Slow Offensive Start, Tense Ending for Dodgers vs. Padres 4/22/21

After an intense three-game series last weekend in San Diego, the Padres made the quick trip up north to begin a four-game series this week in Los Angeles. Walker Buehler and Ryan Weathers faced off on the mound once more to open the series. Both teams had a slow offensive start, but the game quickly heated up in late innings.

Buehler on the Mound

Before today’s game, Roberts spoke to the media about Buehler, “With his delivery, he’s a lot like a sports car in the sense of the fine-tuning of the delivery. I think some things in his delivery allowed for hitters to see the ball a little longer. I think he’s cleaned that up in his ‘pen, so it should be different tonight and going forward.”  Buehler showed exactly that tonight.

Buehler came out strong, throwing 97 MPH.  A great sign to start the night as Buehler’s fastball was sitting around 95.1 MPH this season compared to his usual 96.8 MPH like last season. Buehler mowed Padres batters, striking out three his first time through the lineup. Unfortunately for Buehler, the Padres slow offensive start didn’t last.

Padres Strike First

The Padres found their first hit of the game in the 4th inning when Tatís singled on the first pitch of the at-bat. Tatís would end up stealing second and scoring on Machado’s single to left-center, giving the Padres a 1-0 lead. Buehler found himself in a jam with two on and one out after giving up back-to-back hits, but he did a great job of settling in and retiring the next two hitters without issue. Padres would add onto their lead in the 6th inning when Buehler left a fastball over the middle of the plate, making it a 2-0 lead. 

Buehler looked locked in on the mound outside of the couple of mistakes he had his stuff working for him. Coming into this game, he had only struck out 12 hitters on the year. He struck out nine in tonight’s outing. It was his longest outing of the season and easily his most impressive. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR.

Before coming into this game, the Dodgers offense only had ten hits over their last three games. Their pitching has been the main reason why they’ve been able to win games while struggling to score many runs. We saw a shutout from Urías and the bullpen on Tuesday when the offense managed to score only one run. 

The Dodgers offense didn’t pick up their first hit until Buehler came to the plate in the third. He singled to right field for his first hit of the 2021 season. Weathers held the Dodgers to one hit over 5 ⅔ innings. Austin Adams came into the game.  The Dodgers had their first real opportunity of the game when he walked Turner and hit Smith. The tying run was on base for Muncy, but he went down swinging on a slider to end the inning.

After Slow Start, The Offense Wakes Up

It would only take the Dodgers one more inning before they got the bats rolling. Pollock led off the seventh with his first home run of 2021, bringing the Dodgers within one. Neuse followed him up with a home run of his own, his first of his big league career. They got the go-ahead run to second with one down and unfortunately left him stranded. 

Treinen would take over in the 8th and quickly give up the lead after back-to-back base hits and a double-play ball from Tatis that would drive in the go-ahead run. He would end up limiting the damage keeping the game within one. 

The Dodgers would get their chance to take the lead right back in the bottom of the 8th. Turner opened the inning with a base hit, and Smith hit a ground-rule double initially ruled foul and overturned on review. With the infield in, Muncy would ground out to second, and the runners would have to hold. Hill fell behind 2-0 to Pollock before deciding to walk him intentionally. Neuse came up to the plate and crushed a ball right at Cronenworth, who made a great snag to turn an inning-ending double play and holding onto the Padres 3-2 lead.

Alexander came into pitch the 9th and did his job setting the Padres down in order. Unfortunately, the Dodgers offense would do the same, dropping the series opener to the Padres.

The offense once again fell flat outside of the two solo home runs from Pollock and Neuse in the 7th. Their pitching held on and did what they needed to do to keep it close, but the offense just couldn’t get that spark going enough to overcome the slow offensive start.

Kershaw and Darvish face off again in tomorrow’s game at 7:10 PDT.

 

To catch up on the last Dodgers game against the Mariners, click here.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

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