Here’s five things we learned from the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the Angels on Saturday evening.
Ohtani is unlikely to play Sunday
Shohei Ohtani didn’t do interviews in the press conference area after Saturday’s game like he normally does. Instead he sat by his locker, his right leg propped up and his knee wrapped with a thick, padded bandage.
He said he doesn’t feel too banged up from the foul he tapped off his knee in the ninth inning, and that he’s going to try to be ready for Sunday’s Freeway Series finale.
But even if he is ready, it’s unlikely Angels manager Mike Scioscia starts him against Dodgers lefty Alex Wood. Ohtani entered Saturday hitting .333 against righties and .121 against lefties.
Because of Ohtani’s uneven splits, it’s possible Scioscia would’ve rested him anyway. After he limped away following a strikeout against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, it’s almost certain.
Stripling rebounded from rough start against Rockies
Ross Stripling has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the National League this season, but in his only start of July, he tied his season-worst of four earned runs allowed against the Rockies. He returned to form Saturday.
He struck out seven and didn’t walk anyone over six innings of three-hit, one-run baseball, lowering his ERA to 2.22.
He now trails only the Mets’ Jacob deGrom (1.79) for the best ERA in the National League.
The only player who found success against him was perennial All-Star Mike Trout, who was 3-for-3 with a home run.
Puig’s hitting is trending upward
If the season ended today, Yasiel Puig’s .259 batting average would be the second worst of his career. But in July, the Dodgers’ starting right fielder has started to heat up.
He’s 7-for-21 this month, good for a .333 batting average.
He’s also driven in five runs, including his home run to center field in Saturday’s ninth inning that gave the Dodgers the insurance run they lacked when the Angels walked off on them Friday.
Jansen still has it. Especially without runners on base
A day after blowing his first save since April 17, two-time All-Star Kenley Jansen was back to his usual door-shutting self.
The Dodgers’ closer shut down the Angels, downing the first three he faced with two strikeouts.
Angels second baseman Ian Kinsler said Friday that the scouting report on Jansen said he loses track of base runners, so that’s what the Angels tried to exploit to earn their walk-off win. Jansen didn’t give them any such opportunity Saturday.
“Today we didn’t get anybody on to try to pressure him,” Scioscia said. “He did a good job this afternoon.”
The Angels’ bullpen could be tired Sunday
The same could’ve been said for Saturday, but the Angels bullpen did just fine. After starter Deck McGuire was pulled after three innings, Scioscia turned to five relievers to try and preserve a chance at winning.
It was the fourth game in a row where the team used at least four relievers, so while the frequent use of the bullpen didn’t seem to have much of an effect (Angels relievers allowed three runs in six innings Saturday), it could be worth keeping an eye on moving forward.