Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Giants – Series 31

Los Angeles Dodgers (59-39)  |  San Francisco Giants (61-35)


“I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand. If you hold it too tightly you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it..”

– Tommy LaSorda


Game 4:


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: AP

On a night with a bigger cushion in the ninth inning, Dave Roberts stuck with his closer, Kenley Jansen. What resulted were two agonizingly close calls that would have meant a series split but instead turned into a second straight booing Dodger Stadium crowd, stunned by four two-out runs in the ninth inning of a 5-3 Giants win at Dodger Stadium.

There’s a lot of people that are pissed off, and I’m leading the way,” Roberts said. “We should have won that game.”

The Dodgers held a 3-1 lead entering the ninth on Thursday and faced a similar decision as Wednesday night.

Blake Treinen retired the final two batters of the eighth inning, having only thrown seven pitches, one night after he threw nine pitches to record three outs in the eighth of a 2-1 game. Treinen has been asked to pitch a second inning after recording three outs four times this season. Twice he allowed a run, and another time he was removed after only one out after allowing a hit in the second inning.

Thursday wasn’t exactly analogous since Treinen only faced two batters in the eighth, and he has recorded five outs twice this season, both scoreless appearances.

Roberts instead opted for Jansen, who threw 27 pitches in blowing the save on Wednesday, retiring only one of his six batters faced.

On Thursday, Jansen’s stuff was better, and he struck out two of his first three batters in the ninth. Then he gave up a double and walk to load the bases.

A fielder’s choice grounder to shortstop Chris Taylor was thrown to a stationary Sheldon Neuse at second base. Originally called the final out of the game at second base, the call was instead overturned on review. The game was not over.

That play at second base, if we stretch, the game’s over,” Roberts said.

Now 3-2, Jansen still had a chance to escape but instead ran the count full to Darin Ruf, who checked his swing on the seventh pitch of the bat. First-base umpire Ed Hickcox, when asked, said Ruf didn’t swing.

I definitely thought he went,” said catcher Will Smith.


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Roberts was irate at the non-swing call and was ejected by Hickcox. It was the second straight ejection for Roberts.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he went, and the game should have been over,” Roberts said.

More importantly, the game was now tied, and a clearly-gassed Jansen was somehow still in the game at 32 pitches, one night after throwing 27. Jansen would only throw one more pitch on this night, a cutter lined to right field by LaMonte Wade Jr. for a single to bring home the two winning runs.

That’s three blown saves in a row for Jansen since the All-Star break. After getting the second out of the ninth inning on Thursday, he faced five batters and retired none of them.

Roberts said he’s not reconsidering Jansen’s role. “That game should have been over. I don’t think all the blame should be on Kenley,” he said.

That spoiled another stellar night for the rest of the pitching staff. Walker Buehler struck out nine while pitching into the eighth.

Buehler was touched for a run immediately when Wade doubled, stole third base, and scored on a sacrifice fly. It was just the fifth run in the opening frame allowed by Buehler in 20 starts this season and the third time in four games San Francisco scored in the first inning this series.

The Giants only got four hits and a walk against Buehler the rest of the way, and no runs. He leads the National League with 128⅔ innings pitched.

Buehler struck out nine on the night, including all three batters faced in the seventh, leading to this smirk on his way back to the dugout. Buehler lowered his ERA on the season to 2.31, including 1.70 over his last nine starts.

The Dodgers got 14⅓ innings out of starters Julio Urías and Buehler over the final two games of the series, after the bullpen needed to pitch 10⅔ innings in the first two games. But no wins to show for it.

On offense, the Dodgers portioned out their six hits against Anthony DeSclafani quite efficiently, including singles from the first three hitters of the game for a first-inning run. The other three hits came in the fourth inning, including a two-run home run by Will Smith.

But those were the only runs they scored on the night. The Dodgers scored eight runs in their lone win of the series and seven total runs in the three losses. They now trail the National League West by three games.

We want to win. We want to play well,” Buehler said. “I think we’ve played well both nights. It just hasn’t gone our way.”


Game 4 Boxscore:


WP: José Alvarez (4-1)

LP: Kenley Jansen (1-4)

SV: Jake McGee (20)

HR: Will Smith (13)


The Dodgers take on the Rockies next, with David Price starting the series opener tonight against Chi Chi Gonzalez for Colorado. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 3:


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The bullpens have figured heavily in the first three games of the Dodgers-Giants series. On Wednesday, Kenley Jansen blew his second appearance in a row, allowing a two-run home run to Wilmer Flores in a 4-2 win by San Francisco at Dodger Stadium.

Staked to a one-run lead in the ninth, Jansen allowed a leadoff single to Buster Posey, then three pitches later Flores deposited a cutter into the left-field pavilion, turning the game around.

In 15 games from June 1 to the All-Star break, Jansen did not allow an extra-base hit to his 56 batters faced. But in his last two games, including Sunday’s blown save at Coors Field, Jansen has faced 11 batters, allowing three extra-base hits.

Obviously, it’s not a good one today. You’ve just got to shake it off,Jansen said. “Let it go and get back on that horse tomorrow. That’s pretty much it.”

The last of those extra-base hits was a double by Darin Ruf, followed by two walks from Jansen, who retired only one of his six batters faced in the ninth. He left the game to a chorus of boos from a Dodger Stadium crowd that was announced as 52,076 fans.

Fans certainly have the right to voice their frustrations, absolutely. I get that,” manager Dave Roberts said. “But this guy was born and raised a Dodger. What he does — he cares about the Dodgers, the fanbase. He’s shown that on and off the field. No one hurts more than he does.”

Victor González was asked to clean up the mess with the bases loaded and only one out. He struck out Lamont Wade Jr. but then walked Curt Casali to force home an insurance run.

After the inning, Roberts was ejected for arguing the ball four call from home plate umpire Andy Fletcher.

The low strike was called all night, both ways. In a big spot like that, it was a run,” Roberts said. “I just felt that the consistency that everyone’s trying for and that we hope for, I just felt it just wasn’t consistent with the night.”


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: Associated Press

Tyler Rogers, one night after blowing a save of his own with a three-run ninth, completed the mission on Wednesday with three harmless grounders, securing the win for the Giants, who now lead the Dodgers by two games in the National League West and will leave Los Angeles in first place no matter what happens on Thursday.

Julio Urías allowed a first-inning home run to Mike Yastrzemski but only gave up two infield singles and a walk the rest of the way. He retired seven in a row into the seventh inning when Solano got one of those singles. That put the tying run on base, but he was quickly erased with a double play, giving Urías seven innings for the sixth time this season.

The length was badly needed, as Dodgers relievers in July have pitched more innings than the starters. Urias’ seven innings nearly closed the gap, as now only one out separates the L.A. bullpen (74⅔ innings) from the starters (74⅓) this month.

The offense came from two likely sources of late.

Chris Taylor homered in the first inning, carrying over his three-extra-base-hit production from Tuesday night out of the leadoff spot. Taylor also later singled and stole a base.

AJ Pollock doubled home Cody Bellinger in the fourth inning for the go-ahead run. Pollock in July is hitting .358/.433/.849 with seven home runs and five doubles in 16 games.

Taylor and Pollock accounted for the only three Dodgers hits on the night.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: José Alvarez (3-1)

LP: Kenley Jansen (1-3)

SV: Tyler Rogers (11)

HR: Chris Taylor (14); Mike Yastrzemski (16), Wilmer Flores (11)


The Dodgers go for a series split tonight with Walker Buehler starting the finale against Anthony DeSclafani. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.




Game 2:


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

Chris Taylor started the Dodgers comeback on Tuesday night, and Will Smith ended it with a pinch-hit, three-run home run off Tyler Rogers to stun the Giants, 8-6 in the second game of the latest showdown series between these two teams.

Taylor, filling in for a second straight game in the leadoff spot with Mookie Betts out of the lineup, doubled and scored in the first inning for an early lead, but four San Francisco home runs put the road team up 6-1.

Taylor hit a solo home run in the fifth, then his two-run shot in the sixth pulled the Dodgers to within a run.

My swing was in a good place tonight,” Taylor said.

San Francisco still led 6-5 entering the ninth, when Rogers opened the frame with two walks in nine pitches, setting the stage for Smith.

That’s probably our biggest win of the year,” Taylor said.

Alex Wood was effective but also all over the place against his former team. Albert Pujols grounded out to end the first and third innings, but none of the eight batters in between put the ball in play. Wood hit AJ Pollock to start the second inning, then struck out the next five Dodgers before hitting Justin Turner and Max Muncy back-to-back in the third.


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

Turner was hit on his left knee, and after a long conference with Dave Roberts and a trainer, Turner remained in the game. But only for two more innings, as Turner left the game with a left knee contusion after playing two more innings at third base.

Muncy batted again after his hit by pitch, flying out to end the sixth. But he left the game before the top of the seventh with a right shoulder contusion.

Turner won’t start on Wednesday. Muncy’s availability will depend on how he feels on Wednesday morning. Coupled with Mookie Betts’ hip irritation and Corey Seager’s activation not yet set in stone, plus Muncy’s wife due to give birth at any moment, the Dodgers could use some help for the 12 position players currently on the active roster.

We’re going to bring a couple guys to taxi, a couple position players for tomorrow,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We’ll see how the guys come in tomorrow and how they feel, and if we have to make the move accordingly, we will.

The stuff was evident for Josiah Gray in his major league debut, though with mixed results.

He is the first Dodgers pitcher ever to allow three home runs in his major league debut. But Gray’s seven strikeouts were the most by a Dodger in his debut since Jose De Leon in 2016.

Gray did not start Tuesday’s game but followed opener Darien Núñez, who allowed a two-run home run in his two innings of work. But all eyes were on Gray starting the third.


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

It was perhaps fitting that Alex Wood was the first batter Gray faced in the majors since the two were traded for one another. But that at-bat was a harbinger of rough sledding for Gray, as Wood fouled off three two-strike pitches before flying out.

Gray needed 25 pitches to get through his first major league inning and didn’t get a swinging strike until his fifth batter of the frame. He got two of them to strike out Wilmer Flores for his first strikeout.

Gray settled down after that, striking out all three batters he faced in the fourth, his second inning. He struck out seven in his four innings. Gray induced 15 swinging strikes, including eight on the slider, finishing off four strikeouts with the pitch.

The rude awakening came in the fifth, when both Thairo Estrada and Mike Yastrzemski took Gray deep, widening the Giants advantage. Gray allowed four runs in his four innings.

I know the linescore probably wasn’t what he hoped for, but there was a lot of good stuff,” Roberts said.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Jimmie Sherfy (2-0)

LP: Tyler Rogers (1-1)

HR: Chris Taylor 2 (13), Will Smith (12); Alex Dickerson (9), Lamont Wade Jr. (9), Thairo Estrada (2), Mike Yastrzemski (15)


Julio Urías gets the start for the Dodgers on Wednesday with Logan Webb starting for the Giants. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 1:


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

For all the recent post-break talk about a sprint toward the finish line, the opener of Dodgers-Giants was instead a long slog, a steamy and meandering journey that required relief. The road team found theirs, then pulled away against the home team that didn’t in a 7-2, series-opening win on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.

Both starting pitchers were swallowed whole by this game, both succumbing after 80 pitches. Kevin Gausman recorded nine outs, Tony Gonsolin 10.

Each team bombed away with two home runs in the first inning. Buster Posey had a runner on base for his blast in his first game back off the injured list. The others — Wilmer Flores for the Giants; Max Muncy and Justin Turner for the Dodgers — hit solo shots, earning San Francisco an early advantage.

Gausman has been the best non-deGrom pitcher in the National League this season, but on Monday, the Dodgers managed three walks, a double, and a hit by pitch out of him. That ended Gausman’s night after just three innings, his shortest start of the season.

Gonsolin’s short start was more the norm, though the three runs he allowed in the opening frame were two more than he allowed in any of his previous seven games. Gonsolin needed 32 pitches to get through the first inning, the third time he’s reached 30 pitches in the opening inning in 2021.

He settled down somewhat after that but still walked four and threw more balls (41) than strikes (39) on Monday. Gonsolin has pitched into the fifth inning only once in eight tries this season. Gonsolin described his command as “really bad” after the game.

I don’t really have a great answer. If I knew what was going to fix my command issues going on right now, I’d do those,” Gonsolin said. “We’re going to take a little dive tomorrow and see if we can figure it out.”

Jimmie Sherfy has been a fun fact generator since joining the Dodgers on Friday. First, he and his ex-Oregon teammates all pitched in a game together. Then on Monday, he batted after stranding both runners Gonsolin left on base when he left in the fourth.

Sherfy grounded out, shattering a borrowed bat in the process, in his third career plate appearance. But Sherfy, who was claimed off waivers from the Giants six days ago, pitched at all with his new team made for some history.

According to Stats LLC, Sherfy is the first pitcher to ever appear in games for the Giants and Dodgers in the same season. No pitcher had appeared in games for both franchises since 1943 when Bill Sayles pitched for New York and Brooklyn.

While Sherfy escaped inherited damage, the Dodgers relievers that followed created their own jams.


Dodgers vs Giants
Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Phil Bickford escaped some damage in the sixth but left with one out in the seventh after allowing a leadoff single. Victor Gonzalez, back off the injured list on Monday, looked rusty, allowing four hits in his six batters faced, opening the floodgates of a four-run inning.

Gonzalez, in his four July appearances, has allowed five runs on nine hits while recording nine outs.

After taxing Gausman and chasing after three innings, the Dodgers didn’t threaten at all against the Giants bullpen. A fifth-inning walk by Muncy wasn’t capitalized, and one Dodger reached base the rest of the game.

San Francisco relief pitchers combined to strike out six in six scoreless innings, retiring 12 batters in a row until the ninth.

Dodgers relievers allowed four runs on seven hits in 5⅔ frames, with three strikeouts. That was the ballgame.

Mookie Betts, a late scratch on Monday with right hip irritation, struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. Roberts said an injured list stint isn’t considered for Betts, who is expected to be in the starting lineup on Tuesday after not starting the last two games.

The hitting is not a problem. It’s kind of the running, a lot of running,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s not that serious.”


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Jarlin Garcia (2-2)

LP: Tony Gonsolin (1-1)

HR: Max Muncy (22), Justin Turner (17); Buster Posey (13), Wilmer Flores (10)



The Dodgers have yet to name a starter for today’s game, but rookie pitcher Josiah Gray will make his major league debut. The Dodgers will face Alex Wood on SportsNet LA and MLB Network at 7:10.


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