Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Rockies – Series 30

Los Angeles Dodgers (57-36)  |  Colorado Rockies (41-53)


“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 1:


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Dodgers blew three leads Sunday afternoon, displayed shoddy defense, had a rare blown save by Kenley Jansen, and extra innings reared their ugly head yet again on Sunday at Coors Field. Charlie Blackmon homered off Phil Bickford in the 10th inning, giving the Rockies a 6-5 win, preventing a weekend sweep with the Dodgers’ ninth loss in 10 extra-inning affairs this season.

The final three innings were a scramble, with the Dodgers regaining the lead in the eighth inning on a two-run Will Smith home run, a lined shot down the left-field line, the Dodgers’ seventh home run of the three-game series.

Jansen allowed a leadoff double to Ryan McMahon in the ninth, then Chris Owings singled him home for the equalizer. It marked just the third blown save in 24 attempts this season for Jansen and his first since May 5.

With Albert Pujols starting the 10th inning as the free runner on second base, Smith’s two-out single scored the winning run for the Dodgers. It was the fourth single hit with Pujols on second base this season and the first time he scored. Smith drove in three runs on Sunday, giving him seven RBI in his two games played over the weekend.

But it wasn’t enough in the bottom of the frame, with a pair of fly balls against Bickford advancing the free runner home to tie things before Blackmon’s walk-off with two outs.

Outside of Max Muncy and possibly Smith depending on the metric, the Dodgers defense has been pretty bad this season, with several players rated below average in the SABR defensive index, a collection of five different statistics that account for a quarter of Gold Glove Award voting.

On Sunday, the Rockies scored the tying and winning runs on plays that should have been made. The first, a popup in the infield with two outs in the fifth, was dropped by Chris Taylor.

In the seventh, a 100.4-mph grounder by Matt Adams caromed off Turner’s glove for the go-ahead run. The play wasn’t called an error, though the RBI single could have been at least one out, if not an inning-ending double play.

The defense has been inconsistent all season,” manager Dave Roberts said. “When you give teams extra outs, it’s hard to overcome.”

David Price continued to inch closer to being a full-fledged member of the starting rotation. He lasted four innings on Sunday, one more inning than his last start, which was one more inning than his outing before that. Price, who has said many times this season he’s willing to pitch in any role the team asks of him, on Sunday lasted longer into a game than he has since July 30, 2019, with Boston.

Getting through four seemed precarious after a 22-pitch first, with the Rockies plating a run on a pair of singles, an inning that was extended by an error at third base by Turner. But Price settled down after the error, allowing only a walk the rest of the way, getting through four innings on 66 pitches.

Since returning from a hamstring injury in May, Price has a 2.16 ERA and 2.45 FIP in 25 innings, with 24 strikeouts, six walks, and no home runs allowed. In July, Price has allowed one run in nine innings, with 10 strikeouts.

Whatever the Dodgers have asked of Price, he’s delivered.

Price helped himself in the third inning with a leadoff nubber that died in the grass about 40 feet up the third base line, the fifth hit of Price’s career and his first with the Dodgers. Three batters late, Turner hit a ball considerably farther, 399 feet, and over the high wall in right field for a two-run home run that gave the Dodgers the lead.

Turner’s homer also scored Price, the first time he’s scored a run in the majors, minors, or college.

In a lineup that leads the National League in runs scored, two that stand out as struggling are Cody Bellinger and Gavin Lux. Roberts, this weekend in separate media sessions used the same terms to describe both hitters: “He’s grinding.”


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/AP

Bellinger was inserted into the leadoff spot on Sunday with Mookie Betts and his irritated hip out, just the third time Bellinger started a game batting first. The idea was to get Bellinger as many looks as possible against Rockies starter Jon Gray, against whom he was 11-for-18 with five doubles, a triple, four walks, and one strikeout entering Sunday.

When Cody was really good, in 2019, he was a hitter first, and the slug followed. He was using left center, the middle of the field, right center. Then with breaking balls in the zone, he would slug those to the pull side,” Roberts said before Sunday’s game. “If he could go back to being a hit collector, using both gaps, I think that’s a great start.”

Bellinger collected none of those hits; instead, he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and two infield popouts against Gray, swinging through four fastballs and a slider. On the season, Bellinger is hitting just .168/.284/.282, and in July, he’s 5-for-52 (.096) with one extra-base hit, six walks, and 16 strikeouts.

Gray lasted seven innings, allowing only two runs, striking out seven.

Lux has been up and down all year offensively. He rebounded in May but has been well below average in every other month. Since June 1, Lux is hitting .202/.317/.282, including 0-for-4 on Sunday.

“When he’s using the middle of the field, he’s very dangerous. It allows for more plate coverage, and he can handle more pitches,” Roberts said Saturday. “When he starts to pull the baseball too much, I think it exposes him, like any hitter.”

To add injury to insult, immediately after grounding into an out in the ninth inning, Lux grabbed his left hamstring and left the game.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Mychal Givens (3-2)

LP: Phil Bickford (0-1)

HR: Justin Turner (16), Will Smith (11); Charlie Blackmon (5)


The Dodgers return to Dodger Stadium for a seven-game homestand, starting with four against the rival Giants, a battle between teams with the two best records in baseball. Tony Gonsolin starts for the Dodgers in Monday’s series opener with the Giants starting Kevin Gausman. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Purple Row

The refrain from Dave Roberts has been used often regarding Mookie Betts, but “we go as he goes” was never more literal and perhaps ominous than Saturday at Coors Field, where the Dodgers right fielder and leadoff man had four extra-base hits in four at-bats but had to leave with right hip irritation in a 9-2 win over the Rockies.

Betts doubled in the first and sixth innings, scoring on a Max Muncy single both times. Betts took matters into his own hands with a solo home run in the third.

In the seventh, Betts doubled again but was limping on his way to second base. After conferring with manager Dave Roberts and trainer Yosuke Nakajima, Betts was taken out of the game.

I’m good,” Betts said. “I just made it a little more mad today than normal.”

Later on the SportsNet LA broadcast, footage of Betts was shown wincing in the dugout after scoring from second base in the sixth inning. He confirmed that’s when he felt something in his hip.

It’s kind of been nagging at him all year. I think a lot of running the bases and in the outfield irritated it a little bit,” Roberts said after the game. “He’ll be down tomorrow, and should be back in the lineup on Monday.”

Betts on Saturday counted his hip as one of the various injuries he’s been managing throughout the year. Those injuries have been at the very least frustrating to Betts, who was deservedly named an All-Star for the fifth time but decided to use the four-day break to recharge.

He’s a great worker. He understands his swing and approach. The talent is obviously clear,” Roberts said before Saturday’s game. “We saw signs in the last couple of weeks that he was coming out of that little funk. I think we’re going to be on a fun ride in the second half.

The fun actually started just before the All-Star break, on the very day he made the choice to skip the midsummer classic. Betts last Saturday hit a grand slam and walked three times, scoring four of the Dodgers’ L.A. franchise-record 22 runs against Arizona. On Sunday, Betts had three hits, including a home run, and scored three more times.

Three more hits came on Friday against the Rockies, including a double and two more runs. Saturday’s outburst gave Betts four straight games scoring at least two runs, tying a Dodgers record last reached by Muncy in 2018.

Betts in those four games has 12 hits in 16 at-bats, with three home runs, four doubles, 12 runs scored and seven runs batted in. The hot streak vaulted Betts’ batting line from .245/.352/.446 to .271/.375/.503 in just four games, raising his batting average by 26 points and his OPS by 79 points.


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/AP

Betts scored the Dodgers’ first three runs on Saturday and left with the team up 4-2. The other run to that point was a solo home run another red-hot L.A. hitter, AJ Pollock, who has seven home runs in 12 games in July.

After Betts left, the Dodgers piled on, with Muncy hitting home runs in the eighth and ninth, giving him a career-high five RBI and tying a career-best with four hits. Justin Turner doubled home two more off the centerfield wall in the ninth to turn this into a blowout.

That was more than enough for Walker Buehler, who went seven innings after last pitching seven days ago.

This was the second straight Saturday start for Buehler, whose six days rest was his second-most before a start this season. The All-Star break accounted for that layoff, though he was the only Dodgers pitcher who had another game in which to pitch in between.

Buehler was at Coors Field earlier in the week, named to his second All-Star team. He was one of 12 active pitchers for the National League, though Buehler and Brewers reliever Josh Hader were the only ones not to appear in the game. The decision not to use Buehler came after a conversation with Roberts before the game.

He was totally good with being a spectator and a teammate,Roberts said.

Colorado scored single runs in the second and third innings against Buehler, the key hit a double in both frames. The second was aided by an uncharacteristic two walks in the inning by Buehler, but he got into a groove shortly after.

After the game-tying double by Ryan McMahon in the third, Buehler retired his final 13 batters faced. Six of those were by strikeout, giving Buehler eight punchouts on the night.

There’s an expectation for the guys that are in [the rotation] to go deep, and it’s a focus of mine,” said Buehler, who won his 10th game of the season.

The Dodgers after losing in Colorado on opening day have beaten the Rockies eight straight times.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Walker Buehler (10-1)

LP: Kyle Freeland (1-4)

HR: Mookie Betts (14), AJ Pollock (13), Max Muncy 2 (21)


David Price starts the series finale for the Dodgers on Sunday against Jon Gray. The first pitch is at 12:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: David Zalubowski/AP

The Dodgers came out swinging in their first game after the MLB All-Star break, beating the Colorado Rockies for the seventh time in eight games this season, 10-4 on Friday night at Coors Field. All those runs came in support of a usual recipient.

Mookie Betts doubled, singled twice, and had a sacrifice fly. He has eight hits in 12 at-bats in his last three games, with nine runs scored. Mookie decided to skip the MLB All-Star game to rest and get ready for another World Series run.

At the break, Julio Urías had the highest run support in the majors among qualified pitchers(and third in the majors among pitchers with at least 11 starts) at 6.7 runs per 27 outs. Friday was more of the same.

Five of the first six batters in the top of the first reached base, culminating in a two-run single by Cody Bellinger and a three-run home run by Chris Taylor, the 23rd inning scoring at least five runs by the Dodgers this season, 10 more than any other team.

AJ Pollock doubled and walked, his fifth straight game with at least one extra-base hit. In July, Pollock is hitting .351/.442/.897 with six home runs and four doubles in 11 games, and Will Smith drove in four runs, doubling home two in the fourth, followed by a two-run single in the fifth.

Rockies starter Chi Chi Gonzalez surrendered 11 hard-hit balls — defined by Baseball Savant as having an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher — and was done after four innings, with the Dodgers tacking on two more in the fourth.

Against reliever Justin Lawrence, the Dodgers plated three in the fifth. By this point in the game, all nine Dodgers starters scored at least once.


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Four of the Dodgers’ 11 games with double-digit runs scored this year have come in support of Urías, who has also seen the Dodgers score nine runs in three other starts.

Urías worked around traffic on the bases in every inning on Friday, though he was able to keep Colorado off the board in five of the six innings he started. He succumbed in the third inning thanks to two singles and a hit by pitch, followed by C.J. Cron cleaning things up with a 465-foot grand slam.

Phil Bickford, who got the final out of the sixth inning in relief, singled to lead off the seventh for his first hit as a professional in just his second plate appearance.

Garrett Cleavinger, Jake Reed, and Jimmie Sherfy — the latter making his Dodgers debut— recorded the final eight outs to finish off the Dodgers win. It was the first time all three pitchers appeared in the same game since June 3, 2013, with the Oregon Ducks.



Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Julio Urías (12-3)

LP: Chi Chi González (3-6)

HR: Chris Taylor (11); C.J. Cron (13)



The Dodgers will start Walker Buehler for the middle game of the series on Saturday. The Rockies will counter with left-hander Kyle Freeland. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA with the first pitch scheduled for 5:10pm.


Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                           Dodgers vs Rockies                                                                                                                                                      

– Joe Arrigo

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeArrigo

Follow The Franchise on social media