Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Padres – Series 7

Los Angeles Dodgers (15-7)  |  San Diego Padres (13-11)


“Pressure’ is a word that is misused in our vocabulary. When you start thinking of pressure, it’s because you’ve started to think of failure.”

– Tommy Lasorda


Game 4:


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: True Blue LA

The Dodgers blew 6-run lead, and fall to Padres in 11 innings Sunday night to lose their first series of the season 3 game sto 1.

Dustin May struck out a career-high 10 batters, but that seemed like ages ago Sunday night at Dodger Stadium inexplicably became a battle of the bullpens, and an extra-inning one at that. The Dodgers blew a six-run lead and lost 8-7 in 11 innings, giving the Padres three wins in four games during the weekend series at Dodger Stadium.

On a night Kenley Jansen, Blake Treinen, and Scott Alexander weren’t available after recent usage, the Dodgers turned a 7-1 lead over to different parts of their bullpen, and nothing seemed to go right.

David Price, pitching in his first game in six days, allowed three hits and two runs, aided by an error on Sheldon Neuse. He might have pitched longer than one inning, but suffered a hamstring strain, and will be evaluated on Monday to see if a roster move is needed.

In the eighth, Brusdar Graterol made his first appearance in a week, and retired only one of his three batters faced. The other two scored. “Brusdar didn’t execute his pitches,” Dave Roberts said.

That left the ninth inning for Jimmy Nelson, trying for his first career save. Four singles by in his first five batters faced squashed that idea, bringing home the tying runs. A walk to Eric Hosmer loaded the bases with one out, but Nelson recovered to get Jake Cronenworth to fly out, and struck out Jorge Matero to keep the game tied.

After a 25-pitch ninth, Nelson remained in for the 10th, and worked around a walk to strand the free runner, finishing the frame with a strikeout of Fernando Tatis Jr., no small feat in an amazing weekend for the Padres shortstop.


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

Tatis was the runner on second to start the 11th inning, then took third on a double steal against rookie Garrett Cleavinger, making his Dodgers debut. Eric Hosmer drove him in with a sacrifice fly, giving the Padres their first lead of the night.

“We just didn’t play good baseball. We didn’t play clean baseball,” Roberts said. “We gave up runs late. Dustin had a fantastic outing, and we didn’t pitch well in the back end of the game.”

The Dodgers this season have scored only eight runs in 36⅔ innings against San Diego starting pitchers in seven games. But they’ve tallied 22 runs in 30⅓, innings versus the Padres bullpen.

“There were so many missed opportunities, but we had some good moments too,” Taylor said. “We couldn’t shut the door when we needed to.”


Game 4 Boxscore:


WP: Tim Hill (1-2 / 1.69 ERA)

LP: Garrett Cleavinger (0-1 / 0.00 ERA)

SV: Mark Melancon (8)

HR: Sheldon Neuse (2), Chris Taylor (4); Fernando Tatis Jr. (7)



The Dodgers remain at home to host a slumping Reds team that comes to Los Angeles having lost seven straight games. Julio Urías starts Monday’s opener  facing Tyler Mahle. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm and can be seen SportsNet LA, and  MLB Network.



Game 3:


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: AP / Kyusung Gong


The Dodgers hold on Saturday night to snap their two-game skid in yet another entertaining game between the two teams.

We are six games into the Dodgers-Padres experience in 2021, and so far every game has provided compelling action. Saturday was no different, with a series of fascinating battles defining the Dodgers’ slump-busting 5-4 win at Dodger Stadium.

After a week of barely any scoring opportunities, and doing very little with the chances they did have, the Dodgers threatened the bulk of the night against San Diego and broke out with more runs (five) and hits (12) than any two-game stretch dating back to last Saturday.

That included 15 plate appearances with runners in scoring position, more than double the six per game they got in the six-game slump. The Dodgers were 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position on Saturday, plus a bases-loaded walk by Mookie Betts that brought home the tying run in the sixth.

They had six hits with runners in scoring position over the previous six games.

There is no doubt about it, it is a thing: Blake Snell vs. 6th inning

Snell last completed six innings in a start on July 21, 2019. Shortly after that game he underwent arthroscopic elbow surgery and missed eight weeks. Friday was his 25th start since then — first with the Rays, then with the Padres — and he has yet to complete six innings in any of them. Most famously, Snell was rolling through the Dodgers lineup with nine strikeouts before getting pulled with one out in the sixth inning, leading by a run in Game 6 of the World Series.

There was no Game 7.

On Saturday, again leading the Dodgers by a run in the sixth inning, Snell was again pulled with one out, this time by Jayce Tingler, and this time with no stragglers left on base to be charged to Snell’s ledger.

San Diego’s bullpen came in with a clean slate, and the Dodgers made an absolute mess of it. Sheldon Neuse started things with a single off Pierce Johnson, which brings us to another battle.

Entering Saturday, Dodgers pinch hitters had two walks to their name and were 0-for-19 with 13 strikeouts. The only other major league team without a pinch-hit was the Yankees, who are 0-for-1 with a walk, with limited opportunities since American League teams don’t have to hit for pitchers.

That all changed after the Neuse single, when Chris Taylor batted for DJ Peters — the latter making his first major league start — and promptly singled to left. Then, Matt Beaty — just called up today — pinch hit for Trevor Bauer, and also singled to left, loading the bases. A true embarrassment of pinch-hitting riches for the Dodgers.

“I was aware of [no pinch hits before Saturday], but I just felt we were due,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “CT came out aggressive, and that was a big at-bat. Matty, getting him back with us from the alt site, just getting into a count, getting ahead in the count, and hitting that backdoor breaking ball the other way was a big boost to his confidence.”


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: San Diego Union-Tribune

After Betts’ walk tied the score, Corey Seager smashed a grounder 107.7 mph that on most nights of the last week would have surely been turned into a double play. But this ball found the outfield and scored a pair of runs.

The Dodgers were able to tie the game earlier as well, in the fourth inning on a roller up the third-base line by Sheldon Neuse, which was inexplicably fielded by Snell, with Manny Machado stunned that his pitcher didn’t let it roll foul.

But after receiving such a gift, and with the Dodgers having runners at the corners with Bauer up with one out and Mookie Betts on deck, Neuse inexplicably got picked off trying to steal against Snell, which quieted that particular rally considerably.

Bauer, who exchanged sword celebrations of his own with Eric Hosmer in the game as well, relishes the celebration, from both sides.

“I like it. I think pitchers who have that done to them and react by throwing at people or getting upset and hitting people or whatever, I think that’s pretty soft,” Bauer said. “If you give up a homer, a guy should celebrate it. It’s hard to hit in the big leagues, so I’m all for it. I think it’s important that the game moves in that direction and we stop throwing at people because they celebrated having some success on the field.”

If that weren’t enough, both Tatis homers on Saturday came against Bauer, who won the 2020 National League Cy Young Award. His home runs Friday came off three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: L.A. Times

On the day they lost reliever Corey Knebel for a few months with a right lat strain, the Dodgers asked their other two main high-leverage relievers to pitch parts of two innings on Saturday. Treinen recorded three outs in the seventh and eighth innings, and then Kenley Jansen was tasked with the final four outs, trying for his second save longer than an inning this season.

With two runners on base, Jansen got the final out of the eighth on a harmless grounder. But he issued a walk and a stolen base in the ninth, only to get Tatis and Trent Grisham to end it. The Padres stranded the tying run in scoring position in each of the final three innings on Saturday.

It’s been that kind of a series, and there’s still one more game Sunday night. What a treat.

“It was a fun baseball game to be a part of,” said Roberts. “We needed all 27 outs to beat those guys.”


Game 3 Boxscore

WP: Trevor Bauer (3-0 / 2.53 ERA)

LP:  Pierce Johnson (0-1 / 8.31 ERA)

SV:  Kenley Jansen (5)

HR: Fernando Tatis Jr. 2 (6)


The Dodgers and Padres conclude their 4-game series this evening at Dodger Stadium. The first pitch is at 4:10 when Dustin May faces off against Joe Musgrove.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: True Blue L.A.

It’s storytime with cousin Joe. It was April 23rd, 1999, a picturesque Saturday night, 22 years ago, when then St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in the same inning off of Dodgers starting pitcher Chan Ho Park. Well, 22 years later, we saw history (kinda) repeat itself.

Fernando Tatis Jr. completed the family ritual, hitting two home runs in the Padres’ 6-1 win over the Dodgers on Friday night at Dodger Stadium off of future MLB Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw.

Fernando Tatis Jr. on Friday was playing his first April 23 game at Dodger Stadium and began his right of passage with a 431-foot blast in the third inning. Then in the fifth inning, Tatis hit a ball even harder, 115.9 mph, this one down the left-field line.

That’s two times someone named Fernando Tatis has played a game at Dodger Stadium on April 23. Both times, they hit two home runs. Not only that but per Elias, the Tatis are the only father/son duo with multi-homer games at the same ballpark on the same calendar date, as passed along by Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Luckily for Kershaw, these Tatis home runs were not grand slams but rather solo shots. Wil Myers also hit a solo home run in the second inning, accounting for the only three runs against Kershaw in his seven innings.

Kershaw entered the game with no home runs allowed in his first four starts.

Kershaw also struck out seven and pitched the Dodgers’ 14th quality start in 20 games this season, four more than any other team. Kershaw was also the first one to get hung with the loss in a quality start after Dodgers starters won the first eight decisions in such games this season.

It didn’t help that Kershaw had one of the Dodgers’ only four hits against Yu Darvish, a stat even more damning when those four hits represented double the Dodgers’ previous high against a Padres starting pitcher this season.


Dodgers vs Padres
Photo Credit: True Blue L.A.

The offensive night was embodied by Mookie Betts, who entered Friday just 6-for-29 (.207/.343/.379) since returning from missing four games with back stiffness but got things started with a double on the second pitch of the game.

“We certainly go when Mookie goes,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game. “I do see that there’s pitches in the strike zone that he usually puts a little more barrel on it. But he’s a special player, he’s going to get going again.”

Even with the slump, Betts on the season has reached base in all 13 games in which he’s batted, and he’s scored in 10 of those games.

But two other at-bats by Betts showed the glaring difference between the two teams at the moment on defense. On a night the Dodgers committed two errors — a misplay by Justin Turner at third base and a drop by Corey Seager on a pickoff — the Padres made two huge plays, both with Betts at the plate.

First came a bloop to shallow left in the fifth, a ball Baseball Savant tagged for an .830 expected batting average. Instead, it was caught by a sliding Tommy Pham, who threw to first to double off Kershaw.

Then in the seventh inning with the tying runs on base, Betts lined a ball seemingly ticketed for left field, this one with a .770 expected batting average. But the rally was Machado about nothing, thanks to an incredible leaping snag by Manny Machado, undeterred by a night full of boos in his direction from the Dodger Stadium crowd.

“It’s certainly got to get better,” Dodgers manager Roberts said. “It’s just not what we’re used to doing, as far as playing clean baseball defensively.”


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Yu Darvish (2-1 / 2.27 ERA)

LP: Clayton Kershaw (3-2 / 2.56 ERA)

HR: Wil Myers (4), Fernando Tatis Jr. 2 (4)


This evenings game starts an hour earlier than the first two games of the series. First pitch is at 6:10 pm on SportsNet LA and MLB Network, with Trevor Bauer taking the mound for the Dodgers and Blake Snell on the mound for the Fryers.



Game 1:


Photo Credit: AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez

The Dodgers got everything they could have asked from Walker Buehler, who pitched seven strong innings and more than doubled his season-high in strikeouts. But the offense continued to slump, falling 3-2 in the fourth exciting game with the Padres in as many tries over the last week.

Ryan Weathers held the Dodgers in check well into the sixth, allowing only a single to Buehler. Weathers in two starts over the last seven days has allowed no runs to the Dodgers in 9⅓ innings, which is doubly impressive considering those were the first two major league starts for the No. 7 overall pick of the 2018 draft.

He left leading 2-0 after striking out six on Thursday, allowing only three to reach base, including a walk and hit by pitch.

The Dodgers offense woke up immediately after he left and continued to threaten, reaching base eight times over the final 3⅓ innings against five Padres relievers. They even tied the game on back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning by AJ Pollock and Sheldon Neuse, for the latter his first hit as a Dodger.

But the Dodgers failed to cash in any of the other runners to reach base. The best chance came in the eighth inning after a Will Smith double to left put runners on second and third base with nobody out and the Dodgers trailing by a run. But a pair of ground balls to second baseman Jake Cronenworth ended the threat. One was ordinary, preventing any runners from advancing, and the other was spectacular, a sprawling double play with Fernando Tatis Jr. to end the inning with San Diego still leading.

“They had to make a great play, turn a big double play to hold us off,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “We took good at-bats the second part of the game and had a good chance to win. I thought we played a clean baseball game.”


Dodgers vs Padres            
Photo Credit: Yahoo Sports

The Padres reacquired the lead in the eighth inning against Blake Treinen, with singles by Jurickson Profar and catcher Victor Caratini put runners at the corners to open the frame. Tatis followed with a double-play ball that helped prevent a bigger inning and allowed the winning run to score.

Buehler was solid and effective in his first three starts, lasting exactly six innings in each one. He didn’t really strike anyone out, something he was well aware of and was working on.

“He’s kind of like a sports car in the sense of the fine-tuning his delivery. He’s very in tune with his delivery, and I think some things in the delivery allowed for hitters to see the ball a little bit longer,” Roberts said before Thursday’s game. “He cleaned that up in his last ‘pen, so it should be different tonight, and going forward.”

It was different for Buehler in this one, lasting through seven innings. He allowed only two runs, including a rocket home run by Trent Grisham, into the right-field pavilion. Grisham pummeled a four-seam fastball, but otherwise, that pitch was working wonders for Buehler all night.

He threw 50 four-seamers on the night and got 14 swing and misses on the pitch, including finishing off eight of his nine strikeouts with the fastball. The nine strikeouts came after three straight starts of exactly four strikeouts for Buehler. He also got 11 called strikes on the fastball alone, meaning exactly half of his fastballs were either a called strike or a whiff.

“I thought the fastball was better,” Buehler said. “That was more like myself or what I’ve done in the past. We’ll just keep building on that.”

Buehler also walked none on Thursday, giving him 21 strikeouts against only one walk in his 25 innings this season.


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Nabil Crismatt (1-1 / 3.12 ERA)

LP: Blake Treinen (1-1 / 3.38 ERA)

SV: Mark Melancon (7)

HR: AJ Pollock (1), Sheldon Neuse (1); Trent Grisham (4)


The Dodgers and Padres will face off again tonight at Chavez Ravine. Clayton Kershaw (3-1 / 2.19) will face Yu Darvish (1-1 / 2.55). The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m and the game can be seen on SportsNet LA & MLB Network.

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Joe Arrigo

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