Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Rockies – Series 1 Recap

Los Angeles Dodgers (3-1)  |  Colorado Rockies (1-4)


“It’s time for Dodgers baseball”  – Vin Scully



Dodgers vs Rockies           
Photo Credit: FanDuel

The World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers start defending their World Series title in Denver against the Colorado Rockies to kick off the 2021 season.

The weight has officially been lifted off the Dodgers’ shoulders following their 2020 World Series victory. If you think the Dodgers World Series Championship was a fluke last season, you are wrong.

The Dodgers would have won the World Series in a 60-game season, a 162-game season, or a 500-game season! The Dodgers are at the top of everyone’s list to win the World Series again in 2021. They are the gold standard of professional baseball.

The Dodgers are looking to repeat as World Series Champions in 2021. No Dodgers team has ever gone back-to-back, so the 2021 Dodgers do not have history on their side. However, if any team can win two in a row, it’s the 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers.

The club added the reigning Cy Young Award winner in Trevor Bauer to an already loaded rotation. Offensively, you will have trouble finding a better team than Los Angeles with Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Justin Turner, and Cody Bellinger.

The only thing that will stop the Dodgers in 2021 is themselves because this club is the best in baseball.


Game 4:


Dodgers vs Rockies           
Photo Credit: MLB

Julio Urías changes things up to dominate Rockies. The young left-hander went 7+ innings to help the Dodgers win their 3rd straight game.

Julio Urías decided to change things up on Sunday and pitched the longest outing of his career, helping the Dodgers to a series win, 4-2 over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon at Coors Field.

Urías was a brilliant, strike-throwing machine on Sunday, throwing 59 of his 79 pitches for strikes, striking out six while walking one. He pitched seven innings for the first time in his career, only removed after a leadoff infield single by Ryan McMahon in the eighth, just the fourth Rockies player to reach base against Urías.

“He attacked the zone. He was going after them with his heater. His changeup was filthy today, that’s the best I’ve ever seen his changeup,” catcher Will Smith told Kirsten Watson on SportsNet L.A. “He was constantly ahead in counts and putting guys away with two strikes.”

McMahon later scored in the frame against Jimmy Nelson, the only run charged to Urias, whose previous longest outing was 6⅓ innings, done twice (2017, 2020).

“My focus is always to attack. To attack hitters and throw first-pitch strikes,” Urías said through an interpreter. “We have a lot of really good talented arms on this team, and I try to do the same, to follow their lead, try to do the same things they do to go deeper into games.”

Colorado didn’t even have a runner in scoring position until Chris Owings doubled with two outs in the sixth inning. A walk that followed gave the Rockies the tying run at the plate, but Urías got Trevor Story to harmlessly pop out to right field.

That came on a fastball, but Urías did the bulk of his damage on Sunday with a new weapon: his changeup.

Urías threw 24 changeups, his 30.3-percent usage of the pitch more than double last season (13.2 percent), and for good reason. He got eight swinging strikes on the changeup and finished four of his six strikeouts with that pitch. Pretty remarkable, considering Urías ended six strikeouts on his changeup in all of last season.

“A guy that can miss bats with a few different pitches commands the fastball, gets left, gets right out, can navigate a lineup three times through, which he’s shown he can do and can pitch in leverage and pitch out of leverage,” manager Dave Roberts said of Urías. “There’s no ceiling for him.”

After at least a dozen hits in each of the first three games, the Dodgers matched their highest-scoring inning of the series without the benefit of a hit in the first inning. Austin Gomber was all over the place, throwing 18 of his 33 pitches out of the strike zone during the frame, and compounded that with a wild pitch and by throwing a potential double-play comebacker into center field.

By comparison, Urías threw 20 balls in his seven-plus innings.

Gomber’s wildness helped the Dodgers to three runs in the first inning, but amazingly that was all Gomber allowed in his three innings. Gomber walked seven on Sunday; it was the most walks against the Dodgers since the Atlanta Braves Sean Newcomb on August 3, 2017. That they didn’t score more due to running into a few outs, with Max Muncy thrown out at third base on a sacrifice fly in the first and Mookie Betts caught stealing at second base in the second.

“We took our walks, but I thought we still let them off the hook. We gave away some outs on the bases,” Roberts said. “But I thought our at-bat quality, swinging at strikes and taking balls, was good all game.”

Gomber threw 73 pitches on the day and was the third Colorado starting pitcher to fail to see the fifth inning. The Rockies rotation allowed 12 runs in 15⅓ innings in the series, with more walks (15) than strikeouts (13).

The ancillary benefit of taxing the Rockies starters was making their bullpen have to throw 20⅔ innings. The Dodgers scored 14 runs of Rockies relievers over the weekend, which was a big reason why they won three of four games.


Game 3:


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

Zach McKinstry & Kenley Jansen keep it inside the park in a Dodgers’ win at Coors Field.

Every one of the first three Dodgers games has had something odd happen, and Saturday night was no different. This time it was Zach McKinstry, whose inside-the-park home run in the eighth inning was the go-ahead run in a 6-5 win over the Rockies at Coors Field.

The Dodgers, who lost a home run on Thursday thanks to a baserunning mishap, now have their seasonal home run total match the number of balls they hit over the fence.

McKinstry, who entered the game on a double switch in the seventh, drove a ball with two outs in the eighth against Mychal Givens. Just like Cody Bellinger’s ball on Thursday, this one was hit in the direction of left fielder Raimel Tapia, who on Saturday got a glove on McKinstry’s drive and kept the ball in play though he didn’t seem to realize it until it was too late.

McKinstry scored standing up, giving the Dodgers a 5-4 advantage. He said his first high school home run, hit at Tincap Stadium in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was also an inside-the-park job.

“This one was definitely a little cooler. I think I hit this one a little harder, too,” McKinstry said. “And my parents were here, so that was awesome.”

McKinstry’s parents made the trip to Denver in time for Friday’s game and will end up seeing the final three games at Coors Field, the first time they’ve seen him play in the majors in person. McKinstry is expected to start on Sunday.

Gavin Lux, batting leadoff on Saturday with Mookie Betts resting, followed McKinstry with a walk, stole second, and scored on the double by Chris Taylor.

After Victor Gonzalez, in the first back-to-back outing by a Dodgers reliever this season, struggled in the eighth, he left with two runners on and a run-in with one out. Kenley Jansen was brought in with a one-run lead, and though C.J. Cron’s drive sure sounded like a potential three-run homer off the bat, it died harmlessly into McKinstry’s glove in deep left. Jansen then struck out Ryan McMahon to end the threat.

“I thought there was some good contact, and here if you just get the right trajectory, sometimes it just keeps going,” Dave Roberts said. “There was a little bit of a sigh from me, for sure.”

Jansen stayed in and, though he walked a batter in the ninth, he kept Colorado off the board, throwing 24 pitches for his five outs. It was Jansen’s first save of longer than an inning since September 17, 2019, and his first five-out save since July 14 that year.

“When I’m at my best, I always come out, take it one day at a time, and give it all I got, so that’s the mindset,” Jansen said. “Today was a good day, now we’ll worry about tomorrow and try to get better each day.”

The Dodgers got exactly what they needed out of Walker Buehler, who allowed two runs in a start at Coors Field. After an RBI double by McMahon in the fourth inning gave Colorado a 2-0 advantage, Buehler stranded him and retired his final seven batters faced.

That Buehler lasted six innings wasn’t necessarily a surprise since he’s done it in over half (34) of his 62 career starts. But that he did it so early in the season was notable. It took Buehler five starts until he completed six innings in 2020, four starts in 2019, and not until his third major league start in 2018.

He started 2018 in Triple-A before getting called up to the majors three weeks into the season, and in 2019 he had a 5.22 ERA in six starts before May. Last year, after not throwing much during the shutdown, Buehler was methodically ramping up in the early part of the season and had a 5.21 ERA through four starts.

“Over the last two, three years, this is as good as he’s looked finishing spring training,” Roberts said before Saturday’s game. “Early on, he was figuring some things out mechanically, but the last couple of starts, I thought he was throwing the baseball extremely well.”

The game turned earlier on a pair of plays that weren’t made.

Rockies reliever Yency Almonte got two quick outs in the sixth, but Max Muncy cashed in Seager with a ball off a shifted Josh Fuentes that was ruled a single. After another single and a hit by pitch, Austin Barnes dumped a ball into shallow left for a two-run single, giving the Dodgers their first lead of the night.

Up 4-2 in the seventh, Blake Treinen issued a leadoff walk, then on a potential double-play ball, second baseman Gavin Lux threw wide to Corey Seager, whose subsequent delayed turn helped McMahon beat the throw to first base. Two pitches later, Fuentes homered to right-center, tying the game.

That the Dodgers had a lead at all was thanks in part to getting into the Rockies bullpen earlier than expected.

Jon Gray had the best start by any pitcher in this series, pitching five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. Corey Seager, as hot as any hitter in baseball at the moment, greeted Gray with a double to open the sixth inning, which ended Gray’s night after a lengthy discussion on the mound with Rockies manager Bud Black and a team trainer. Seager later scored the only run charged to Gray on the night.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Rockies           
Photo Credit: Dodgers Way

Dodgers pick up their first win of the 2021 season in a strange night at Coors Field. There was nearly a no-hitter, a cat, and Coors Field! Trevor Bauer was pitching a no-hitter. Coors Field stuff happened in the seventh inning. There was a cat that ran on the field. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the game 11-6 and picked up their first win of the season.

Let’s try and recap this one in case you missed it because you missed a dandy. How about we begin with Bauer, who made his Dodgers debut on Friday night. He was fantastic through the first six innings, and when I say fantastic… I mean it.

Bauer didn’t allow a hit through the first six innings and had nine strikeouts, and he just looked untouchable out there. Then, the seventh inning from hell happened. Just like that, Bauer went from nine outs away from a no-hitter to allowing four runs. He allowed two two-run home runs, and all of a sudden, his dominant outing turned into a decent outing.

Still, don’t let the box score fool you. He looked fantastic, and his stuff was electric. He finished the night with 10 strikeouts and two walks.

On to the offense. They were quite good. After going 0-for-100 with runners in scoring position and stranding 25 runners on base in the opener, the offense flipped a switch and was quite clutch tonight. They were 8-for-18 with runners in scoring position.

Through two games this season, the Dodgers have scored 16 runs and have 31 hits. Remarkably, they still don’t have a home run.

The Dodgers hit four singles in the top half of the first inning, including RBI knocks from Max Muncy and Will Smith, putting them up 2-0 very quickly. They added two more runs in the second inning thanks to three consecutive doubles with two outs, extending their lead to 4-0.

L.A. loaded the bases in the fourth inning, and Justin Turner brought in two with an RBI single. Cody Bellinger brought in another with a groundout. Speaking of Turner, he now has reached base in 34 consecutive games dating back to last season, the longest active streak in Major League Baseball.

The Dodgers sprinkled in a few more runs throughout the game to give them 11.

Oh, and how could I possibly forget. There was a cat that ran onto the field.


Game 1:


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

Dodgers waste opportunities, Rockies don’t, to beat Clayton Kershaw on opening day. L.A. made 2 errors, throws 3 wild pitches & leaves 14 on base in an 8-5 loss to Colorado. Efficiency was the name of the game on opening day at Coors Field, but the Dodgers and Clayton Kershaw came out on the short end of the stick in an 8-5 loss on Thursday afternoon.

Kershaw was tidy, walking only one of his 28 batters faced and needing only 77 pitches to record his 17 outs. The problem was what chances the Rockies got, they took advantage of, and the opportunities piled up as the game went on.

Colorado scored their first four runs thanks in no small part to a fly ball triple from Chris Owings, two sacrifice bunts (including a successful squeeze play), an RBI grounder, and an error on a roller under Corey Seager’s job at shortstop.

But before reflexively chalking that up to bad luck, it’s important to note that Kershaw induced only five swings and misses on the day, matching his lowest total from any start in 2020. The devil came due for Kershaw in the sixth inning, when the Rockies jumped on Kershaw for four singles — two on the first pitch — for two more runs, ending his day.

Kershaw allowed six runs in his 5⅔ innings, only one less run than in 51⅔ innings in his first eight opening-day starts. The Rockies tallied 10 hits against Kershaw, just the eighth time in 385 starts in the regular and postseason combined he’s allowed double-digit hits. Three of those games have been at Coors Field, with the first two coming in 2008 and 2013.

Kershaw was even more efficient after the game, saying his performance “wasn’t great.” When asked what specifically he didn’t like about his game, Kershaw said, “The runs being scored.”

Colorado continued to capitalize even after Kershaw was out, scoring runs on two different wild pitches by Jimmy Nelson in the seventh inning.

On the second of those wild pitches, Austin Barnes appeared to get injured on a diving tag attempt at home plate. He was removed from the game after consultation with the training staff and replaced at catcher by Will Smith.

The Dodgers on offense was anything but efficient but tried to close the gap on sheer volume. It didn’t work.

They made German Marquez work, getting six hits and six walks, forcing him to throw 92 pitches before an early exit. But despite the seven hard-hit balls and the .571 on-base percentage off the Rockies ace, the Dodgers managed just one run in his four innings.

In addition to the old-fashioned rally killers, with a pair of double plays in the first two innings, the Dodgers dabbled in the macabre to limit their scoring in the third inning. With one out and Justin Turner on first after a single, Cody Bellinger drove a ball to deep left field, and that’s when the confusion started.

At first, it looked like Raimel Tapia might have caught the ball at the wall, so Turner quickly retreated to first base. As he was doing so, Turner passed Bellinger in between first and second base. So even though Bellinger did, in fact, hit the ball over the wall, he was out for passing Turner and credited with an RBI single instead of a two-run homer.

It was just one of those unfortunate plays,” Dave Roberts said. “I don’t think it’s going to happen again this year.

In the fifth inning with Marquez out of the game, Bellinger struck again with a leadoff dunker into left field, and through it traveled 140 feet less than his “single,” this time Bellinger got a double. Two outs later, Gavin Lux drove him home with an RBI single of his own, this one the more traditional kind, not over the fence.

The Dodgers put at least two runners on base in eight of nine innings, and in total, reached base 24 times in 46 trips to the plate. But they only cashed in five runs and left the bases loaded in the ninth.

Going 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position didn’t help. Neither Rockies second baseman Chris Owings, who had three hits, stole a base and scored three times, and also started this magnificent double play to end a threat in the seventh inning.

We didn’t play a good baseball game today. We gave away too many bases,Dave Roberts said. “Knowing baseball, it’s a long season. There’s going to be some games like this where the rhythm just wasn’t clean.




Scheduled to pitch in series 2 vs. the Oakland A’s:

Dodgers: Dustin May vs. A’s: Frankie Montas – Monday 4/5 


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Joe Arrigo

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