The LowDown: Dodgers Dominate in St. Louis, Earning Critical Playoff Position

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Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Game One

[THURSDAY] Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers’ bullpen gave up a share of runs versus St. Louis, but managed to get the win with a little help from the Dodgers’ offense.

Kershaw tossed six innings complete in the series opener, allowing three earned runs on eight hits and a pair of walks. Through the first seven batters retired by Kershaw, the ace collected six strikeouts, totaling out to eight K’s on his ledger.

Following Kershaw in relief, in order, was Kenta Maeda, Caleb Ferguson, and Kenley Jansen. Maeda and Jansen each gave up one earned run in their outing. Ferguson only recorded two outs after coming on in the eighth inning to close out the inning. Ferguson promptly recorded both outs, allowing no hits, no walks, and no runs.

The Dodgers’ offense hit a combined 5 for 10 (.500) with runners in scoring position in the game, posting a strong nine runs against the young Cardinals’ starter, Austin Gomber. Notably, Manny Machado slugged in three runs, one coming on a seventh inning solo home run. Even Kershaw contributed to the offensive efforts, knocking in an run on a single in the fourth.

Dodgers defeat the Cardinals, 9-7. (Dodgers lead series, 1-0)

Game Two

[FRIDAY] Walker Buehler pitched arguably the best game of his Major League career against the Cardinals on Friday, aided by an outstanding offensive showing by Yasiel Puig.

Buehler tossed into the eighth inning for the very first time in the big leagues, and didn’t disappoint. Over his eight shutout innings, Buehler allowed only a pair of hits and a pair of walks, striking out nine batters. Performances like this are the reason that Walker Buehler is best young pitcher in the game.

Duties in the ninth were taken by the ‘Big Fella’, Kenley Jansen. In his inning, Jansen pitched perfect and converted the save; his 35th of the year. Jansen also recorded a strikeout in his perfect close.

The Dodgers’ three runs were majorly contributed to by Yasiel Puig. In both the second inning and the ninth inning, Puig launched a ball into the seats. The Dodgers collected the third of three runs on a passed ball by Yadier Molina, scoring Cody Bellinger from third. The team batted a lackluster 0 for 5 (.000) with runners in scoring position, leaving seven runners on base in the win.

Dodgers defeat the Cardinals, 3-0. (Dodgers lead series, 2-0)

Game Three

[SATURDAY] Rich Hill and the Dodgers went to battle in an early Saturday special (10:05am PT start-time) and dismantled the Cardinals on the FOX Sports National Broadcast. The offense came up big, nearly putting the Cardinals into submission in the series.

Hill polished off five complete innings against the Cardinals, allowing four runs on two hits and four walks. Hill’s only big mistake came when he walked loaded the bases and served up a grand slam ball to Patrick Wisdom, who read it, put a bat on it, and sent it into the seats at Busch Stadium.

Emerging from the bullpen behind Hill, in order, was Dylan Floro, Pedro Baez, Ryan Madson, and Julio Urías. The four Dodger arms tossed scoreless outings, each covering a complete inning. The ninth was handled by Urías as his 2018 debut, and his last game in the Major Leagues since early in 2017. He pitched a perfect ninth, recording one strikeout.

The offense took off on St. Louis after blowing a 3-0 lead on a Patrick Wisdom grand slam. While FOX Sports chose Wisdom’s home run as Play of the Game, we at Dodgers-LowDown choose the Dodgers’ massive offensive surge. Yasiel Puig continued his hot streak, hitting for his very first career three home run game. And, with the early start, it can be said that Puig’s combined five home runs in games two and three all were hit in less than 24 hours. Cody Bellinger picked up six RBIs in what was also a very impressive showing from him. Together, Puig and Bellinger combined for an unreal thirteen RBIs between the two of them.

Dodgers beat the Cardinals, 17-4. (Dodgers lead series, 3-0)

Game Four

[SUNDAY] Ross Stripling started his outing well, but unfortunately couldn’t get it done against the strong Adam Wainwright, who dealt one of the best showings of the past few seasons for himself on Sunday.

Stripling tossed three and one third innings, allowing three runs on four hits and no walks. Stripling’s final line also includes five strikeouts. Stripling was tagged with the loss against Wainwright; his fourth loss of the year.

Summoned from the bullpen to take matters in the fourth was Pat Venditte, who recorded yet another shutout outing. Following him, in order, was Kenta Maeda, Scott Alexander, Ryan Madson, Zac Rosscup, and Josh Fields. The only earned run forfeited by the bullpen was given up in the eighth inning by Fields on a Yadier Molina RBI single.

An offensive unit that posted seventeen runs a day ago was held scoreless in the series finale, mustering four total hits as a team. The team left seven runners on base, slugging a dismal 0 for 5 (.000) with runners in scoring position. It’s difficult to get things done offensively if the home run ball isn’t there, and the team is hitless when scoring opportunities are given.

Dodgers lose to the Cardinals, 5-0. (Dodgers win series, 3-1)

Dodgers-LowDown ‘Player of the Series’

We headed back out to the polls this series and asked you fans who you believed was deserving of the Dodgers-LowDown Player of the Series award. Here’s the results…

Twitter Poll Results: Puig vs. Buehler

  • 233 votes
  • 87% of voters chose Puig

Facebook Poll Results: Puig vs. Buehler

  • 135 votes
  • 86% of voters chose Puig

The Dodgers-LowDown Player of the Series is Yasiel Puig!

“Puig not only got some critical runs in, but his homers got that hot streak going that the Dodgers are so well-known for. We looked like [the] October 2017 Dodgers, and it got me really excited for the upcoming series.”

– @Elle_Vader via Twitter

“This was a really hard choice for me. I’m surprised it’s so one-sided towards Puig.”

– @boxbro39 via Twitter

Puig’s Final Line:

  • 14 AB
  • 6 H (5 HR)
  • 5 R
  • 9 RBI
  • 1 BB

 

Arrick Joel has covered the Dodgers since 2017, and for Dodgers-LowDown since 2018. Follow @ArrickJoel and @DodgersLowDown on Twitter for more.