The LowDown: Dodgers Lose Important Ground; Drop Two of Three in Arizona

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Angela Denogean/MLB.com

Game One

[MONDAY] Clayton Kershaw pitched well through six innings of work in this series opener, helping keep the Dodgers in position to pull off the late-inning surge that they did against the Diamondbacks.

Kershaw tossed six innings full, picking up six K’s while allowing three runs on six hits and a walk. This wasn’t a ‘Kershaw-like’ performance by any means, but when you’re the best pitcher on the planet, an off-night is just an above-average start.

The Dodgers called on four relievers to finish the job following Kershaw’s exit. The only run given up by the bullpen came on a ninth inning solo shot, hit by A.J. Pollock, and served up by Kenley Jansen. The other three relievers to shut the door were Caleb Ferguson, Scott Alexander, and Kenta Maeda. Each pitcher tossed a perfect outing, earning holds all around.

The Dodgers’ offense was powered greatly by a strong performance from David Freese. Alongside Freese in his three-hit performance was Manny Machado, who collected a pair of RBI’s. One of those RBI’s came on a ninth inning double that insured what was only a two-run lead up to that point. The Dodgers plated seven while hitting to a sub-par 4 for 16 (.250) average with runners in scoring position.

Dodgers defeat the Diamondbacks, 7-4. (Dodgers lead series, 1-0)

Game Two

[TUESDAY] The Diamondbacks walk it off at home in a game that was close up until the very last inning. Walker Buehler pitched well but simply couldn’t get the run support he needed from the offense, which sticks him with the no-decision in this start.

Buehler tossed six innings complete for the Dodgers, yielding two runs on four hits and a pair of walks. He also punched out five batters in his outing. It was easy to sense a good deal of frustration through fans on a myriad of social media platforms, as well as by the players who couldn’t seem to back up a pitcher who has been lights out for the team since the All-Star break.

The Dodgers’ bullpen was compiled of six relief appearances. The six pitchers were Scott Alexander, Dylan Floro, Alex Wood, Zac Rosscup, Pedro Baez, and Kenta Maeda. Only Floro and Maeda surrendered runs in the game, one run each. The other four relievers were only one walk away, given up by Rosscup, from all tossing perfect outings. Maeda’s allowed run was the most crucial run of the game, sealing it for Arizona and walking it off to stun the Dodgers in the ninth.

The Dodgers swatted a dismal 2 for 12 (.166) with runners in scoring position in the game, leaving nine runners on base. The only sliver linings from an overall quiet night from the Dodgers’ offense was a Cody Bellinger solo home run to open the scoring, and a triple struck by Yasmani Grandal in the seventh. The triple was Grandal’s second of the year, which marks a single-season career high for the catcher.

Dodgers lose to the Diamondbacks, 4-3. (D-backs tie series, 1-1)

Game Three

[WEDNESDAY] The Dodgers jump out to an early lead, but lose one of the most crucial games of the year versus the Diamondbacks, dropping the series and the claim on 1st place in the NL West.

Ross Stripling only survived through an inning and two thirds, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks. This start has to be considered Stripling’s worst start of the 2018, earning the loss, being unable to get out of the second inning, and doing so during what is considered do-or-die territory for the Dodgers.

The bullpen pitched pretty well, excluding one rough outing from Scott Alexander. The Dodgers sent seven relievers to the mound with Stripling having such a brief start. Those pitchers were Pedro Baez, Josh Fields, Scott Alexander, Yimi Garcia, Ryan Madson, Caleb Ferguson, and Pat Venditte. Alexander gave up three runs in the fifth inning, recording only two outs.

The Dodgers’ offense looked, to put it frankly, pathetic after giving way to their early 2-0 lead, secured on RBI base hits by Cody Bellinger and Ross Stripling. The Dodgers’ offense went cold for the latter seven innings, collecting only four hits after putting together five hits in the first two innings. Zack Greinke would go on to win his 11th game of the year and hold the Dodgers out of the score column from the third inning on.

Dodgers lose to the Diamondbacks, 7-2. (D-backs win series, 2-1)

Dodgers-LowDown ‘Player of the Series’

A player that had their name called in notable fashion in the box score nearly every night for the Dodgers was Cody Bellinger. In both games Bellinger started, he reached base. It was definitely a great series in his home state for Bellinger, and a solid silver lining for Dodgers fans worried about the standings and the success of the offense.

Bellinger’s Final Line:

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

 

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