The LowDown: Dodgers Leave Colorado Shorthanded in Four-Game Set

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Matt Kelley/MLB.com

Game One

[THURSDAY] Ross Stripling pitched a great game in his debut off the DL in the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field, but did not receive a decision as the Dodgers rallied late to win the game.

The Dodgers’ offense exploded to hit five home runs in the seventh inning and later, taking advantage of a reeling Rockies bullpen. Joc Pederson and Max Muncy each pinch-hit into solo home runs in the seventh, Cody Bellinger tied the game at five a piece with a two-run bomb in the eighth, and Chris Taylor and Brian Dozier sealed the deal with a pair of homers in the ninth.

Ross Stripling, as previously mentioned, was returning from a stay on the disabled list in this start against Colorado. Stripling went six innings full, allowing one run on four hits and two walks. Stripling’s final line score also includes a pair of strikeouts.

In the bottom of the seventh, Dave Roberts brought Pedro Baez in after a process of elimination that considered resting overused pitchers, and playing the matchups. Baez struggled, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk. Baez was tacked with his first blown save of 2018. Baez’ seventh inning performance quickly burnt Stripling’s chances at earning the win.

The Dodgers’ late explosiveness proved to be very important in the victory. Again, the Dodgers find themselves on the home run lifeline, and fortunately live to see a victory over Colorado in game one of the series.

The Dodgers defeat the Rockies, 8-5. (Dodgers lead series, 1-0)

Game Two

[FRIDAY] The Dodgers’ offense stalls for the last four frames, allowing the Rockies to sneak by with a one-run lead and win the game. Kenta Maeda pitched a decent game, but was tagged with a no-decision after the bullpen forfeited the tying, and winning runs.

Maeda pitched five and one third innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks. Maeda rang up seven batters for strikeouts, capping off an overall, decent start in the altitudes of Coors Field.

Kenta Maeda had rights to the win until the seventh inning when Zac Rosscup gave up a two-run home run to Ryan McMahon, an infielder for the Rockies who came in to replace the All-Star third baseman, Nolan Arenado. Rosscup went an inning full after coming on with one out in the sixth, giving up two runs on two hits and no walks. Rosscup fanned all three batters he faced for outs, but earned both a blown save and the loss.

Max Muncy’s sudden return of power leaked into the ballgame in the form of a two-run shot, plating Cody Bellinger. The homer is Muncy’s twenty-sixth on the season, leading the Dodgers. Muncy also homered the night before, making it a streak of two home runs in as many nights.

Dylan Floro and John Axford came on following Zac Rosscup’s seventh inning fits and collectively pitched the remaining inning and two thirds, giving up only one hit while combining for three strikeouts. According to David Vassegh (@THEREAL_DV) of the Dodger Talk radio show, the Dodgers have given up more runs in the seventh inning than any other inning this season.

The Dodgers lose to the Rockies, 5-4. (Series tied, 1-1)

Game Three

[SATURDAY] Walker Buehler pitched an absolute gem with seven shutout innings at Coors Field, but isn’t paid any favors by the bullpen who record yet another blown save in a second consecutive one-run loss.

Walker Buehler tossed for seven innings at Coors Field, shutting out the Rockies throughout his outing. That feat is a very respectable one, and one that Buehler should be very proud of. Buehler gave up four hits and walked three while punching out six batters and allowing no runs. Outings like this could serve both Buehler and the Dodgers very well moving forward. Outstanding stuff from Buehler on the day.

The Dodgers collected runs early, posting one run in the first and second frames. The Dodgers’ offensive efforts were headlined by a line drive homer scorched by Yasiel Puig in the second inning. That solo shot would make for Puig’s fifteenth on the year; a dangerous number to see from an eight-hole hitter in mid-August. The run plated in the first inning came off of Justin Turner’s first triple in two seasons, scoring Manny Machado.

Caleb Ferguson entered the game in the eighth inning and earned a hold, pitching a one-two-three inning to continue Buehler’s trend of shutdown baseball. Scott Alexander began the ninth inning for the Dodgers, leading by two runs. Alexander recorded a strikeout and gave up a double, ending his night after only pitching a third of an inning.

To finish out the game, trotted J.T. Chargois. With one out and a runner on second, Chargois hit a batter, and forced a ground out. The same batter who homered off Zac Rosscup to decide it a night ago, Ryan McMahon, saw only one pitch of Chargois’ before taking him deep with runners on second and third to walk off the Dodgers. Chargois was charged with his fourth blown save of 2018, and was tagged with the loss.

The Dodgers lose to the Rockies, 3-2. (Rockies lead series, 2-1)

Game Four

[SUNDAY] Rich Hill pitched a decent game with six full innings of work to his credit, as the Dodgers seemed to give up in the ninth inning. The offense was quiet as the bullpen fits are turning into bullpen disasters.

Hill turned in a final line consisting of two earned runs on four hits and no walks. While Hill did surrender a home run to Charlie Blackmon, he also fanned four batters in the start. Likewise to every other game this series, a Dodgers starter pitched well enough to be in line for the win, only to have their shot taken away by sloppy bullpen play. Hill would have to be content with a no-decision.

The Dodgers finally reached the scoreboard in the seventh inning, as Brian Dozier came in clutch with a two-RBI base hit to plate Justin Turner and Yasmani Grandal. An inning later, in the eighth, Matt Kemp hit a sac-fly to center field that would bring Yasiel Puig home from third and tie the game at three a piece.

John Axford would come on to relieve Rich Hill in the seventh, and certainly did his work. Axford tossed a perfect two inning performance, striking out two in effort. To pitch the ninth, Dave Roberts would call on Dylan Floro. Relieving Axford in the ninth, Roberts decided to intentionally walk two batters in a sequence that would load the bases with two outs in a tie game in the bottom of the ninth. On five pitches, Floro would walk batter, Chris Iannetta, and force in the winning run, completing the Rockies’ second consecutive walk-off of the Dodgers.

The loss of Kenley Jansen makes for a very, very difficult bullpen situation for the Dodgers, it seems. The bullpen nearly blew all four games of this series since losing Jansen, recording a blown save all four nights. Management will need to find a solution for this issue in the near future, as every bullpen arm seems to be a risk to call in.

The Dodgers lose to the Rockies, 4-3. (Rockies win series, 3-1)

Dodgers-LowDown ‘Player of the Series’

A player that we’ve seen make a big turn-around in this series and possibly ramp up a hot streak to take down the stretch with himself, is Max Muncy. For his spectacular play at the dish, Muncy will take home Dodgers-LowDown Player of the Series honors in this four-game set.

Muncy’s Final Line:

  • 12 AB
  • 4 H (2 HR)
  • 3 RBI
  • 2 R
  • 1 BB

 

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