Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Phillies – Series 37

Los Angeles Dodgers (69-46)  |  Philadelphia Phillies (60-55)


“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 Phillies
Photo Credit: Rich Schultz/AP

The pitching did their job but the offense took the day off, as the Dodgers dropped the series finale to the Phillies, 2-1. For the game, L.A. recorded only three hits, all of which were singles.

The offense had a few chances to put runs on the board, but they couldn’t capitalize. In the first inning, they had runners on first and second with two outs. Instead of getting some early runs, Corey Seager struck out to end the inning.

Bryce Harper came out of his two-game slump, hitting a home run in the bottom of the first to put the Phillies on the board. Harper proved to be the difference-maker in the game for Philadelphia. He reached base with a walk in the fourth inning and ultimately came in to score. His two runs scored were all the Phillies needed on the afternoon.

AJ Pollock recorded a hit in the fourth inning and stole second base. For Pollock, he’s 6-for-6 in steals over his last 15 games. Chris Taylor had a chance to drive him in but grounded out.


Dodgers vs Phillies
Photo Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers had a chance in the fifth inning. Trea Turner was at the plate with runners on second and third and one out. He grounded out, bringing in a run to score. However, a close play at first base looked like he should have been safe. Had he been ruled safe initially, maybe the call would have remained safe.

Umpires are trained to listen for sound,” manager Dave Roberts said when asked about the play. “When the ball is touching the glove and not secured, it’s in their determination counting as possession. It doesn’t add up to me as you’re looking for sound and securing a baseball, but it still counts as an out. It is what it is.”

Albert Pujols stepped up to the plate with runners on first and third with two outs, needing only a hit to tie the game. He grounded out, ending the inning with the Dodgers still trailing a run.

After that inning, the Dodgers went hitless over their final four innings.

However, they still had a shot. In the ninth inning, Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger drew walks. Will Smith was then hit by a pitch, loading the bases for Billy McKinney. On a 1-1 pitch, he flew out to left field, ending the game.

Although the offense was quiet, the bullpen was fantastic yet again. Mitch White got the start and was fine for the Dodgers. He gave them four innings, which was needed considering how much the bullpen has been used during the series.

After White, the Dodgers’ bullpen threw a combined four scoreless innings. Alex Vesia tossed a scoreless inning and struck out two. Phil Bickford then tossed a scoreless inning, including getting out of a potential jam. He had the bases loaded with two outs, but managed to escape with a scoreless inning.

Justin Bruihl tossed a scoreless inning with a strikeout, continuing to impress during his first big-league week. Kenley Jansen then took the eighth inning and retired the side in order, including a Bryce Harper strikeout on a 96-mph pitch. For Jansen, that’s three consecutive perfect outings.

The Dodgers now have 21 losses this season by one run, the third most in baseball behind the D-Backs and Marlins. Those two teams make sense, as they’re both currently under .500. The Dodgers being in there doesn’t make any sense.

I wouldn’t guess we’d be like that,” Roberts said when asked about the record. “A loss is still a loss. I would suspect moving forward we’ll win more one-run games.”

Roberts was asked if he’s concerned over L.A.’s inability to win one-run games, but he said a loss is the same as any other loss.

They’re still losses,” he said. “I don’t think that’s front of mind at all as they move forward.”


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Archie Bradley (7-1)

LP: Mitch White (0-1)

SV: Ian Kennedy (19)

HR: Bryce Harper (21)


The Dodgers will travel to New York and take on the Mets for a three-game series. The Dodgers will start Julio Urias while the Mets counter with Tyler Megill. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA at 4:10.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Phillies
Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP

Patience and persistence proved to be virtuous for the Dodgers in many ways on Wednesday, beating the Phillies 8-2 in another wet and wild affair at Citizens Bank Park.

That’s four straight wins for the Dodgers, and four straight games scoring at least five runs, with 26 runs during that stretch.

One night after rain halted play for one hour, 44 minutes in the series opener, the rain came a little earlier on Tuesday. The two teams only got two innings before the skies opened up, continuing a streak that covers every Dodgers game in the state so far this season.

On a relative basis, Wednesday night’s 57-minute delay was shorter than the Dodgers are used to in the Keystone State, nine minutes shorter than the average delay of the five games in Pennsylvania this season.

For what it’s worth, forecasts a two-percent chance of rain around game time on Thursday afternoon, so perhaps the streak will end.

Pitching strategies varied on Wednesday, with Phillies manager Joe Girardi holding back starter Kyle Gibson, opting for a pair of relievers until the rains came. Dave Roberts, on the other hand, stuck with his starter, and David Price had one of his most impressive outings of the year, considering the circumstances.

Price threw 35 pitches in two scoreless innings before the rain delay and remained in the game after roughly an hour off the mound.

The bullpen threw a lot yesterday, and I needed to go out there and give us a couple more innings,” Price said.

He pitched a scoreless third and induced a ground ball that could have been an inning-ending double play in the fourth had Trea Turner not overthrown a wet ball to first base, extending the frame. A double followed, then a seeing-eye single by Ronald Torreyes gave the Phillies their first two runs.


Dodgers vs Phillies
Photo Credit: Matt Slocum/AP

Two runs in four innings might not seem all that great, especially considering he induced only one swing and miss. But add in the weather interruption and the fact that Price has pitched five or more innings only twice this season, this was a welcome start. Especially considering the current state of the Dodgers pitching staff, needing innings wherever they can find it over the next few weeks.

Price left with a lead, thanks in large part to the first extra-base hit of his career, an RBI double off Gibson in the top of the fourth that produced one of the biggest smiles you’ll ever see.

He’s got a two-game hitting streak,” a smiling Roberts said of Price’s double.

That was the third run scored in the fourth inning. The first two came on one of the best at-bats of the season. Cody Bellinger, mired in a horrific slump for pretty much all of this injury-plagued season, fouled off nine pitches from Gibson before going opposite field and hitting one over the left-field wall for the first runs of the game.

I knew it was long,” Bellinger said of the 13-pitch plate appearance, the longest of his career. “We were both grinding. He was making good pitches, and I just continued to foul them off. He left one in the middle of the plate that I saw well, and tried to put a good swing on it.

I thought it changed the game,” Roberts said. “They bring in their starter Gibson to get some length and finish the game, and that homer was a huge lift for us and kind of a backbreaker for those guys.”

For good measure, Bellinger later in the game had a 10-pitch at-bat, then in the ninth, he homered again, this one a towering shot down the right-field line, just inside the foul pole.

He saw 38 pitches in five at-bats on Wednesday and fouled off 19. Bellinger hit two balls in fair territory, and both left the park.

We need Belli to be Belli,” Price said. “To put as many balls foul as he did then hit a two-run homer, that’s a really good sign.”

After four home runs in his first 51 games of the season, Bellinger has four homers in his last four games.

I’m feeling stronger, I’m feeling healthy,Bellinger said. “That helps you feel better at the plate as well.


Dodgers vs Phillies
Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Philadelphia’s strategy of waiting to deploy Gibson got him through one more out than Price, and the Dodgers scored six runs off him. Three insurance runs came in the seventh, two thanks to a pair at unexpected positions.

Corey Seager’s ground ball got under the glove of Alec Bohm, a third baseman starting his first game of the season at first base, scoring Turner. One batter later, a pitch from Gibson found its way through catcher Andrew Knapp’s legs for a passed ball, plating Max Muncy. Knapp entered the game in the second inning after All-Star catcher JT Realmuto took two foul tips off his mask.

Effective relief by Brusdar Graterol, retiring all six batters he faced, earned him the win, and the insurance runs in the seventh bought him a second inning on the mound. In between, Graterol batted for the first time ever in the majors. He popped out, but more importantly, was ready to swing right out of the gate.

Graterol in his last nine appearances has allowed only one run in 9⅓ innings, with nine strikeouts and two walks.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Bursdar Graterol (3-0)

LP: Kyle Gibson (8-4)

HR: Cody Bellinger 2 (9)


The getaway day features a morning start at 10:05 am with the game seen on SportsNet LA. Mitch White will pitch the bulk of innings for the Dodgers on Thursday, either by starting or following an opener. Ranger Suarez starts on the mound for the Phillies.



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Phillies
Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

A rain delay changed the tenor of the series opener at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, with the Dodgers finding their way around the bases often to beat the Phillies 5-0 on Tuesday night.

No runs were scored until just after 10 p.m. ET, roughly around the time a night game would start at Dodger Stadium. Both teams were held back by rain and by magnificent starts by Aaron Nola and Max Scherzer.

Both pitchers faced 12 batters and allowed no runs. Nola struck out seven, Scherzer struck out six. Scherzer allowed three singles, Nola just one. But the pitchers’ duel wasn’t meant to be, halted by a rain delay in the bottom of the fourth inning, a break that lasted one hour, 44 minutes.

On the one hand, having to use much more of the bullpen than planned in a Scherzer start, the first contest in a stretch of 13 straight days with a game, was unwelcome, especially with another bullpen game or fill-in start planned for Thursday.

The flip side was not having to face Nola, an opportunity on which the Dodgers immediately pounced once the skies cleared. Corey Seager, whose 108.6-mph line-drive single off the right-field wall was the only hit off of Nola, greeted reliever J.D. Hammer in the fifth inning with an opposite-field home run to open the scoring.


Dodgers vs Phillies
Photo Credit: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

After the Dodgers tacked on a run in the sixth against Matt Moore, Seager followed with a double to put a pair of runners in scoring position and chase the left-hander. AJ Pollock singled up the middle to score both for a 4-0 advantage.

Before the game, much of the concern — and rightfully so — regarded Justin Turner, who is out for the series with a groin injury, and Mookie Betts, who was a late scratch with hip discomfort. Both could end up on the injured list in the coming days.

But the Dodgers still in the lineup are still pretty good, too.

Trea Turner had two hits, including a double, and scored rather easily on a hard-hit liner to right field, complete with the smoothest slide you may ever see.

I try not to hit the ground very hard because it usually doesn’t feel great. I’m trying to be as soft as I can, whether I’m going head first or feet first, and obviously avoid tags,” Turner explained. “It’s basically how I’ve slid my whole life.

Will Smith had two hits with runners in scoring position, though one of them didn’t score a run since a pitcher was on second base (more on that below). Smith, batting third for the first time this season and the seventh time in his career, has 20 runs batted in since the All-Star break in 18 games.

Pollock has at least one hit in each of his last 24 starts, and he followed up his scorching July with 12 hits in 27 at-bats in August, hitting .444/.464/.704 with five extra-base hits and eight RBI in seven games this month.

Max Muncy provided some insurance with a second-deck home run in the ninth inning, his first home run since July 19. That snapped a string of 13 games and 65 plate appearances in between long balls.


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Alex Vesia (2-1)

LP: J.D. Hammer (1-1)

HR: Corey Seager (5), Max Muncy (23)


The Dodgers and Phillies are back at it tonight, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:05 on SportsNetLA and ESPN. David Price will be starting for the Dodgers against Phillies  Kyle Gibson.


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