Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Diamondbacks – Series 47

Los Angeles Dodgers (94-53 |  Arizona Diamondbacks (47-99)


“Listen, if you start worrying about the people in the stands, before too long you’re up in the stands with them.”

– Tommy LaSorda


Game 3:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Ashley Landis/AP

The offense was peppered throughout the night, finishing off a three-course sweep of the Diamondbacks, the final decision a 5-3 Dodgers win on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

The win moved the Dodgers to within a game and a half of the Giants in the National League West.

The Dodgers scored in different ways. Sometimes it was via power, like with Max Muncy’s home run in the fifth inning, his 34th of the season. Another run. came when Trea Turner beat out a ground ball to second base to extend the sixth, another gear of speed that very few players have.

But mostly the Dodgers constantly threatened all night.

After going down in order in the opening frame, the Dodgers put at least two runners on base in the next five innings and scored in four different innings on the night, their fifth straight game scoring at least five runs. They even stole two bases.

Justin Turner was honored along with Max Scherzer on the field before Wednesday’s game, as nominees for the 2021 Roberto Clemente Award. Turner and Scherzer, along with Clayton Kershaw and Albert Pujols, wore Clemente’s number 21 on Roberto Clemente Day throughout MLB.

Turner while wearing 21 had three singles, scoring twice.

Los Angeles reached base 18 times on the night, thanks to 14 hits, three walks, and a hit by pitch. The Dodgers have won six straight games.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Ashley Landis/AP

Julio Urías didn’t allow a hit until the fourth, but then briefly lost the lead, thanks to the speed of Josh Rojas. Arizona’s third baseman nearly hit into an inning-ending double play but beat out the throw to first base. Then he stole second base to put a pair of runners in scoring position.

Stolen bases have been the bane of Dodgers pitchers and catchers all year, with the team allowing an MLB-high 100 steals. But Urías has been generally excellent at preventing the running game all year. The steal by Rojas was just the second allowed in 29 starts by Urías, in five attempts.

The Diamondbacks immediately cashed in with a two-run single by old friend Henry Ramos, who later robbed Mookie Betts of extra bases with an incredible catch at the left-field wall. Ramos was also wearing number 21.

Those two runs were all Urías allowed in his five innings, pulled after 76 pitches.

Just keeping an eye on him,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s regular rest, and he’s got an extra day heading into his next start. I thought he was fighting his delivery all night.”


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Julio Urías (18-3)

LP: Merrill Kelly (7-10)

SV: Kenley Jansen (33)

HR: Max Muncy (34); Christian Walker (8)



The Dodgers are off on Thursday, heading to Cincinnati for the start of a nine-game road trip. Walker Buehler starts Friday night with right-hander Luis Castillo pitching for the Reds. The game starts at 4:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA, or MLB Network for out-of-market fans.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night, just like they were expected to. The 8-4 win at Dodger Stadium pushed Los Angeles to 13-2 against hapless Arizona this season, outscoring them 110-41. The Diamondbacks are a team that has now lost 21 of its last 24 games on the road against the Dodgers dating back to 2018, so this result was the norm.

After a patchwork pitching staff carried the team for the last two and a half months, the Dodgers now have as close to a normal starting rotation as they’ve had since the end of June. The kind you can count on, and not wonder which seven or eight pitchers are going to appear in that day’s game.

Okay, maybe not fully this week, with Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin still stretching out, but things are looking up.

Shoulder inflammation cost Gonsolin 95 games on his two injured list stints, and affected his performance while active, with a walk rate (16.3 percent) over four times higher than last year (4 percent).

Just filling up the strike zone, and using his entire mix,” manager Dave Roberts said was his goal for Gonsolin before the game. “When he’s right and commanding the baseball, he’s tough to put innings against.”

Gonsolin did just that against the Diamondbacks, striking out six while allowing only two singles and two walks. Slated for roughly four innings and 60 pitches, Gonsolin completed five scoreless frames, throwing 45 of his 67 pitches for strikes (67.1 percent), after throwing just 58.1 percent of his pitches for strikes in his first 11 games this year.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Arizona sent a lineup full of left-handed or switch-hitting position players, and Gonsolin lulled them to sleep. He didn’t face a right-handed non-pitcher until pinch-hitter Andrew Young in the fifth inning, and Gonsolin struck him out to end his night.

Max Muncy doesn’t need a sign from the dugout for permission to swing. He’s earned trust thanks to 115 home runs with the Dodgers, fourth-most in MLB since the start of 2018. Falling behind 2-0 in the count was no place for Luke Weaver to live in the third inning, and Muncy — who doubled and scored in the first inning — made him pay, crushing a fastball into the right-field pavilion to give the Dodgers some breathing room.

Muncy’s 33 home runs this season rank third in the National League, two shy of his career-high. Muncy hit 35 homers in both 2018 and 2019, and if he does it again he’d be just the third Dodger with at least three 35-homer seasons, joining Duke Snider (five years, all 40-plus) and Mike Piazza.

While Max Scherzer was the rightful headliner from the Dodgers’ trade with the Nationals, L.A. also got an MVP contender on the right side of 30 in Trea Turner, who isn’t a free agent until after the 2022 season. He’s been pretty impactful in 2021 as well, including a double and home run on Tuesday.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

With the win, plus losses by the Reds and Padres, the Dodgers have clinched a postseason berth for a ninth consecutive season. But while the Dodgers, on pace for 103 wins, the Giants and their nine straight wins remain two and a half games up in the National League West.

AJ Pollock, who has been sidelined since September 5 with a right hamstring strain, will play in simulated game situations at Dodger Stadium this weekend, then on Monday, head to the team’s facility at Camelback Ranch in Arizona to take part in more game situations.

From that point on, we’ll just see where it goes next,” Roberts said.

Chris Taylor continued to receive treatment on his sore neck on Tuesday but missed his fourth straight game.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Tony Gonsolin (3-1)

LP: Luke Weaver (3-5)

HR: Max Muncy (33), Trea Turner (22), Will Smith (24); Ketel Marte (12)


Julio Urías, who is trying for his 18th win of the season, gets the ball for the Dodgers in Wednesday’s series finale against the D-Backs Merrill Kelly. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA and ESPN.


Game 1:


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Clayton Kershaw made a solid return to the mound at Dodger Stadium Monday as he continued his march towards making a healthy push towards the postseason. The bullpen and offense gave plenty of support as the Dodgers cruised to a 5-1 win over the Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers have now won four consecutive games and they keep pace with the Giants who never seem to lose.

Arizona scored their only run on an RBI-single in the first inning against Kershaw, stringing together two hits and a walk in the first five hitters of the game. The Diamondbacks would have only four more hits the rest of the way as the Dodger bullpen continued to put up zeroes on the scoreboard.

The offense for the Dodgers immediately erased the one-run deficit with three runs of their own in the bottom half of the first.

Four of the first five hitters of the game reached base in the bottom of the first. After a leadoff double for Mookie Betts and a Trea Turner walk, Corey Seager singled in Betts and came around two pitches later on a two-run double for Justin Turner.

The latter Turner also mashed his 25th homer of the season to tack on an insurance run in the seventh.

The first-inning double for Turner was his 20th on the season, giving him seven seasons with at least 20 in his eight seasons in Los Angeles. The shortened season in 2020 robbed him of eight straight after he had nine in 42 games.


Dodgers vs Diamondbacks
Photo Credit: Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports

The target for Kershaw going into the game was around four innings and 60 pitches as he looks to build his innings up. The 20 pitches in the first inning ended up not mattering as the lefty needed only 30 pitches to get the next 10 outs.

A line drive out on the first pitch to pitcher Zac Gallen in the top of the fifth brought manager Dave Roberts with a right arm pointed to the bullpen. Roberts summoned rubber arm, Phil Bickford, for the final two outs of the inning.

Kershaw finished with five strikeouts in 4 13 innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk. Typically, the next step in building up length will be five innings and 75 pitches. The next start for Kershaw will come Sunday in Cincinnati.

There’s not a lot of better feelings in the world than getting to pitch here and getting a win,” said Kershaw.It’s a special thing. I missed it. It was good to be back.”

After flirting with a perfect game Sunday, Max Scherzer said he was excited to see Kershaw pitch as a teammate. What he didn’t count on was an infield single being part of the show.

Scherzer is 0-for-52 on the season and had a pretty great reaction to Kershaw’s single.


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Phil Bickford (4-2)

LP: Zac Gallen (2-10)

HR: Justin Turner (25)


The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will continue with the middle game of the three-game series. Tony Gonsolin (2-1) will get the ball for the Dodgers against right-hander Luke Weaver (3-4). The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.

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– Joe Arrigo

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