It is hard to expect a Los Angeles Dodgers win when they are playing such a strong team and are without several of their starting players. Furthermore, young, flaming-hot San Diego Padres phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. hit two home runs off of Cy Young winners for the second consecutive game. Last game they were hit off of Clayton Kershaw, and tonight they were off Trevor Bauer. This makes Tatis Jr. the 6th player in history with two multi-homer games off of former Cy Young winners in a season, and the first-ever to do it in consecutive games. Those are very impressive items on his young resumé. However, it was not enough to beat the Dodgers Saturday night after taking the first two games of the series. Tatis would eventually represent the winning run in the top of the ninth and ground out, as Kenley Jansen slammed the door shut with a four-out save.
The Dodgers have been bitten hard by the injury bug lately. Coming into Saturday’s game, they were without Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, Zach McKinstry, Tony Gonsolin, and Corey Knebel. Taylor would be available to pinch-hit off the bench since his elbow is finally feeling better. These injuries would be a major blow to any team, including, but not limited to, the super-deep defending World Champions. Joe Kelly is also still sidelined, though he has not pitched yet this year. All these injuries have led to several MLB debuts for up-and-coming Dodgers. Dodger fans have seen D.J. Peters, Sheldon Neuse, and Luke Raley for the first time in a regular-season game.
The Game and the Series
Trevor Bauer was not the only former Cy Young winner in the game, as he faced off against Blake Snell. Both starting pitchers pitched well in this one. Snell went 5 1/3 giving up seven hits and two earned runs while walking two and striking out seven. Bauer provided his fourth consecutive quality start. He threw six innings surrendering five hits and no walks while striking out nine. The only two earned runs that Bauer allowed were the two solo shots that Tatis hit. He almost got drilled by a comebacker off the bat of Eric Hosmer as he hit the deck in the sixth, but he dodged it. Neither one of these great pitchers factored into the decision in the end.
The Padres currently lead this series 2-1 heading into Sunday’s finale. The Dodgers took two of three in the first meeting and will look to split this one with another win on Sunday evening. These matchups have had it all so far. Flair, excitement, close calls, big defensive plays, and huge home runs have been featured in each game. It looks as if these two NL West powerhouses will be entertaining fans for years to come. It will likely be exciting every time they play, and it has all the makings of the beginning of a highly competitive rivalry.
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Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Gavin Lux, Zach McKinstry, Tony Gonsolin, Fernando Tatis Jr., Corey Knebel, Joe Kelly, D.J. Peters, Sheldon Neuse, Luke Raley, Blake Snell, Trevor Bauer, Eric Hosmer, Kenley Jansen