The LowDown: Dodgers’ Offense Falters as a Postseason Appearance Begins to See Question

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Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers

Game One

[MONDAY] Wood pitched a decent but short game for the Dodgers in the series opener. The offense didn’t seem to wake up until late into the game, as the Dodgers struggled greatly while hitting with runners in scoring position.

Alex Wood pitched into the fifth but couldn’t record an out. So, his final line reads off that Wood pitched four innings, allowing three runs on seven hits and a pair of walks. However, Wood did collect four strikeouts in the game. This was definitely not Alex Wood’s best work, but he was still able to keep the Dodgers in striking distance. And for that, Wood was later taken off the hook for a loss.

Wood was replaced in the fifth inning after giving up back to back hits and a walk. While one of these runners scored, Wood was still responsible for the two others who remained on second and third base as J.T. Chargois entered the game.

Chargois left the game after facing only one batter, being Marcell Ozuna. Later in the evening it was announced that Chargois was feeling a tingling sensation in his neck and down through his throwing arm. Officials called the injury, “neck discomfort” for Chargois.

Pedro Baez entered after Chargois’ injury exit and shut it down in a no outs, bases loaded situation. Baez’ night ended after two innings, allowing only one walk and striking out three. Baez was relieved by Kenta Maeda, who went two perfect innings, striking out four. The ninth inning was in the hands of Kenley Jansen, fresh off the disabled list and inactive from play for eleven days. Jansen wound up yielding back-to-back home runs to Jedd Gyorko and Matt Carpenter, earning the loss in is first game back from injury.

Over all nine innings, the Dodgers were a combined 2 for 13 (.153) with runners in scoring position. The Dodgers’ three runs came on a base hit by Manny Machado, a sacrifice fly from Cody Bellinger, and a record-setting base hit from the pinch hitting Max Muncy. The RBI base hit from Muncy was stroked to left field on a 103 MPH fastball out of the hand of Jordan Hicks. Hicks is the hardest throwing pitcher in baseball, and the pitch that Muncy hit was the fastest pitch to be turned around for a hit by any player in 2018.

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

Game Two

[TUESDAY] Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched a game very similar to Alex Wood in his start a night before with nearly the same result as well. The Dodgers’ offense gained the lead early, but missed opportunities came back to bite them and earn the team another loss.

Ryu tossed four innings, just like Wood, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk. Somewhat scarily, Ryu and Wood also finished with the same number of strikeouts at four total. What differs the two pitchers however is that Ryu received a loss, while Wood received only a no decision.

The Dodgers got on the board early with a second inning hit-by-pitch of Yasiel Puig with the bases juiced. The runner on third, Cody Bellinger, would be forced in and give the Dodgers a quick lead. The Dodgers wouldn’t score again until the seventh inning, when Manny Machado hit a solo home run. By the end of the game, the Dodgers had gone 1 for 8 (.125) with runners in scoring position.

Dylan Floro took the mound following Ryu’s exit, and worked through two scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk. Entering in the seventh was Daniel Hudson. In his inning and a third of work, Hudson gave up two runs while only allowing one base hit and no walks. The two runs were driven in on a Marcell Ozuna home run, following a hit-by-pitch on Tyler O’Neill. Hudson stayed in to record an out in the eighth inning before being taken out in favor of Scott Alexander. From there on, Alexander capped off the eighth and handed the game to Caleb Ferguson in the ninth. Ferguson and Alexander both pitched perfect outings, allowing no runs, hits, or walks. Ferguson also collected three strikeouts in the ninth.

Dodgers lose to the Cardinals, 5-2. (Cardinals lead series, 2-0)

Game Three

[WEDNESDAY] Walker Buehler just can’t seem to be stopped by any lineup in baseball. Buehler pitches another gem for the Dodgers, but the team cannot take advantage. The offense again went stale as the bullpen gave up another close game.

Buehler pitched seven scoreless innings against a tough Cardinals lineup, striking out a single-game best, nine batters. Buehler left the game, after pitching those seven outstanding innings, with a pitch count of 104; 71 for strikes.

The Dodgers’ entire offense came from one swing by Joc Pederson, who broke up Jack Flaherty’s no-hitter. Pederson promptly took the shutout away along with it, sending Flaherty’s pitch over the wall in right field. The Dodgers’ chances with runners in scoring position were much slimmer in this game with only two chances to plate runners in scoring position. However, the Dodgers still went 0 for 2 (.000) in these situations.

Scott Alexander was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth inning to take over for Walker Buehler, who left with a one-run lead. Alexander was charged with his third blown save of the season after serving up a solo home run to Tyler O’Neill. Nevertheless, Alexander made it through the inning without allowing St. Louis to take the lead. The Dodgers chose to bring Kenley Jansen in for a tie game in the ninth inning. Jansen recorded an out and allowed a single before giving up the finishing blow; a two-run home run off the bat of Paul DeJong.

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

Dodgers-LowDown ‘Player of the Series’

This series was frustrating from the first out to the last one. However, a bright spot from this set against a potential playoff team, was Walker Buehler. One of baseball’s brightest young stars, Buehler showed up when his team needed him. And while it didn’t affect the outcome of the game, the performance was not a bit less impressive.

Buehler’s Final Line:

  • 7 IP
  • 3 H (0 HR)
  • 0 R
  • 0 ER
  • 2 BB
  • 9 SO

 

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