Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Cardinals – Series 18

Los Angeles Dodgers (33-23)  |  St. Louis Cardinals (31-25)


“Baseball is like driving, it’s the one who gets home safely that counts.”

– Tommy Lasorda


Game 3:


Dodgers vs Cardinals
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers rubber game against the Cardinals stretched St. Louis to their limit, turning into a laugher quite early. But the 14-3 win on Wednesday night also highlighted a pair of former MVPs getting back on track.

Cody Bellinger was integral to an L.A. Dodger-record 11 runs in the first inning, hitting a two-run single and a grand slam in the opening frame. Those six runs batted in not only matched Bellinger’s career-high in a game but also set a Dodgers record for RBI in any inning. Before Bellinger, three Dodgers knocked in five runs in an inning, the last by Jeff Kent in the first on May 6, 2005, in Cincinnati.

It was naturally a struggle for Bellinger in his first few games back, trying to find his timing at the plate after missing nearly eight weeks with a fractured fibula, and only five minor league rehab games in Triple-A. He walked and scored in each of those first three games, but was also hitless in 10 at-bats, with seven strikeouts.

Bellinger didn’t start on Tuesday, with manager Dave Roberts wanting him to rest after three days patrolling center field, and use it as “a workday” to fine-tune his swing. Bellinger entered Monday’s game late and, after a strikeout in his first at-bat, lined a single to center in the ninth, the start of a hard-hitting stretch that continued into Wednesday:

  • 9th inning Tuesday: 101-mph single
  • 1st inning Wednesday: 106-mph, 2-run single
  • 1st inning Wednesday: 103.8-mph grand slam
  • 4th inning Wednesday: 100-mph lineout to left

Bellinger also walked in the series finale, something he has done in each of his four starts since returning.

That 11-run first inning was started with a fly ball double down the right-field line that bounced into the stands off the bat of Mookie Betts, whose offensive contributions have been much clearer since sitting Sunday with allergies.

Betts missed two games in San Francisco while dealing with left shoulder soreness, something that was bothering him for a few weeks, and since returning was just 1-for-16 before missing all but an inning of two games this weekend.

Against the Cardinals, Betts has been back in the thick of things on offense, reaching base nine times in 14 trips to the plate. That included three more hits on Wednesday — that ground-rule double, plus RBI singles in the first and fourth.

“When he goes, our guys have a way of following,” manager Dave Roberts said of Betts on Monday.

What a difference three days make.

Eleven runs in the first matched the Los Angeles Dodgers record for runs in any inning. The other time came in Game 3 of last year’s NLCS, and in solidarity with that performance, the Dodgers’ next three games are against the Braves.

Cardinals starter Carlos Martínez bore the brunt of that merry-go-round first, retiring only two of his 12 batters faced. His 10 runs allowed are the third-most ever at Dodger Stadium, trailing only two pitchers who allowed 11 in a start — Brandon Crumpton of the Pirates in 2014, and Chan Ho Park’s infamous two-grand-slam inning in 1999. All 11 runs allowed by Park came in the same inning, the Fernando Tatis Sr. game.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Walker Buehler (4-0 / )

LP: Carlos Martínez (3-5 / )

HR: Cody Bellinger (1); Paul Goldschmidt (7), Dylan Carlson (6)


Thursday is a travel day for the Dodgers, with current injured-listees AJ Pollock, Jimmy Nelson, and Corey Seager expected to join the team on the trip to Atlanta. Julio Urías starts the series opener on Friday night (4:20 p.m. PT; SportsNet LA), with the Braves turning to right-hander Ian Anderson.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

The Cardinals rallied for a run off of Blake Treinen in the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Treinen, who was unavailable Monday because “his body didn’t feel right,” a condition on which manager Dave Roberts declined to elaborate, was healthy enough to pitch a perfect eighth inning on nine pitches. In his first game since Friday, Treinen pitched in parts of two innings for the fifth time this season.

Tyler O’Neill opened the ninth with a single to center, then stole second. Edmundo Sosa tried to sacrifice O’Neill to third but his one-strike bunt was foul. Sosa hit the next pitch past a diving Justin Turner at third base to drive in the go-ahead run.

After Treinen struck out Jose Rondon for the first out of the ninth, Kenley Jansen was brought in to record the final two outs of the frame. Jansen was warming up in the bottom of the eighth, presumably to start the inning had the Dodgers taken the lead.

The bullpen game for the Dodgers mostly worked as well as they could have wanted. David Price was shaky, allowing five hits and a walk while recording five outs. He allowed a pair of runs, but the Dodgers wiggled out of further damage in both frames. Price struck out the final two batters of the first, and Joe Kelly relieved him to strike out the final batter of the second, both times leaving two runners on.

Kelly, Phil Bickford, Nate Jones, Mitch White, and Treinen combined to only allow one hit while recording 19 outs to get through the eighth inning, with nine strikeouts.

Tuesday was the fifth bullpen game deployed by the Dodgers in the last five weeks, and in none of the five did they allow more than three runs.

For a second straight night, the Dodgers were flummoxed by a Cardinals starting pitcher, and for the second straight night, they rebounded against the St. Louis bullpen.

John Gant held the Dodgers to four hits and three walks in six scoreless innings. Two of the hits came in the sixth, including Will Smith’s double to left that surely would have scored Mookie Betts from first base had the ball not bounced over the fence.


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: Michael Owens/Getty Images

Earlier in the inning, Tommy Edman made a leaping grab at second base to rob Max Muncy of a sure hit, then with two outs and both runners in scoring position, Gavin Lux’s would-be single was tracked down by a sliding catch in shallow center by Dylan Carlson.

Matt Beaty was the Dodgers offense on Tuesday, hitting a two-run home run in the seventh off Giovanny Gallegos, tying the score.

After pinch-hitter Yoshi Tsutsugo walked with two outs in the ninth, Cody Bellinger followed with a single, playing the final two innings in center field on what manager Dave Roberts described before the game as “a workday” when he was out of the lineup.

Mookie Betts followed with a drive to the warning track in left off closer Alex Reyes, but O’Neill ran it down with a leaping catch to end the game.

“It was remarkable,” Roberts said of the Cardinals’ defense. “Tonight, it was a difference-maker. That last ball that O’Neill made, the game’s over and we win the game.”


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Giovanny Gallegos (3-1 / 2.45 ERA)

LP: Blake Treinen (1-2 / 3.27 ERA)

SV: Alex Reyes (16)

HR: Matt Beaty (3)


The Dodgers go for the series win tonight with the first pitch at 6:10 on SportsNet LA. The Dodgers will start Walker Buehler on the mound in the homestand finale, facing Cardinals right-hander Carlos Martinez.



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Cardinals
Photo Credit: Ashley Landis/AP

Chris Taylor had the at-bat of the season, as his 14-pitch at-bat resulted in a bases-clearing double, helping the Dodgers pick up the 9-4 victory over the Cardinals on Memorial Day.

With the score knotted at three apiece, Taylor stepped up to the plate with the score tied at three. The bases were loaded, and there were two outs. About five minutes later, we had the best AB Dodgers fans have seen all season. Taylor saw an incredible 14 pitches before connecting on a fastball that he sent to right-center field, bringing in three runs to break the tie.

After quickly going up 2-0 in the count, Taylor fouled off five of the next six pitches he saw. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, he took ball three, making it a full count. He then fouled off four more pitches, bringing up the 14th pitch. Taylor got all of it as he sent it to the wall and cleared the bases to put L.A. up 6-3.

This wasn’t the only time Taylor delivered for the Dodgers on the night. He hit a solo home run in the second inning. He followed Gavin Lux, who also hit a solo home run before him. Overall, quite the night for Taylor.

“C.T. was just relentless in that at-bat,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Probably the best one we’ve had this year.” 

“It was fun when I hit a double,” Taylor said. “During the at-bat, I was trying to stay within myself and blackout, so to speak, and just stay focused. I could definitely feel the energy, especially when I came through with the hit.”

“He just wasn’t going to be denied,” Roberts said. “The guy was up there throwing 97, 98 mph, breaking ball, changeup.”

Flipping things over to the pitching now. Trevor Bauer was fine, as he gave the Dodgers 6 23innings. Just like all season, the home runs have killed him. He allowed four runs (one unearned) to score on three home runs. Aside from his three home runs allowed, Bauer allowed only two other hits on the night.

Bauer didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He recorded only five strikeouts, his second-fewest all season. On the night, he had “only” eight whiffs. Still, he gave the Dodgers a chance to win the game, and that’s all you can ask for.


Dodgers vs Cardinals
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Lux stayed hot, hitting two solo home runs, and Mookie Betts returned to the lineup after missing Sunday due to allergies. He looked good as new, as he reached base four times and had two hits. Cody Bellinger went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts. He’s now 0-for-10 with seven strikeouts since returning from the IL.

Victor Gonzalez relived Bauer in the seventh with two outs and the tying run at the plate. Gonzalez recorded the strikeout, getting the Dodgers out of the potential jam.

Nate Jones took the eighth inning for L.A. Apparently a new go-to option in high-leverage innings, Jones was solid as he retired the side in order. After the Dodgers added two insurance runs in the eighth, Phil Bickford shut things down in the ninth with a 1-2-3 inning.



Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Trevor Bauer (6-3 / 2.24 ERA)

LP: Ryan Helsley (3-3 / 6.75 ERA)

HR: Chris Taylor (7) Gavin Lux (4) Justin Williams (4) Dylan Carlson (5) Tyler O’Neill (12)



John Gant starts today for the Cardinals against the Dodgers. He held them hitless in three relief appearances in 2019, with the Cardinals winning all three games.The Dodgers will have a bullpen day. The first pitch is slated for 7:10 and can be seen on Spectrum SportsNet.


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– Joe Arrigo

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