Max Muncy once again helps Dodgers topple Giants for series sweep
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 3-1 win over the Giants on Tuesday.
There was no ocean from which the San Francisco Giants could retrieve Max Muncy’s home run balls this week, just a sea of humanity in Dodger Stadium’s right-field pavilion, where Muncy’s 424-foot blast landed Monday night, and a cluster of fans in the center-field plaza, where his 404-foot shot landed Tuesday night.
Muncy celebrated his “go-get-it-out-of-the-ocean” bobblehead night Tuesday with his second homer in as many games, his solo shot in the third inning fueling a 3-1 victory before 52,342 at Chavez Ravine that gave the Dodgers a two-game sweep of their National League West rivals.
Walker Buehler delivered 6 2/3 superb innings, giving up one unearned run and three hits, striking out seven and walking one, and the Dodgers beat one of baseball’s best pitchers in Kevin Gausman to cut San Francisco’s lead in the division to 11/2 games.
Dodgers sweep the Giants, 3-1
Giants: Right-hander Kenley Jansen now pitching for the Dodgers. Jansen hits Dickerson with his first pitch, bringing the tying run to the plate. Posey walked on five pitches. First and second, nobody out. Smith and Lux are talking to Jansen, who never likes pitching with a runner on second. Crawford struck out looking. Flores popped to short. Duggar struck out swinging. Dodgers win!
Final score: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
We go to the ninth, 3-1 Dodgers
Giants: Ruf grounded to third. Curt Casali, batting for the pitcher, struck out swinging at a pitch in the dirt. Wade grounded to first.
Dodgers: Right-hander John Brebbia now pitching for the Giants. Bellinger struck out swinging. Smith flied to center. Taylor struck out swinging.
Score after eight: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Lux’s error opens door for Giants in seventh (it’s still 3-1 Dodgers)
Giants: Posey grounded to short. Crawford struck out swinging. Flores grounded to short, but it clanked off Lux’s glove for an error. Duggar doubled to right, scoring Flores. You just knew that was going to happen. And that’s it for Buehler, who pitched a great game. Right-hander Joe Kelly now pitching, with the tying run at the plate. Solano grounded to third.
Dodgers: Right-hander Keith Littell now pitching for the Giants. Betts grounded to third. Muncy grounded to second. Turner flied to deep left-center.
Score after seven: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Walker Buehler pitching a gem through six innings
Giants: Thairo Estrada, batting for Gausman, flied to right. Wade flied to center. Dickerson struck out swinging. Six strikeouts for Buehler, who has given up two hits and walked one in 91 pitches. He’s due up third in the bottom of the inning.
Dodgers: Left-hander Jose Alvarez now pitching. Lux grounded to short. Pollock grounded to second. Buehler struck out swinging.
Score after six: Dodgers 3, Giants 0
Dodgers 3, Giants 0 through five innings
Giants: Duggar struck out swinging. Solano flied to left. Ruf grounded to third.
Dodgers: Muncy walked on five pitches. Turner flied to center. Bellinger flied to left. Smith walked on eight pitches. Taylor flied to left. 90 pitches through five innings for Gausman.
Score through five: Dodgers 3, Giants 0.
It’s 3-0 Dodgers after four
Giants: Dickerson flied to left. Posey doubled to left. Crawford popped to first. Flores popped to first.
Dodgers: Wade to right field. Darin Ruf in the game at first. Tauchman out, so apparently he did hurt his leg after that nice catch. Lux struck out swinging. Pollock walked on five pitches. Buehler sacrificed him over to second. Betts popped to second.
Score after four: Dodgers 3, Giants 0
Max Muncy’s homer (on his bobblehead night) gives Dodgers a 3-0 lead
Giants: Proving the theory that if you make a great defensive play, you’ll lead off the next inning, Mike Tauchman singled to left. Kevin Gausman struck out swinging. Wade grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
Dodgers: On his bobblehead night, Max Muncy homered to center, measured at 404 feet. Turner flied to right. Bellinger struck out swinging. Smith singled sharply to right-center. Taylor flied to right-center.
Score after three: Dodgers 3, Giants 0
Dodgers lead 2-0 after two
Giants: Wilmer Flores struck out looking. Steven Duggar struck out swinging. Donovan Solano flied to center.
Dodgers: AJ Pollock fouled to first. Walker Buehler hit a drive to right-center. Tauchman took an adventurous route to the ball, make a stabbing catch, then fell hard on his right leg. He was in great pain, but stays in the game. Betts grounded to third.
Score after two: Dodgers 2, Giants 0
Chris Taylor’s double gives Dodgers an early 2-0 lead
Giants: Right-hander Walker Buehler pitching for the Dodgers. LaMonte Wade Jr. flied to center. Alex Dickerson struck out looking. Buster Posey walked on five pitches. Brandon Crawford grounded to third, forcing Posey.
Dodgers: Right-hander Kevin Gausman pitching for the Giants. Mookie Betts struck out swinging. Max Muncy walked on five pitches. Justin Turner was hit by a pitch. Cody Bellinger walked on six pitches. Will Smith struck out swinging. Big out. Chris Taylor hit a little looper that landed just fair for a double, scoring Muncy and Turner, Bellinger to third. Gavin Lux grounded to third.
Score after one: Dodgers 2, Giants 0
Police investigating assault allegation against Trevor Bauer
Authorities were looking into an assault allegation against Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer, Pasadena police said Tuesday.
Lt. Bill Grisafe of the Pasadena Police Department said officials were investigating an allegation from a woman about an incident that allegedly occurred in Pasadena on or about May 16.
He said police opened an investigation a few weeks ago and could not provide more information about the allegation. Court records show a woman filed a restraining order against Bauer during that time frame.
Jon Fetterolf, an agent for Bauer, denied any wrongdoing by his client. In a statement, he said the assault claim stems from a relationship between a woman and Bauer beginning in April.
“Any allegations that the pair’s encounters were not 100% consensual are baseless, defamatory, and will be refuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Fetterolf said.
Major League Baseball said they were aware of the accusation and were examining it.
Lt. Carolyn Gordon, who is overseeing the investigation, said that police have not yet presented a case to the district attorney’s office.
Max Muncy telling Madison Bumgarner to ‘go get it out of the ocean’ was a defining early moment for Dodgers slugger
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts chuckled when he was reminded of the phrase that inspired the Max Muncy bobblehead giveaway for Tuesday night’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
The doll features the bearded Dodgers slugger in his road grey uniform, a batting helmet on his head and scowl on his face, pointing his left index finger angrily toward the sky.
It was the pose Muncy struck on June 9, 2019, when he got into a shouting match with then-Giants ace Madison Bumgarner as he rounded the bases on a homer that soared over Oracle Park’s right-field wall and splashed into McCovey Cove.
The notoriously feisty Bumgarner did not like the way Muncy admired his shot, telling Muncy, “You don’t watch the ball, you run!” To which Muncy replied, “If you don’t want me to watch the ball, you can go get it out of the ocean!”
Muncy was in his second season with the Dodgers, a relatively mild-mannered infielder at the time, and Roberts recalled doing a double-take when he saw Muncy fight Bumgarner’s fire with fire.
Pasadena police are investigating Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer over a woman’s allegation that he assaulted her. Bauer’s agent called the accusations “baseless” and “defamatory.”
“Max had a great at-bat, he hit a homer and admired it — I don’t think too long — and Bum had some words for him,” Roberts said before Tuesday night’s game. “And to hear the “go get it out of the ocean,” I’ve never heard that one.
“It was a quick response. I love the fire, and Max is a fiery player. We have a lot of guys who are kind of stoic, some who are more outgoing, jovial and excitable, but Max just plays with an edge.”
Muncy, who was released by the Oakland Athletics in the spring of 2017 and out of baseball for a month before signing with the Dodgers, has evolved into one of the game’s top players, a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman who is the leading National League vote-getter at his position.
Muncy points to his dispute with Bumgarner as the time he established that he was not going to be intimidated.
“That’s the person I always am, from the way I was raised, playing football, to coming up the way I did,” said Muncy, who entered Tuesday with a .262 average, .955 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 16 homers, 37 RBIs and a major league-leading 50 walks.
“I’ve always had a fire in me. When I’m competing, I’m not gonna back down from anybody. That might have been the first time a lot of other people saw it, but that’s the player I’ve always been, and the player I’m always going to be.”
Kenley Jansen used three straight sliders to strike out Buster Posey in the ninth inning and help close out the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over San Francisco.
Roberts said it’s important for an emerging big leaguer to not back down in such situations.
“A guy like Bumgarner tries to intimidate you — that’s part of his mystique,” Roberts said. “But Max is not going to be intimidated.”
Muncy said he has not spoken to Bumgarner, who signed a five-year, $85-million deal with Arizona before the 2020 season, since the incident.
“I don’t know how he feels, but I’m pretty sure he feels the same way I do, that there’s no personal hard feelings at all,” Muncy said. “It just happened to be two guys who were competing. The moment got heated, and that’s all it was.
“It had nothing to do with personal feelings, and for me, there’s no lingering aftermath. He’s a guy who wants to compete, who loves to win and who hates losing, and that’s how I am, so if anything, I respect him more for it.”
Tommy Lasorda once had a very important question for Vin Scully
Relive Fernando Valenzuela’s no-hitter, thrown 31 years ago today
Fernandomania was about two years past its shelf life in 1990. Fernando Valenzuela was a shadow of the pitcher he once was, after getting injured in 1988, he went 10-13 in 1989 and was off to a poor start in 1990. The fans still loved him, but he didn’t draw sellouts for every start anymore, and was just one of the guys. Until June 29.
For one night, it seemed the spirit of the old Fernando inhabited the body of the broken-down Fernando as he tossed an unlikely no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The day started with Oakland ’s Dave Stewart throwing a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays. Valenzuela watched the final outs of the game on a TV clubhouse, turned to Manager Tommy Lasorda and said “That’s great, now maybe we’ll see another no-hitter.”
Kreskin couldn’t have been more proud.
The final outs came in the ninth with a runner on first, one out, and former teammate Pedro Guerrero at the plate. Guerrero hit a bouncer up the middle that ticked off Fernando’s glove and rolled right to second baseman Juan Samuel, who stepped on second and threw to first for an inning-ending and no-hitter-preserving double play.
“Do you think if I don’t touch that ball, it goes through for a single?” Valenzuela said after the game. “Whoa. I think it does. I think I don’t touch it, I’m in trouble.
Valenzuela said he started to tire in the seventh inning.
“But this was a different kind of tired. This kind of tired did not bother me. You think I felt anything during that last inning? No way.”
It was the last shining moment for Valenzuela, as 1990 would be his final season with the team.
“It couldn’t have happened to a tougher, more competitive guy,” Lasorda said. “You look at Fernando and he has done everything in his career except a no-hitter. And now, this.”
The only person not happy about the no-hitter was Guerrero.
“I’m not very happy right now. No way am I congratulating anybody. Maybe later, but not now.”
Dodgers facing one of baseball’s best pitchers in Giants right-hander Kevin Gausman
The Dodgers will face one of the best pitchers in baseball Tuesday night when they go for a two-game sweep of the National League West-rival San Francisco Giants in a 7 p.m. game in Chavez Ravine.
Right-hander Kevin Gausman, who is 8-1 with a 1.49 ERA in 15 starts, with 112 strikeouts and 20 walks in 96 2/3 innings, will start for San Francisco. Only one pitcher, New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom (0.69 ERA) has a lower ERA.
Right-hander Walker Buehler, who is 7-1 with a 2.51 ERA in 15 starts and had his 23-game unbeaten string dating back to September 2019 snapped in last Thursday night’s loss to the Chicago Cubs, will start for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers will employ the same lineup they used in Monday night’s 3-2 win over the Giants:
DODGERS LINEUP: RF Mookie Betts, 1B Max Muncy, 3B Justin Turner, CF Cody Bellinger, C Will Smith, 2B Chris Taylor, SS Gavin Lux, LF AJ Pollock, RHP Walker Buehler.
GIANTS LINEUP: 1B LaMonte Wade Jr.; LF Alex Dickerson, C Buster Posey, SS Brandon Crawford, 3B Wilmer Flores, CF Steven Duggar, 2B Donovan Solano, RF Mike Tauchman, RHP Kevin Gausman.
Three solo homers help Dodgers defeat Giants, trim division deficit
The Dodgers do not question the legitimacy of the San Francisco Giants, who have played far too well for too long to believe they are some kind of fluke.
Nor are they troubled that the Giants entered a two-game series at Chavez Ravine with the best record in the major leagues and, with the San Diego Padres, pose a serious threat to their National League West supremacy.
The Dodgers still have their division archrivals in their sights and possibly their crosshairs, their 3-2 win over the Giants on Monday night moving them to within 2 1/2 games of first place in the NL West as the season approaches the midway point.
“I just think that we’ve held serve,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “To take the surge early, now you’re getting into the summer, when teams start to get taxed more and it’s more of a grind. … That starts to separate the good and bad teams. It’s going to happen this year, in my opinion, big time.”
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen nailed down his 19th save with a scoreless ninth inning, preserving the win for starter Trevor Bauer, but it wasn’t without some drama.
Mike Tauchman opened the ninth with a single to left-center field that Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger overran. But Bellinger retrieved the ball and fired a strike to second baseman Chris Taylor, whose tag of Tauchman for the first out was upheld by a replay review.
Jansen then struck out Buster Posey and got Alex Dickerson to ground out to second, ending a game in which all five runs were scored on solo homers.
The Dodgers punished two mistakes from Giants starter Anthony DeSclafani in the first, Mookie Betts lining a center-cut, 2-and-0 fastball over the wall in left-center for his 10th homer of the season and Max Muncy crushing a middle-in, 1-and-2 sinker 424 feet into the right-field pavilion for his 16th homer.
San Francisco’s LaMonte Wade Jr. sliced the lead in half in the third with a solo homer that barely cleared the wall in right field to make it 2-1. The Dodgers’ Will Smith led off the bottom of the fourth with his 10th homer of the season, a shot to left that pushed the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.
The Giants’ Brandon Crawford mashed his team-best 17th homer of the season to lead off the sixth, a 444-foot, 106-mph shot to center off a first-pitch Bauer fastball that cut the Dodgers’ lead to 3-2.
Wilmer Flores followed with a double off the left-center-field wall, putting the potential tying run in scoring position with no outs.
But Bauer stiffened, striking out Steven Duggar with an 82-mph curve, retiring Donovan Solano on a grounder to third and getting pinch-hitter Darin Ruf to chase an 84-mph down-and-away slider, Bauer punctuating the whiff by thrusting both arms toward the upper deck and pounding his chest three times.
That ended the evening for Bauer, who gave up two runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out eight and walked one. Of the 71 hits he has given up this season, 19, or 27%, have been homers, the second-most homers yielded in baseball behind Chicago Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks (20).
Dodgers reliever Victor Gonzalez ran into trouble in the seventh, hitting Wade with a pitch to open the inning and giving up a one-out single to Posey. The left-hander escaped the jam by getting Dickerson to fly to center and Crawford on a tapper to the mound.
Dodgers right-hander Blake Treinen had an even more harrowing escape act in the eighth, which began with a single by Flores — his fourth hit of the night — and a Duggar walk.
Solano grounded softly to third, the runners advancing to put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on second and third with one out. But Treinen struck out pinch-hitter Curt Casali with a nasty 87-mph slider and got Wade to pop out to shortstop, preserving the 3-2 lead.
Seager hits plateau
Corey Seager has “plateaued” in his rehabilitation from a right-hand fracture, and a recent bone scan showed the hand is “not totally healed,” Roberts said. The shortstop is taking ground balls, throwing and running, but he has not swung a bat since early last week.
“It just isn’t responding,” Roberts said. “Time is not helping. He’s just not coming along. He still feels it when he hits, the vibration of the swing, so we’re gonna put [hitting] on the back burner and slow-play it a little bit.”
Dodgers beat the Giants thanks to three solo homers, 3-2
Giants: Right-hander Kenley Jansen on the mound for the Dodgers. Tauchman singled to center. Bellinger overran the ball slightly, quickly recovered and threw Tauchman out trying to take second. They had to review it, and Tauchman barely beat the tag, but came off the bag during the slide. He’s out. Posey struck out swinging. The crowd is fired up. Dickerson grounded to second. Dodgers win.
Final score: Dodgers 3, Giants 2
We go to the ninth, 3-2 Dodgers
Giants: Right-hander Blake Treinen now pitching for the Dodgers. Flores singled to right-center. Duggar walked on six pitches. First and second, none out. Solano hit a slow bouncer to third, Turner’s only play was to first. Curt Casali, batting for the pitcher, struck out swinging at a slider well outside the zone. Wade popped to short. Some nifty pitching by Treinen to get out of that jam.
Dodgers: Right-hander Dominic Leone now pitching for the Giants. Betts struck out swinging. Muncy grounded to short. Turner struck out swinging. We go to the ninth.
Score after eight: Dodgers 3, Giants 2
Dodgers maintain 3-2 lead through seven
Giants: Left-hander Victor Gonzalez now pitching for the Dodgers. Wade was hit by a pitch. After fouling a ball painfully off his right leg, Yastrzemski struck out swinging. Posey singled to center, Wade to second. Dickerson flied to center. Crawford grounded to the pitcher.
Dodgers: Mike Tauchman in right field for the Giants. Lux flied to center. And that’s it for Garcia. Right-hander Jimmie Sherfy now pitching for the Giants. Pollock fouled to first. Matt Beaty, batting for the pitcher, flied to center.
Score after seven: Dodgers 3, Giants 2
Giants close gap to 3-2 on Brandon Crawford’s homer
Giants: Crawford homered to center, estimated at 444 feet. Knew it as soon as it left his bat. Flores doubled to left-center. Duggar struck out swinging. Solano grounded to third. Former Dodger Darin Ruf, batting for DeSclafani, struck out swinging. Bauer walked off the mound, pointed to the crowd behind the Dodger dugout, then beat his chest.
Dodgers: Left-hander Jarlin Garcia now pitching for the Giants. Bellinger struck out looking. Smith flied to center. Taylor struck out swinging.
Score after six: Dodgers 3, Giants 2
Dodgers lead 3-1 after five innings
Giants: Yastrzemski struck out looking. Posey lined to center. Dickerson fouled to the catcher. Bauer has made 78 pitches through five innings, giving up one run, six hits and one walk while striking out six.
Dodgers: Betts singled to center. Muncy fouled to left. Turner grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
Score after five: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Dodgers take 3-1 lead in fourth on Will Smith’s homer
Giants: Flores singled to left. Duggar popped to short. Solano singled to right, Flores to second. DeScalfani bunted, but bunted it too hard. A charging Muncy picked it up and threw to Turner at third for the force play. First and second, two out. Wade struck out looking.
Dodgers: Smith homered to left, estimated at 377 feet. Taylor struck out swinging. Lux singled to left. Pollock struck out swinging. Bauer lined to first.
Score after four: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
Giants cut deficit to 2-1 on Wade’s homer in third
Giants: Wade homered to right, estimated at 373 feet. Yastrzemski grounded to second. Posey doubled to right. Dickerson struck out looking. Crawford grounded to second.
Dodgers: Trevor Bauer struck out swinging. Betts walked on six pitches. Muncy struck out swinging. Turner walked on five pitches. Bellinger flied to left. I love fans who spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to sit directly behind home plate and then spend most of the game watching through their cellphone, hoping to catch a moment on video. I think if you do that for more than an inning, an usher should come by and say “We’re going to give you seat to a kid who will love it.”
It’s 2-0 Dodgers after two
Giants: Brandon Crawford flied to right. Wilmer Flores singled to left. Steven Duggar struck out swinging. Donovan Solano walked on four pitches. Anthony DeSclafani struck out looking. Bauer doesn’t have his best stuff, but he’s making it work.
Dodgers: Chris Taylor flied to left. Gavin Lux grounded to short. AJ Pollock struck out swinging.
Score after two: Dodgers 2, Giants 0
Betts, Muncy homer to lead off first, Dodgers lead 2-0
Giants: Right-hander Trevor Bauer on the mound for the Dodgers. LaMonte Wade Jr. singled to right. Mike Yastrzemski fouled to short. Buster Posey struck out looking. Alex Dickerson grounded to third.
Dodgers: Right-hander Anthony DeSclafani pitching for the Giants. Mookie Betts homered to left-center, estimated at 388 feet. Max Muncy homered to DEEP right-center, estimated at 424 feet. Justin Turner popped to second. Cody Bellinger struck out swinging. Will Smith grounded to third.
Score after one: Dodgers 2, Giants 0
Dodgers in uncharted territory as they begin series against Giants
The Dodgers opened a two-game series against the San Francisco Giants Monday night in a strange and unfamiliar position: 3 ½ games behind their National League West archrivals as they approach the midpoint of the 2021 season.
“Uh, yeah,” utility man Chris Taylor said, when asked before the game if the Dodgers are surprised to be looking up at the Giants in the standings this deep into the season.
“We expect to be at the top of the division, but give [the Giants] credit. They’re playing outstanding. I don’t think we’re playing poorly. We could be playing better, but they’ve been really good, and their record shows it.”
The defending World Series-champion Dodgers have won eight straight NL West titles, and only once, when they had to beat Colorado in a one-game playoff in 2018, was their division supremacy threatened. They won the NL West by six or more games in six of the eight years.
But the San Diego Padres have won seven of 10 games over the Dodgers this season, including last week’s three-game sweep in Petco Park, and entered play Monday with a 47-33 record, 4 ½ games back in the NL West.
And the Giants, coming off four straight losing seasons, were 22-8 since they were swept in a three-game series by the Dodgers in San Francisco on May 21-23, a surge that pushed them to a major league-best 50-27 record entering Monday.
The Giants had their top two starters—Anthony DeSclafini (8-2, 2.77 ERA, 80 strikeouts, 24 walks in 87 2/3 innings) and Kevin Gausman (8-1, 1.49 ERA, 112 strikeouts, 20 walks in 96 2/3 innings)—lined up for the series.
Their offense has been led by 34-year-old shortstop Brandon Crawford, who entered Monday with a .252 average, 861 OPS, 16 homers and 50 RBIs in 68 games, 34-year-old catcher Buster Posey, who was hitting .326 with a .967 OPS, 12 homers and 27 RBIs in 52 games after sitting out 2020 because of coronavirus concerns.
Third baseman Evan Longoria, 35, was hitting .280 with an .892 OPS, nine homers and 30 RBIs in 50 games before suffering a left-shoulder sprain in early June.
“One thing that stands out is their starting pitching,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “They’re in ballgames, they strike guys out. On the offensive side, you look at what Crawford and Posey are doing, what Longo did before he went down, you have those veteran guys who are performing and they’re filtering in younger players who are performing as well. It’s a real ballclub.”
Corey Seager’s right-hand fracture “just isn’t responding” as Dodgers hoped, so shortstop has stopped swinging bat
Corey Seager has “plateaued” in his rehabilitation from a right-hand fracture, and a recent bone scan showed the hand is “not totally healed,” manager Dave Roberts said Monday. The shortstop has been taking ground balls, throwing and running, but he has not swung a bat since last week.
“It just isn’t responding,” Roberts said. “Time is not helping us. He’s just not coming along. He still feels it when he hits, the vibration of the swing, so we’re gonna put it on the back-burner and slow-play it a little bit.”
The left-handed-hitting Seager, the reigning National League Championship Series and World Series most valuable player, broke the fifth metacarpal when he was hit on the back of the right hand by a fastball from Miami’s Ross Detwiler on May 15, an injury that was expected to sideline him for four to six weeks.
Roberts said last week that the Dodgers were hopeful Seager, who hit .265 (39 for 147) with a .783 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, four homers and 22 RBIs in 37 games this season, would “be back with us in early July.”
Asked Monday if an early-July return was no longer possible, Roberts said, “Is early July before July 15? I hope it’s before the All-Star break, and Corey does, too. He’s frustrated. It’s not ready, and there’s nothing he can do about it. … They want to stop the hitting to see if there’s a way to get the soreness out.”
Dodgers and Giants to renew NL West rivalry with two-game series
The Dodgers will look to cut into San Francisco’s 3 ½-game National League West lead Monday night when they open a brief two-game series against the division-rival Giants in Chavez Ravine, where Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer (7-5, 2.57 ERA) will oppose Giants right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (8-2, 2.77 ERA).
The Dodgers have won four of seven games against the Giants this season, including a three-game sweep in San Francisco from May 21-23.
But the Giants are 22-8 since that series, including a four-game set in Los Angeles where they won three of four from May 27-30, a surge that has pushed them to a major league-best 50-27 record entering Monday 7 p.m. game.
Despite playing in one of baseball’s most pitcher-friendly parks, the Giants have hit 114 homers, tied with Toronto for the most in baseball, and they rank fourth with a .756 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
Their pitching staff ranks third in baseball with a 3.21 ERA and has issued a major league-low 199 walks.
Bauer has struck out 129 and walked 36 across 101 2/3 innings in his 16 starts, but of the 63 hits he has given up this season, 17 are homers, tied for the fourth-most in baseball behind Kyle Hendricks (Chicago Cubs, 19), Mike Foltynewicz (Texas, 18) and Robbie Ray (Toronto, 18).
“I don’t know, I just have the worst home run luck in the league,” Bauer said after giving up three homers in last Wednesday night’s loss at San Diego. “It seems like every time I make even the smallest little mistake, it leaves the yard. I don’t know what to do about that. I guess just hope it doesn’t last all season.”
DODGERS LINEUP: RF Mookie Betts, 1B Max Muncy, 3B Justin Turner, CF Cody Bellinger, C Will Smith, 2B Chris Taylor, SS Gavin Lux, LF AJ Pollock, RHP Trevor Bauer.
GIANTS LINEUP: 1B LaMonte Wade Jr., RF Mike Yastrzemski, C Buster Posey, LF Alex Dickerson, SS Brandon Crawford, 3B Wilmer Flores, CF Steven Duggar, 2B Donovan Solano, RHP Anthony DeSclafini.
ICYMI: Clayton Kershaw dominates in Dodgers’ series-clinching win over Cubs
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 7-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.
Clayton Kershaw hopped off the mound and took several steps toward the third base dugout, the Dodgers left-hander so sure he had struck out Chicago Cubs slugger Anthony Rizzo to end the first inning Sunday that he didn’t bother looking for umpire Ryan Blakney’s call.
Kershaw, his eight teammates on the field and a crowd of 46,315 in Dodger Stadium were stunned when the belt-high slider on the inside corner was called a ball, but it only delayed the inevitable.
Two pitches later, Kershaw whiffed Rizzo with an 86-mph slider, setting the tone for a late-afternoon display of dominance in which Kershaw gave up one run and four hits, struck out a season-high 13 and walked one in eight innings of a 7-1 victory over the Cubs.
Kershaw induced 26 swings and misses during his 101-pitch, 70-strike gem, a season high and the fifth most in his 14-year career, 22 of them with a sharp-breaking slider that averaged 86.4 mph.