Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks – Series 14

Los Angeles Dodgers (26-18)  |  Arizona Diamondbacks (18-27)


“As long as you live keep smiling because it brightens everybody’s day.”

– Vin Scully


Game 4:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times

Albert Pujols hit his first home run as a Dodger and Will Smith delivered in the clutch twice, as the Dodgers got the sweep over the D-Backs with a 3-2 victory.

The Dodgers jumped on the board first thanks to a two-run home run from Albert Pujols. “The Machine” hit his first home run in Dodgers blue, the 668th of his Hall-of-Fame career. Pujols now has an RBI or hit in all four games he’s appeared in for the Dodgers so far.

For something even cooler, Pujols brought in Will Smith with the home run. If you recall, Pujols was the player who congratulated Smith at the Dodgers’ ring ceremony earlier in the season. Growing up, Pujols was his favorite player. Now, he’s coming in to score on a homer from him.

The bullpen did what needed to be done. David Price made his first major-league start since September of 2019. He gave the Dodgers two scoreless innings. Over Price’s last seven outings, he’s allowed one run in seven innings with 11 strikeouts. Aside from his opening outings to begin the season, he’s been great for the Dodgers.

Jimmy Nelson threw two scoreless innings and struck out five. Like Price, Nelson has thrived in his new bullpen role.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times

Joe Kelly pitched the sixth inning and was one strike away from a scoreless inning. On a 1-2 pitch, Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run homer to tie the game. The game would be tied, until the bottom of the seventh when Will Smith stepped up to the plate.

On the first pitch he saw, he launched this one into the stands to give the Dodgers the lead.

Smith made a huge impact again an inning later behind the plate, this time with his arm. With two outs, the D-Backs brought in Tim Locastro to pinch-run, representing the tying run. Having yet to be thrown out once in his career, Smith threw out Locastro to end the inning.

Kenley Jansen got the ninth for L.A. It was his third game in four nights and his second consecutive game he’s pitched in. Well, that didn’t seem to bother him. He threw a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts for his 10th save of the season. Oh, and he touched 97 mph. Yeah, sh*t you love to see.

The Dodgers now are eight games above .500 and will enter this three-game series with the Giants two games back of first place.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Victor Gonzalez (1-0)

LP: Merrill Kelly (2-5)

SV: Kenley Jansen (10)

HR: Albert Pujols (6) Will Smith (5) Eduardo Escobar (11)


The Dodgers travel up to the Bay to take on the Giants for a 3 game series starting tonight. Trevor Bauer takes on former Dodger Alex Wood. The first pitch is at 6:45 and the age can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 3:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Dodgers’ hit-it-to-the-outfield strategy worked wonders in the seventh inning, rallying for three runs in a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Neither starting pitcher allowed a hit until the fourth. Clayton Kershaw walked a batter before giving up his first hit, so when Eduardo Escobar’s drive cleared the center field wall that gave Arizona a 2-0 lead.

Max Muncy’s double in the bottom of the inning was the first hit off Matt Peacock, a 27-year-old rookie making his second major league start. Muncy scored on a single by Yoshi Tsutsugo, the latest in the Dodgers cleanup roulette to drive in a run.

That was it for the scoring against either starter and with Kershaw only at 83 pitches, having struck out eight and allowed only four baserunners through six innings, in most games he’d keep pitching. But with the Dodgers down a run and Kershaw’s spot leading off the bottom of the sixth, Dave Roberts opted for a better offensive chance, pulling his pitcher, much to the chagrin of Kershaw in the dugout.

The ploy worked to a point, with Luke Raley getting his first pinch-hit of the year, and a Muncy single put runners at the corners with one out. But Justin Turner flew out and Tsutsugo flew out to end that particular threat.

The rally began with a pair of walks to start the seventh, the first off Taylor Clarke and the second off Joe Mantiply. Then the weirdness started.

Pinch-hitter Albert Pujols lofted a fly ball into short right field that clanged off first baseman Pavin Smith’s glove for a single to load the bases, the first pinch-hit for Pujols since September 5, 2009, when he homered off Matt Capps in Pittsburgh.

With one out Will Smith hit a fly ball into deeper right field, this one biffed by Josh Rojas to score two runs, giving the Dodgers the lead.

“We caught a break. That’s sometimes baseball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We got a little good fortune. But we also created some breaks by making some plays ourselves.”


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

They added a run when Mookie Betts hit a ground-rule double beyond a diving Tim Locastro in center field.

Joe Kelly pitched a perfect seventh inning to pick up the win. After allowing four extra-base hits and four runs in his first game off the injured list on May 7, Kelly didn’t pitch for a week, and since then has retired all nine batters he faced.

Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth for his ninth save of the season, and the 321st save of his career, third-most all-time with one team. Jansen trails only Hall of Fame closers Mariano Rivera (652 saves with Yankees) and Trevor Hoffman (552 with Padres).


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Joe Kelly (1-0)

LP: Joe Mantiply (0-1)

SV: Kenley Jansen (9)

HR: Eduardo Escobar (10)


The Dodgers are rolling with a bullpen game on tonight. The first pitch is at 7:10 on SportsNet LA & MLB Network (out of town markets only). Right-hander Merrill Kelly starts the series finale Arizona.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit Mark J. Terrill/AP

Julio Urías cruised into the seventh inning and was backed by home runs from Mookie Betts, Chris Taylor, and Gavin Lux giving the Dodgers a 9-1 victory and a second win over the Diamondbacks in as many nights.

Betts started the scoring by leading off the game with a home run, his 25th career leadoff homer, and fourth with the Dodgers. He has reached base in 10 straight games and appears to be coming out of his early-season slump. Chris Taylor, who was back in the lineup for the first time since Saturday after briefly being sidelined by a sore right wrist, hit a two-run home run in the fifth to give the Dodgers the lead for good.

The floodgates for the Dodgers opened in the seventh, first loading the bases with nobody out. The first run came on the fourth bases-loaded hit by pitch of Albert Pujols’ career, giving him two RBI in two games with his new team. With two outs in the seventh and the bases still loaded, Gavin Lux continued his red-hot May by hitting a grand slam into the right-field seats near the visiting bullpen to put the game on ice.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit Mark J. Terrill/AP

Urías allowed only a run on three hits on Tuesday and retired 13 straight before the last two of those hits chased him with two outs in the seventh inning. It was the fourth start by Urías this season allowing no more than three hits while pitching at least five innings, and the 14th such start by a Dodgers pitcher in 2021. Only the Brewers have more, with 15 such starts.

Before the two harmless singles in the seventh — both were stranded by reliever Blake Treinen — it looked like Urías might match Walker Buehler, who gave up only one hit in his seven innings on Monday. It would have marked the first time the Dodgers got back-to-back starts of at least seven innings and no more than one hit allowed since Fred Frankhouse and Roy Henshaw did it on August 27 and August 28, 1937, for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Urías was electric once again for the Dodgers. He struck out eight and walked none, and got a season-high 17 swinging strikes — nine on the slurve, eight on the fastball.


Game 2 BoxScore:

WP: Julio Urías (6-1)

LP: Corbin Martin (0-1)

HR: Mookie Betts (5), Chris Taylor (5), Gavin Lux (2)


It’s Kershaw Day at Dodger Stadium tonight as the Dodgers host the Diamondbacks for the third game of their four-game series. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound against a yet to be determined Diamondbacks starter. You can watch the game on SportsNetLA with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm.



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Mark J Terrill/AP

Walker Buehler pitched seven scoreless innings, and the Dodgers held on for a 3-1 win over the Diamondbacks in Monday night’s series opener at Dodger Stadium.

The only thing wilder than seeing Albert Pujols in a Dodgers uniform was seeing Walker Buehler, well, wild. Buehler entered the night with 47 strikeouts against only three walks, trailing only Gerrit Cole among qualified pitchers in strikeout-to-walk ratio. But he walked four Diamondbacks on Monday, including three in a row in the fourth inning.

It was the fourth time Buehler has ever walked three in one inning, with the previous three frames coming in the National League Division Series from 2018-20.

That loaded the bases with only one out and the Dodgers clinging to a 2-0 lead. Twelve balls out of the previous 15 pitches brought a mound visit from pitching coach Mark Prior, after which Buehler settled down. He struck out Nick Ahmed swinging and got Tim Locastro to fly out to end the inning with no damage.

“It calmed me down,” Buehler said of Prior’s mound visit. “He got me where I needed to be.”

“It was a really good visit and just got him to go to a slider. I just think in that inning he didn’t have feel for the fastball or the cut fastball,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That kind of reset him. That’s an aggressive-swinging team, and you’re thinking, ‘If he can get through the fifth inning,’ and he ends up going seven.”


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Mark J Terrill/AP

Buehler only allowed one hit despite the walks — an infield single — and no runs, with seven strikeouts. He also got through seven innings; the eighth time in eight starts this season, he’s pitched at least six innings, the longest such streak of his career.

After the mound visit from Prior, Buehler retired his final 11 batters and threw 26 of his 32 pitches for strikes. After the fourth inning, Buehler got some words of encouragement from his new teammate.

“I was just telling him, ‘Great job. You made some really mature pitches. You didn’t let the moment take you out of control’,” Pujols said.

The final out of Buehler’s start was an impressive catch by Mookie Betts in foul territory down the right field line, which Betts ended up sprawled out like Superman on the railing.

On offense, the Dodgers were able to chase Madison Bumgarner after four innings, thanks to his own wildness. He walked four, and the Dodgers walked seven times on the night.

Bumgarner might have pitched deeper in the game but left with an injury which was later revealed as a “left adductor spasm,” according to Diamond Backs manager Torey Lovullo.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Mark J Terrill/AP

Will Smith homered in the second inning for the game’s first run, then in the third inning, Pujols cashed in one of those walks with a ground ball single up the middle for his first RBI as a member of the Dodgers.

“I feel like I still got some gasoline left in my tank,” Pujols said before the game.

“He’s a pro. He takes professional at-bats. He has a plan when he gets in the box,” Roberts said. “He knows how to drive in a run.”

With Corey Seager, out with a broken hand, Gavin Lux started at shortstop the last two days. In the eighth inning on Monday, saw two balls in the hole that required sliding attempts, but both ended up as hits, helping Arizona cut the Dodgers’ two-run lead in half.

Kenley Jansen entered with two outs in the eighth, they got out of the frame with no further damage, thanks to a ranging play by Justin Turner for the final out. The ball was hit up the middle, and Turner ranged to his left and threw off-balance to Pujols to narrowly record the final out of the inning and kill the rally.

After an insurance run, thanks to a Smith double and Lux singling him home in the eighth that pushed the lead back to two.

Jensen remained in the game to record another four-out save for the Dodgers.


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Walker Buehler (2-0 / 2.98 ERA)

LP: Madison Bumgarner (4-3 / 4.15 ERA)

SV: Kenley Jansen (8)

HR: Will Smith (4)


The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are right back at it tonight in game 2 game of their 4 game series. Julio Urías starts for the Dodgers and he will be facing a yet to be determined Diamondback starter at 7:10. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA.

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