Clash with Padres becoming a thorny issue for Dodgers

LOS ANGELES – In Round Six of the 2021 Dodgers-Padres clash, another tight contest on the field provided the fans in the stands their money’s worth and following six straight games of offensive woes the Dodgers were able to wake up the bats and come away with a 5-4 victory over their rival.

Saturday night at The Ravine started off with a bang as Fernando Tatis Jr. sent the second pitch of the game from Trevor Bauer, 414 feet into the sunset sky and gave the Padres the early 1-0 lead. It didn’t take long for San Diego to add to the lead as following a Wil Myers single and a stolen base, Jurickson Profar singled him home making it 2-0 through the first two innings of play.

The Dodgers offense had been quiet over the last six games (combined totals- 23-180 (.128 avg), 11 runs, 5 HRs, 64 K’s) and were looking to break out of their slumber some way, somehow. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Mookie Betts, Corey Seager and Justin Turner executed a two-out rally and got the Dodgers on the board to cut the deficit to one.

Bauer would find a groove retiring 11 in a row before Tatis Jr. sent another 414-foot home run over the left-field fence to regain the lead for San Diego at 3-2. Tatis Jr. was seen displaying antics and mocking that of Bauer as he rounded the bases on both homers. Bauer expressed in his postgame interview that he has no problem with the antics of players as it sort of motivates him to be better.

“He did it in the first, but I didn’t see him do it because I was focused on my job,” Bauer said. “Then he did it again on the second one and look, I like it. Pitchers who have that done to them and react by throwing at batters is soft, to me. You give up a homer, a guy deserves to celebrate it. I got Hosmer on a curve and did my sword celebration and when he lined one back toward my face in the sixth, he did it to me. I’m all for that.”

Padres pitcher Blake Snell (the same Blake Snell that pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays last season in the World Series against the Dodgers) had pitched well through five innings and after getting Max Muncy to ground out for the first out in the sixth, manager Jayce Tingler pulled Snell and brought in reliever Pierce Johnson.

The irony?


This was the same point of game six in last year’s World Series where Rays manager Kevin Cash pulled Snell from his dominant outing and as Dodgers fans know, that sparked the comeback and eventual championship win for the Boys in Blue. Saturday night proved the same result as the Dodgers would single three times to load the bases. Betts followed the three hits and earned himself a walk that scored Sheldon Neuse from third and tied the game at three.

Seager followed Betts and on the third pitch of his at-bat slapped a single up the middle, scoring two runs to give the Dodgers their first lead of the night at 5-3.

“We grinded tonight,” Seager said postgame. “It was nice to get some hits through and keep the line moving. Everybody did their job, we competed till the very end and were awarded with a big win.”

Bauer’s night was over after the sixth as finished the night with 6 IP, 5 hits, 2 earned runs and struck out 9 batters. Victor Gonzalez came in and walked Jake Cronenworth to open the inning and followed that with a strikeout of Profar but gave up a bloop single to Victor Caratini and Dave Roberts called upon Blake Treinen to limit the damage.

Pinch hitter Tommy Pham singled on a bleeder to right field and the bases were loaded for none other than Fernando Tatis Jr. Treinen would get Tatis Jr. in an 0-2 hole before botching a pitch in the dirt that skipped away from catcher Will Smith, allowing Cronenworth to score from third. Two pitches later Treinen would get Tatis Jr. on a slider for the second out of the seventh. Trent Grisham followed and on five pitches was put away to end the inning.

The Dodger offense would go quietly in the seventh and following a strikeout on Machado, Treinen was replaced by Scott Alexander. A better outing would’ve sufficed as Alexander gave up a single, a fielder’s choice and hit a batter before Kenley Jansen came in looking to get the four-out save.

Jansen would get Profar to ground out and end the eighth and following another quick Dodgers inning offensively, would come out for the ninth looking to slam the door on the evening.

An opening strikeout of Caratini followed with a walk to Campusano who was then pinch ran by Jorge Mateo. Tatis Jr. would step to the plate with a chance to be the hero for the Padres but it was to no avail. Mateo would steal second and advance to third on Tatis Jr’s ground out to second base and with the tying run on third, Jansen struck out Grisham on five pitches to end the ballgame.

The Dodgers won their league-leading 15th game of the season and have a chance to split Sunday afternoon and are looking to avoid losing their first series since dropping two of three to the Colorado Rockies on September 4-6, 2020.

“It was fun game to be a part of,” Dave Roberts said post game. “Trevor pitched well, we had good at-bats, made some plays on both side of the ball. Offensively we saw the ball a lot better and the guys weren’t trying to slug balls. They found some holes, got the big hits and we needed every run tonight. They’ve got a heck of a ballclub over there and you expect games like this to be as tight as they’ve been. So it was good to come out on top tonight.”

Featured Image: Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers tries to make a connection by San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove in a game between the two teams on April 25, 2021. Photo by Dennis J. Freeman/News4usonline