Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Diamondbacks – Series 29

Los Angeles Dodgers (55-35)  |  Arizona Diamondbacks (26-65)


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

– Vin Scully


Game 3:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Ashley Landis/AP

It took a little while, but the Dodgers found their offense late on Sunday, tying the game in a wild eighth inning, then winning 7-4 on a three-run walk-off home run by Max Muncy in the ninth to take two out of three against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

Albert Pujols opened the ninth with a leadoff single off J.B. Bukauskas, then was pinch-run for by Zach Reks, who was just called up Saturday. Zach McKinstry sacrificed Reks into scoring position, then Mookie Betts ran a 3-1 count before Arizona decided to intentionally walk him.

It was a logical move to do,” Muncy said of the intentional walk to Betts.

That set the stage for Muncy, who will start at designated hitter for the National League All-Stars on Tuesday night. He designated this pitch well into the right-field pavilion for the Dodgers’ second straight three-run inning, and their second straight win.

They don’t even move,” Joe Davis said of Arizona’s outfielders on his home run call for SportsNet LA.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Ashley Landis/AP

It seemed like the Dodgers’ record-Saturday production would carry over into Sunday. Betts led off the first inning with a home run, his third in the last five games. But that was the Dodgers’ only run in the first seven innings. Nobody other than Betts even had a hit until AJ Pollock doubled with one out in the fifth. He was stranded.

You’d think it carries over automatically, but it just doesn’t work that way,” said Dave Roberts. “Our guys were still grinding, trying to take good at-bats. But we just couldn’t stress [Merrill] Kelly. Fortunately, we got some momentum in that eighth and ninth inning.”

Down three runs in the eighth inning, the Dodgers loaded the bases with nobody out with a walk and two singles against Noé Ramirez. Justin Turner followed with a fly ball to the warning track that right fielder Josh Reddick completely whiffed on. The would-be sacrifice fly still scored a run, but somehow was scored a single. After Will Smith was hit by a pitch one out later to bring home another run, the Dodgers gave that out back.

Chris Taylor singled to right-center to bring home the tying run, but as another ball got away from Reddick, Turner was held at third base while Smith was caught tried to advance off second.

Kenley Jansen worked around a two-out single in the ninth to preserve the tie, and for his efforts picked up his first win of the season.

The Dodgers’ comeback win kept them within two games of San Francisco in the National League West.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Kenley Jansen (1-2)

LP: J.B. Bukauskas (1-2)

HR: Mookie Betts (13), Max Muncy (19); Stephen Vogt (5), Daulton Varsho (1)


The All-Star break is here, a four-day break for most Dodgers. The next Dodgers game is also in Denver, on Friday against the Rockies with Julio Urías starting the opener on SportsNet LA at 5:40 p.m.




Game 2:

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

All five Dodgers All-Stars chipped in, riding a quartet of big innings to blow out the Diamondbacks, 22-1 on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

It matches the most runs the Dodgers have scored in a game since moving to Los Angeles in 1958 and is the most runs scored by any team in a game at Dodger Stadium.

We eked it out,” said pitcher Walker Buehler, who allowed no runs.

Max Muncy, who will start at designated hitter for the National League on Tuesday at Coors Field, doubled home fellow All-Stars Mookie Betts and Chris Taylor in the first to open the scoring.

Home runs later in the frame by former All-Stars Cody Bellinger (2017, 2019) and AJ Pollock (2015) gave the Dodgers a quick, 5-0 lead. Pollock would also homer later, part of a four-hit night. He has four home runs in his last three games.

But they followed that up with four more in the second, thanks to another All-Star.

In an offseason that didn’t see the Dodgers add any offense until February, re-signing Justin Turner was mandatory. Even at 36, he’s still the glue to the middle of a formidable batting order that — even though it doesn’t seem like it an alarming number of times — leads the National League in runs scored.

Turner, who found out about his second All-Star team berth before Friday’s series opener, leads the team with 79 starts this season. It’s his most durable season in years after an offseason Whole30 diet that, as Turner put it on Saturday, “allowed me to be available more, to be on the field more, recover better, not have as many aches and pains from going out and playing every day.”


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports

The constancy of Turner in the lineup has been the safety net the Dodgers have sorely needed this year, so it’s only right that a net returned the favor.

After a single and two walks loaded the bases in the second inning against Diamondbacks left-hander Caleb Smith, Turner worked a full count, thanks in part to the second strike of the at-bat, a high foul pop up that was nearly catchable for first baseman Christian Walker, only to see the ball graze the protective netting on its way down and evade the pocket of Walker’s glove.

Given new life, Turner smashed a ball into the left-field pavilion two pitches later.

The first grand slam of Turner’s career came in his 81st plate appearance with the bases loaded.

The slam also ended Smith’s night on the mound, recording just three outs while allowing nine runs. Smith is the fourth pitcher this season to allow nine or more runs in a start against the Dodgers.

His mound counterpart found more success.

Buehler, officially named to his second All-Star team earlier Saturday, was the beneficiary of all that offense but needed very little of it.

He struck out seven on Saturday, allowing only three hits and two walks in six scoreless innings; the 17th time in 18 starts, he’s lasted at least six. Buehler lowered his ERA to a team-best 2.36 — good for sixth in the National League — including 1.67 in his last 11 starts.

Any time our offense gets going, it can really get going,” Buehler said. “Tonight was one of those nights, and then my job turns into trying to be aggressive, trying to get us in and out, and let those guys keep hitting.”


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

The blowout secure, and with Taylor and Muncy already out of the game, Betts moved from right field to second base in the seventh inning, his 17th career game at the position and second since joining the Dodgers.

In the bottom of the seventh, the bases were loaded again when Betts unloaded them, the second grand slam of the night and the Dodgers’ ninth of the season — by eight different batters —surpassing the Braves for the most grand slams in the majors.

Ten is the Dodgers record for grand slams in a season, set in 2004.

The seventh also featured a two-run homer by Zach McKinstry and a solo shot by Albert Pujols —and yes, it was off a left-handed pitcher.

That made for a seven-run seventh.


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

But they weren’t done yet! Gavin Lux, who leads the Dodgers with two grand slams this season, batted with the bases loaded in the eighth and settled for a three-run triple. Pujols hit his second home run of the game — this one off of a position player, former Dodgers outfielder Josh Reddick — making for a six-run frame.

Coupled with the five-run first and seven-run seventh, the Dodgers have 22 innings of five runs or more this season, by far the most in MLB. The next-highest teams — Arizona and the White Sox— each have 13 such innings, and the other 29 major league teams average just over eight innings scoring at least five times in 2021.

It’s a byproduct of us always finding a way to get on base by way of hit or walk,” Roberts said. “When you can continue to stress the pitcher, then you get a double or a homer, those [innings] happens.

Twenty-two runs is the most in a game in the majors this season, and the Dodgers’ eight home runs match Toronto (June 13 vs. Boston) for most in MLB in a game in 2021.

Eight home runs match a Dodgers franchise record, done two other times.


Game 2 Boxscore:

WP: Walker Buehler (9-1)
LP: Caleb Smith (2-6)
HR: Cody Bellinger (4), AJ Pollock 2 (12), Justin Turner (15), Mookie Betts (12), Zach McKinstry (7), Albert Pujols 2 (13); Andrew Young (5)

The Dodgers get to the much-desired All-Star break after one more game on Sunday afternoon with Tony Gonsolin starting for Los Angeles against right-hander Merrill Kelly for Arizona. The firsy pitch is scheduled for 1:10, and the game can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 1:


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

When you play shoddy defense and have untimely hitting, it is never a good sign, and that what happened to the Dodgers Friday night which sent them to their fourth loss to a last-place team in five tries this week. On Friday, the Diamondbacks took advantage in a 5-2 win at Dodger Stadium.

Two Dodgers errors each led to runs in the series opener, giving the team nine errors in the last six games. But it wasn’t just errors. A ground ball up the middle to Gavin Lux turned into a single when his flip to second base for the attempted force out could have been timed with a sundial.

Taylor Widener returned for Arizona after missing six weeks with a groin strain and limited the Dodgers to just one hit in 4⅓ innings, striking out five. Then the D-Backs bullpen held the Dodgers to just two hits and one run the rest of the way.

Arizona’s win was just its second road victory in the last 30 games away from home.

Both Dodgers runs were scored by AJ Pollock, who homered in the third inning, then doubled to left in the seventh and advanced on two groundouts. Los Angeles was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

L.A.’s 115 pitches seen were their fewest in a nine-inning game this season.

When you’re not scoring runs consistently, things certainly get more magnified,” manager Dave Roberts said.

But even with all that, the Dodgers were still within a run entering the ninth, when the stretching of the bullpen depth chart — eight relievers added in the last eight days — exacted its cost.

Edwin Uceta, who was warming up along with Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the eighth, needed 29 pitches to record only two outs, and the last of his three walks forced home an insurance run. Jake Reed, the sidearming 28-year-old who made his major league debut on Tuesday, followed with a four-pitch walk of his own to bring home another.

Jansen was going to come in in a tie or a lead,” Roberts said. “When you have one half-inning left on the offensive side, when you haven’t swung the bat that well all night, to bring Kenley in, who’s been used a lot recently, it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

David Price weaved his way through traffic in each of his three innings but managed to escape unharmed. Arizona loaded the bases in the first and put six runners on base against Price on the night, but the Diamondbacks were 0-for-4 with two strikeouts with runners in scoring position against him.

Price was also likely helped by a fortuitous bounce in the first inning, when Christian Walker’s two-out double bounced over the left-field wall, forcing Josh Rojas to hold at third base. Both were stranded in the inning.

Three innings and 51 pitches are season highs for Price, who will be progressively stretched out over his next few starts. Once he eventually gets to five innings, it will be roughly two years since he last did so, a six-inning start for Boston on July 24, 2019.

Starting is something I’ve done for a very long time now,” Price said. “But I enjoyed the bullpen as well. Whatever is asked of me moving forward, I’m all for it.”


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

He’s been effective in relatively short stints this season. Since returning from the injured list on May 17, Price has a 2.14 ERA in 21 innings, with 20 strikeouts and five walks.

Darien Nuñez is the second 28-year-old Dodgers pitcher this week to make his major league debut. The left-hander was impressive in his two innings, especially with a changeup that Orel Hershiser described as “elite” on the SportsNet LA broadcast.

Nuñez got five whiffs on the changeup and even had Eduardo Escobar extolling the virtues of the pitch in the Diamondbacks dugout. But that was after Escobar hit a Nuñez fastball just over the short wall in right field for a two-run home run, cashing in an error by third baseman Justin Turner earlier in the frame.

Two runs (one earned) were charged to Nuñez in his two innings, which was enough to pin him with the loss, but he also struck out three of his eight batters faced.



Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Brett de Geus (1-0)

LP: Darien Nuñez (0-1)

SV: Joakim Soria (3)

HR: AJ Pollock (10); Eduardo Escobar (20)



The Dodgers will start Walker Buehler going in the middle game of the series with Arizona going with left-hander Caleb Smith. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10pm.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                       Dodgers vs Diamondbacks  

Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                     Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                     Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                     Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                     Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                     Dodgers vs Diamondbacks                                                                                                                              

– Joe Arrigo

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeArrigo

Follow The Franchise on social media