MemberSeptember 25, 2020 at 10:44 pm
With eight combined home runs, it was an absolute slugfest as the Los Angeles Dodgers power past the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the series opener, 9-5.
Clayton Kershaw took the mound looking to top off a spectacular regular season with another stellar performance. David Fletcher doubled to begin the game, and Jared Walsh’s knock put runners at the corners. Kershaw got Mike Trout to fly-out, keeping it shallow to hold Fletcher at 3rd, and then worked an inning-ending double-play of Anthony Rendon to escape the jam. Facing Andrew Heaney, Mookie Betts got things started in the bottom half with a sharp single. With two-outs, Max Muncy pulled a base hit to put guys at the corners for the Dodgers. Successfully pulling off a run-scoring double steal, Muncy stole 2nd, and on the throw down, Betts took home to get LA on the board first. Kershaw again erased a single with a double-play in the second, and Heaney worked around Kiké Hernàndez’s two-out double. In the third, Corey Seager’s fielding error, along with a check-swing single by Fletcher, set up an opportunity for Trout with two-down. On a full count, Kershaw threw a curveball that landed at the bottom of the zone, and Trout hammered it — a three-run missile that gave the Angels the lead, 3-1. With two-away in the home half, Turner responded with a solo home run to pull the Dodgers back within one. Starting the fourth, Justin Upton took Kershaw deep, extending the Halo’s advantage to 4-2. Kershaw, with his pitch count rising quickly, stranded a subsequent double. His day concluded at that point, closing the book on his regular season. He wasn’t very sharp, nor did he look his best; however, contrary to how it may seem, Kershaw is in fact human and was due for a rough up. The runs in the third were all unearned, so his final line was as follows: 4IP, 4R (1ER), 8H, 0BB, 3K. For Kershaw, a spectacular age 32 (regular) season finishes with a 6-2 record paired with a 2.16 ERA. He’ll shift his focus to the upcoming NL Wild Card Series. Leading off LA’s half, AJ Pollock crushed a majestic homer to once again counter the Angels’ score. Betts battled and walked with two-away, but he was left at 1st. For the third consecutive frame, Walsh led-off the fifth with a solo shot off of the newly entered Brusdar Graterol to make it 5-3. Would you believe me if I said there was another leadoff home run? Well, there was, as Turner launched a hanging slider way up the pavilion to continue the trend. Muncy succeeded it with a muscled single the opposite way, and Will Smith fouled off five pitches in a row before smashing a two-run shot, flipping the script and giving the Dodgers a 6-5 edge. Jake McGee had bookend strike-outs in a swift top of the sixth, and LA went down in order offensively. Adam Kolarek was turned to for the seventh, and he allowed a single but got two outs. With a man on 2nd, Dylan Floro entered and worked a ground-out of Trout to strand the runner. In the Dodgers turn at bat, they strung it together with two-down. Smith and Cody Bellinger both walked preceding Joc Pederson’s pinch-hit single that put LA ahead 7-5. Victor González got the ball in the eighth, and despite a single by Rendon, González struck-out the side. Seager singled in the bottom of the inning prior to Edwin Ríos’ two-run bomb, providing insurance to make it 9-5. Kenley Jansen was given the ninth, a non-save chance, and worked around a bloop single to pitch a scoreless frame, ending the ballgame.
The boys in blue provide the offensive support for a less than customary Clayton Kershaw, as they hit the baseball hard and far to win their 41st game. Tomorrow, they’ll look to secure a series victory. Tony Gonsolin, 1-2 with an ERA 1.77, continues to fight for the third rotation spot come October. Borderline Cy Young candidate Dylan Bundy, 6-3 with an ERA of 3.29, starts for the Angels. With tonight’s loss, the Halos are officially eliminated from playoff contention. 6:10pm start tomorrow. Go Dodgers!
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