Astros No Match for Red-Hot Dodgers

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The Los Angeles Dodgers came into their first game with the Houston Astros on a seven-game winning streak on Tuesday–winning 11 of their last 12 games. They are only going to play two games in Houston during this short series. Then, they will be returning home to play four more against the San Francisco Giants. The Astros proved to be no match for the Dodgers Tuesday night, which featured two Cy Young-winning pitchers in Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke. Consequently, fans were expecting a pitcher’s duel. Both pitchers were perfect through the first three innings. In the fourth, the Dodgers broke through when Greinke walked Mookie Betts and followed that by serving up a two-run shot to Justin Turner.

Greinke would last six innings in all, however, not before surrendering two more runs. After Turner singled in the top of the sixth, Max Muncy and Will Smith walked. Then, Chris Taylor hit them both in with a short, two-out knock. It may have been a bloop single, but the runners were going on contact with two outs. The Astros’ only answer was a single in the bottom of the inning. The Astros finally broke through on Kershaw in the bottom of the seventh. Alex Bregman hit a solo shot to the smallest part of the park in left field. In fact, Statcast showed that it would have only been a home run at Minute Maid Park, according to Joe Davis, who was calling the game. That notwithstanding, it was a home run and it answered the Dodgers’ run on a wild pitch in the top of the inning.

Astros Pitching Struggles

While Kershaw was fantastic through 7 2/3, pitching only 81 pitches with six strikeouts, four hits, and just the one run, Astros pitchers struggled. In the eighth inning, the Dodgers’ Will Smith hit a single with the bases empty and one out. The next batter was hit by a pitch, then a strikeout for the second out. After that, the struggles went from bad to worse. The next four batters walked, adding three more runs. Astros pitchers have now walked 22 batters in the last three games.

Kershaw got the first two batters out in the bottom of the eighth. The first batter reached on an error by Gavin Lux, and the next batter hit into a double play. After that, Joe Kelly made his entrance to get the final out. This was likely just for fun as Kershaw had only thrown 81 pitches and no one was on base. furthermore, we all know the history from last year between the Astros and Kelly. The Astros managed to put together two base hits in the bottom of the ninth against rookie Phil Bickford. They even scored on a throwing error by Taylor.

Outlook for Dodgers vs Astros

All in all, the Astros were out-classed by the Dodgers on Tuesday evening. The good news for the Astros is that they get another shot on Wednesday. They had better do much better Wednesday if they hope to split the series. Scoring two runs on six hits is not going to cut it against this red-hot Dodgers team. They will have their hands full with Trevor Bauer Wednesday, so we will see how they handle it. The Dodgers won the first one 9-2 and brought their winning streak to eight games.


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Players Mentioned:

Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Joe Kelly, Gavin Lux, Chris Taylor, Alex Bregman, Trevor Bauer, Phil Bickford