Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Padres – Series 51

Los Angeles Dodgers (103-56) |  San Diego Padres (78-81)


“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 Padres
Photo Credit: Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times

Maybe in some masochistic way, you can kind of find it all exciting, that the Dodgers took one step forward, with three games left.

The Dodgers picked up right where they left off, hitting five more home runs to finish off a third consecutive sweep of the Padres with an 8-3 win on Thursday at Dodger Stadium. But the Dodgers will enter Friday still two games back in the National League West, since the Giants swept the Diamondbacks, including a 5-4, walk-off win on Thursday.

We’re wired to keep going, and try to win as many games as we can,” manager Dave Roberts said.

Before the game, Roberts was asked if comebacks like Wednesday’s six-homer, 11-9 triumph are statement wins.

They are if you capitalize on it, and they, they’re not if you don’t,” he said.

The Dodgers took advantage right away, with back-to-back home runs by Mookie Betts and Corey Seager to start the game. In the fourth inning, Justin Turner and AJ Pollock had back-to-back jacks as well.


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Corey Seager added a double in the third then another solo shot in the seventh, finishing off his stellar September by hitting .366/.455/.699 with eight home runs and 19 RBI.

He looks very similar to the bubble Corey Seager that we saw last year in the postseason,” said Justin Turner.

Pollock’s home run was his 20th of the season, giving the Dodgers six players with 20 home runs on the year, something they also did in 2017. The club record for players with 20 home runs in one year is seven, set in 2018. Seager is the next closest with 15, and suddenly five homers in three games don’t sound so insurmountable.

All five home runs were solo shots, but the Dodgers still found time to tack on. They rallied in the sixth inning with four singles and a sacrifice fly, creating some distance for their 103rd win of the season.

Tonight was a clinic,” Roberts said. “It’s being aggressive to our zone, looking to slug it when an opportunity to beat the shift like Justin starting an inning and Will Smith with a two-strike hit the other way, the first-to-third from Will, Justin taking second base on a throw. There was a sac fly in there from AJ. We really checked all the boxes.

Really fun baseball game to watch.”

Couple with the 11-run outburst on Wednesday, this marked the first time the Dodgers scored more than five runs in consecutive games since July 31-August 1.

It’s been a while since we clicked,” said Betts.It’s good to know that we can do it.

Tony Gonsolin made his final start of the season, and was serviceable, striking out five in 4⅔ innings. He could have escaped with only one run allowed, but Fernando Tatis Jr. had other ideas, joining a pantheon of legends by hitting a ball over the pavilion in left field for a two-run shot.

The 42nd home run of the season for Tatis was also his seventh at Dodger Stadium, tying Todd Helton (2001) for the most home runs by a visiting player in one year at Chavez Ravine.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP:  Corey Knebel (4-0)

LP: Vince Velasquez (3-9)

HR:  Mookie Betts (23), Corey Seager 2 (15), Justin Turner (26), AJ Pollock (20); Ha-Seong Kim (8), Fernando Tatis Jr. (42)

The Dodgers have one more home series left, facing the NL Central champion Brewers. Clayton Kershaw starts on tonight with Milwaukee starting Eric Lauer, who is 6-0 with a 1.89 ERA in eight career starts against Los Angeles. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA MLB Network.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: Mark J Terrill/AP

Max Scherzer was hit early and often, but the Dodgers offense powered a stunning 11-9 comeback win over the Padres on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

Five home runs in the final two innings fueled the winning rally, including four in the eighth inning alone. Three were allowed by Emilio Pagán, who has allowed a whopping 16 homers in 62⅓ innings this season.

Max Muncy took him deep first, setting a new career-high with his 36th home run. AJ Pollock followed with a home run of his own, his second of the game after a two-run job in the first. Pollock has had five extra-base hits in five starts since returning from the injured list.

After a flyout, Cody Bellinger tied the game at 9-9 with a home run of his own. After pinch-hitter Justin Turner doubled to the left-field wall, Padres manager Jayce Tingler mercifully removed Pagán.

“That was a huge momentum shift,” said Bellinger, whose last home run before Wednesday was August 11, 36 games ago. “That was a crazy inning, maybe the craziest I’ve ever been a part of.”

Nabil Crismatt followed, and he got Mookie Betts — who homered in the seventh — to fly out for the second out of the eighth. But then Corey Seager lined a ball over the right-field wall, providing the winning margin.

Seager also doubled and scored in the first, and doubled home a run in the second. He’s hitting .348/.443/.618 in September.

Corey is playing fantastic baseball across the board. He’s been in playoff mind, mode for four weeks,” manager Dave Roberts said before Wednesday’s game. “Corey for me, as far as everyday players, has really separated himself, so now it’s kind of on everyone else to kind of follow that lead.”

The Dodgers’ win kept them two games behind the Giants, 1-0 winners over the Diamondbacks at Oracle Park. San Francisco leads the NL West by two games with just four to play, with a magic number of three to clinch the division.

Finishing in second place in the division would mean the Dodgers hosting the Cardinals for the NL Wild Card game next Wednesday, October 6th at Dodger Stadium.


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

Looking at being a 100-win team and potentially being in a one-game, sudden death I don’t think is appealing to us or the Giants, but it is what it is,” Roberts said Wednesday.

Roberts has already said Scherzer will be his starter in a one-game scenario in the playoffs and reiterated before Wednesday’s game he thought Scherzer was the NL Cy Young Award frontrunner. Award possibilities aside, Scherzer will be heading into next week coming off two of his worst starts of the season.

Victor Caratini homered off Scherzer in the second inning, one of three hits for the Padres catcher against Scherzer on Wednesday. Manny Machado hit a two-run shot in the third.

San Diego kept the heat on Scherzer, scoring in four different innings against him. He allowed six runs, five of which were earned. The Padres had 14 hard-hit balls — defined as any ball with an exit velocity of at least 95 mph — against Scherzer, his season-high and more than any two of his starts since joining the Dodgers.

The sixth and final run scored off Scherzer came on a triple by Wil Myers, with a drive to centerfield that saw Gavin Lux crash into the wall and had to leave the game.

Scherzer allowed only six total runs over his first nine starts with the Dodgers, with two home runs against him in 58 innings. In his last two outings, he’s allowed 11 runs (10 earned) in 10⅓ frames, with three home runs.

But the Dodgers came back to win last Thursday in Colorado, and with Wednesday’s comeback, they remain undefeated (11-0) in Scherzer’s starts for them.

They can thank an offense that found the big inning not once, but twice.

The four-run first was just the third four-run inning this month for the Dodgers, and the first since September 12, coincidentally also a Scherzer start against the Padres at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers hadn’t even scored four runs in a game since Friday.

The winning rally saw five runs score in the eighth inning. That’s the 25th time the Dodgers have scored at least five runs in an inning, most in the majors.

The eleven runs scored were the most by the Dodgers since August 15. Six home runs are the second-most by the Dodgers this season, trailing only the eight-hit on July 10.


Game 2 Boxscore:

WP: David Price (5-2)

LP: Emilio Pagán (4-3)

SV: Kenley Jansen (37)

HR: AJ Pollock 2 (19), Mookie Betts (22), Max Muncy (36), Cody Bellinger (10), Corey Seager (13); Victor Caratini (7), Manny Machado (28)


Tony Gonsolin starts the series finale tonight with right-hander Vince Velasquez starting for the Padres. The first itch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA and MLB Network.


Game 1:


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

Walker Buehler had his best start of September, leading the Dodgers over the Padres 2-1 on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, and looking more like the reliable workhorse he was in the first five months of the season.

The Dodgers needed the win just to keep pace with the Giants, who beat Arizona 6-4 in San Francisco. The Giants lead the National League West by two games, with five left to play.

Should the Dodgers end up as a wild card team, they would host the St. Louis Cardinals, who won their 17th straight game on Tuesday and clinched the second wild-card spot. The NL Wild Card game will be held on Wednesday, October 6.

The Padres, who fell under .500 for the first time all season, didn’t have a hit until the fifth inning when Eric Hosmer beat out an infield chopper. He was erased on a double play, one of two induced by Buehler.

Buehler pitched seven innings, the 14th time he’s lasted at least that long this season, the third-most games in the majors. He allowed only three hits and two walks, keeping the Padres off the scoreboard. It was a much-needed gem from the Dodgers right-hander, who allowed 16 runs in 19⅔ innings in his first four starts of the month.

His strikeout of Fernando Tatis Jr. in the fourth inning was Buehler’s 200th of the season, the second time in his career he’s fanned that many. Buehler’s seven scoreless frames, giving him 202⅔ innings pitched, a new career-high.

Buehler is the first Dodgers pitcher to throw 200 innings in six years since Clayton Kershaw (232⅔ innings) and Zach Greinke (222⅔) did so in 2015. Both finished in the top three in National League Cy Young Award voting that season, something Buehler is certainly in contention for this year.


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

Through Tuesday, Buehler is third in the NL in innings, third in ERA (2.49), eighth in FIP (3.23), and ninth in strikeouts.

On Tuesday the Dodgers were able to accomplish a first for 2021: getting Yu Darvish out of the game before completing six innings. They threatened constantly, putting nine runners on base in the first three innings. Only two scored, but enough damage was done to chase Darvish after 85 pitches and just four innings.

Trea Turner was instrumental for the Dodgers on Tuesday. He doubled home Mookie Betts in the first inning, then led off with a single in the third inning and scored on a single by AJ Pollock.

Turner’s .325 batting average leads the NL, with former teammate Juan Soto (.318) in second place.

On the injury front, Dodgers’ first baseman Albert Pujols went on the COVID-19 Injury List after not feeling well as the result of his second vaccination shot. Also, outfielder Cody Bellinger was activated from the Injury List after missing eight games with a broken left rib.



Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Walker Buehler (15-4)

LP: Yu Darvish (8-11)

SV: Blake Treinen (7)

HR: Jake Cronenworth (20)


Max Scherzer makes his final home regular season start on Wednesday night agaisnt the Padres David Weathers. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA and ESPN.

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