it into perspective, as bad as the Dodgers played in their first game, they still were in a position to win the game. That speaks volumes about the type of talent the world champions possess.

On Monday evening, the Dodgers sent one of their young studs to the mound in Dustin May. May beat out left-hander David Price and right-hander Tony Gonsolin. Price is starting the season in the bullpen, and Gonsolin started on the injured list.

This series is a really of 1988 World Series, where the Dodgers beat the mighty Oakland A’s, who were baseball’s best team that season and lead by Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire, and manager Tony LaRussa. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda used the underdog role for his imperfectly perfect team and defeated the A’s. It’s only fitting that the Dodgers and A’s face off early in the 2021 season, just months after the Dodgers were able to recreate ’88.


Game 3:


Dodgers vs Athletics
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

The Dodgers had their brooms out and were looking to finish a sweep of the Oakland Athletics Wednesday afternoon at Ricky Henderson Field at Oakland Coliseum. But the Dodgers were unable to finish off the sweep, falling to A’s in extra innings 4-3.

Dodgers pitching was mostly strong, and the offense that was still standing looked like it did just enough to make it hold up. But before Los Angeles could leave Oakland with a sweep, the A’s scored once in the ninth and once in the 10th for a 4-3 win, snapping the Dodgers’ five-game winning streak.

Kenley Jansen, tasked with protecting a one-run lead in the ninth, walked two and allowed a single, throwing only nine of his 22 pitches for strikes. A sacrifice fly to center field by Elvin Andrus brought home the tying run with two outs in the frame.

“It’s uncharacteristic for him to not have the command like that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “There were some misfires in there, some spiked fastballs that just doesn’t happen with him. We’ll dig into it.”


Dodgers vs Athletics
Photo Credit: Beyond the Box Score

In the 10th inning, the A’s free runner on second to open the frame against Jimmy Nelson advanced to third on a flyout to center field, then scored on a walk-off single by Mitch Moreland on a 1-2 pitch.

Trevor Bauer pitched into the seventh inning for a second straight start, allowing only a pair of runs. One came on a hit by pitch, two steals by Ramon Laureano, and a wild pitch, and the other was much easier for Oakland, a solo home run by Matt Chapman.

“It was a mixed bag,” Bauer said. “I thought my stuff was really good, and I was happy with some mid-inning adjustments I made. I was just behind a lot, 1-0, 2-0. I gotta clean that up.”

Half of Bauer’s 20 outs recorded were via strikeout, putting him in select company. Only three pitchers have struck out 10 batters in their first two starts with the Dodgers: Karl Spooner (1954), Yu Darvish (2017), and Bauer.

Bauer isn’t the only member of the rotation pitching deep into games. Wednesday marked the sixth straight game the Dodgers starter has pitched at least six innings, their longest stretch since May 30-June 4, 2019. That has done wonders for giving the bullpen rest, though Jansen was called on for the second of back-to-back days and blew his first save of the season.

Victor Gonzalez, who recorded his only batter faced for the final out of the eighth inning Wednesday, is the other Dodgers reliever to pitch on back-to-back days. Every other Dodgers relief appearance in the opening week came with at least two days’ rest.


Dodgers vs Athletics
Photo Credit: Spectrum News

On offense, the Dodgers were already playing shorthanded with Cody Bellinger out with a calf injury, but then Mookie Betts was held out of the lineup on get-away day after feeling lower back stiffness Wednesday morning. Betts is expected to play in Friday’s home opener, but Bellinger is not.

“I don’t expect him to be in the lineup Friday unless something really crazy happens for the better,” Roberts said. “[The injured list] is still a possibility. We’ll kind of get through tomorrow, get to the ballpark on Friday, and make a decision then.”

The resulting lineup machinations on Wednesday led to catcher Austin Barnes starting at designated hitter for the first time in his career. Barnes singled during a rally for the go-ahead run in the sixth and nearly had a home run, but A’s left fielder Seth Brown had other ideas in the fourth inning.

The lineup did get some reinforcements, though, in the form of Chris Taylor, back in the lineup after missing a game with a left elbow contusion. Taylor doubled, singled, was hit by a pitch, and walked, scoring twice from the leadoff spot, and is hitting .357/.591/.500 on the season. Yes, that’s a .591 on-base percentage, reaching base 13 times in his 22 plate appearances.

Max Muncy has a .531 on-base percentage, including walking four times against the A’s on Wednesday. The Dodgers threatened for most of the day, reaching base 16 times in the game. But, like the first game of the road trip when they struggled to get those runs in, the Dodgers were just 2-for-21 with runners in scoring position.

“Today is one of those days we didn’t cash in on opportunities,” Roberts said. “You’re going to have those days.”


Wednesday Boxscore


WP: Yusmeiro Petit (1-0): 6⅔ IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts

LP: Jimmy Nelson (0-1): ⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 unearned run, 1 walk

HR: Matt Chapman (1)


The Dodgers are off Thursday. Next game is Friday against the Nationals at a renovated Dodger Stadium, when the Dodgers get their World Series rings before the home opener.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Athletics
Photo Credit: AP

Clayton Kershaw dominates A’s, backed by Dodgers home runs, as the Dodgers ace goes 7 strong innings in a Dodgers win, their 5th straight to open the season 5-1.

The contrast between Clayton Kershaw’s first two starts of 2021 is like night and day, and not just because of the time of the game. The Dodgers left-hander was in full control on Tuesday night, pitching seven strong innings in a 5-1 win over the A’s in Oakland.

Though the A’s got to Kershaw right away, with consecutive doubles by Jed Lowrie and Ramon Laureano in the first inning giving Oakland a 1-0 — believe it or not, that was the A’s first lead all season, in their sixth game — that was the high point for the home team on Tuesday.

Working around those doubles, Kershaw struck out three batters in the first and eight on the night, giving him 2,743 strikeouts in his career in the regular season and postseason combined, surpassing Don Sutton’s 2,739 for the most in Dodgers history.

After the two doubles, Kershaw retired 20 of his next 22 batters, allowing only a third-inning single by Jed Lowrie and a double off the wall by Stephen Piscotty with two outs in the seventh, the latter ending a string of 12 straight batters retired. Kershaw got through seven innings for the 191st time in 356 regular season starts.

Tuesday was a stark contrast from Kershaw’s opening day start, during which he allowed six runs. After that start in Colorado, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts mentioned, “The slider just didn’t have the depth that it usually does.”

Kershaw got 16 whiffs on the slider alone against the A’s and 21 swings and misses overall, the latter his highest total since July 9, 2017.


Dodgers vs Athletics
Photo Credit: CBS LA / Getty Images

The Dodgers answered Oakland’s run right away with the equalizer in the second inning but took the lead for good on a pair of third-inning home runs, a two-run shot from Max Muncy, and a solo job from Edwin Ríos.

For Muncy, it meant a return to where he made his major league debut, with the A’s at the Oakland Coliseum on April 25, 2015. But Muncy then was a much different player than Muncy now, and that’s reflected in the stats. In parts of two major league seasons with the A’s, Muncy hit .195/.290/.321 with five home runs in 96 games.

Since joining the Dodgers, Muncy has been one of the most potent power hitters in baseball, hitting .247/.374/.519 with 83 home runs in 342 games since the start of 2018. This was just his third career home run in 49 career games at the Oakland Coliseum.

“I don’t know if I can necessarily describe how it feels. You know, there wasn’t really a whole lot of good memories on the other side,” Muncy said Tuesday. “But this is where I made my debut, so that’s always going to be special to me. And I still have a lot of good relationships with the people up there.”


Tuesday’s Boxscore:


WP: Clayton Kershaw (1-1): 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 8 strikeouts

LP: Chris Bassitt (0-2): 6 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

HR’s: Max Muncy (1), Edwin Ríos (1), Mookie Betts (1)

A quick look ahead to Game 3:


The Dodgers and A’s are back at it for an afternoon start on getaway day, with Trevor Bauer going for the sweep against left-hander Jesus Luzardo in a 12:37 p.m. PT start.


The World Champion Dodgers look to sweep the Oakland Athletics Wednesday afternoon.  Trevor Bauer will be on the mound against the A’s. The first pitch is at 12:37 p.m and can be seen on SportsNet LA and on MLB TV.


Game 1:


Dodgers vs Athletics
Photo Credit: True Blue L.A.

Dustin May tosses scoreless outing in season debut as Dodgers win. May looked great, and he got a lot of help after the Dodgers offense came alive against the Oakland Athletics.

Entering spring training, Dustin May wasn’t expected to crack the starting rotation. After a fantastic spring, he earned the final fifth spot. He made his season debut on Monday, giving the Dodgers a fantastic start as they won their fourth straight game, defeating the Athletics, 9-3.

May threw six scoreless innings on Monday, issuing only two hits. He had eight strikeouts, tying his career-high.

There were a few situations in which May found himself in some jams, but he was able to work out of them nicely and avoid any damage.

Although it was May’s first outing of the season, May’s stuff was already in mid-season form.

Switching over to the offense, the Dodgers got everything they needed early on. Seven of their nine runs came over the course of a two-inning span. They put four on the board in the second and three on the board in the third. After scoring a run, Corey Seager came up to the plate with the bases loaded. To no surprise, he swung on the first pitch and cleared the bases with a double, giving the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.

Will Smith hit a home run the following inning, giving him his team-leading second of the season. Zach McKinstry later brought in a run with a single. On the night, McKinstry had three hits. On the season, the rookie is hitting an outstanding .545.

Later in the game, Justin Turner hit his first home run of the season. Crazy enough, it’s the earliest in the season he’s ever hit a home run during his career.


Monday’s Boxscore


WP: Dustin May (1-0) 6 IP, 0 ER, 8 SO, 2 BB

LP: Frankie Montas (0-1) 2 23 IP, 7 ER

HR’s: Justin Turner (1) Will Smith (2)


Dodgers News and notes

  • Chris Taylor got hit by a pitch and left the game. He was later diagnosed with a left elbow contusion and is considered to be day-to-day.
  • Outfielder Cody Bellinger left Monday’s game after getting spiked on his leg.


Scheduled to pitch game 2 vs. the Oakland A’s:

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (0-1 – 7.94 ERA) vs. A’s: Chris Bassit (0-1 – 5.06 ERA) – Tuesday 4/6 


The Dodgers look to extend their winning streak to five games on Tuesday night as Clayton Kershaw takes the mound looking to bounce back after a rough Opening Day. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m and can be seen on SportsNet LA and on MLB TV.


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Joe Arrigo

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