Dodgers bats red hot after National series

LOS ANGELES (News4usonline) – The month of July was good for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Before playing the Washington Nationals in a three-game series at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles was on a roll. Prior to MLB’s All-Star Weekend, the Dodgers posted 13 wins from July 1 until the All-Star break. 

Since then, all the Dodgers have done is beat up and take a four-game series from the San Francisco Giants. The hot streak didn’t stop. The Dodgers went 22-4 for the month of July. The Dodgers are on a roll. The departed Nationals like the rest of Major League Baseball know what that is like.  

The Los Angeles Dodgers won 22 out of 26 games in July. After dropping two games to the Washington Nationals, the Dodgers have won 11 of their last 12 games. Photo by Melinda Meijer/News4usonline

In a rare matinee game played on July 27, the Dodgers pulled out a 7-1 win at Dodger Stadium. Since that game, the Dodgers have won 11 of their last 12 games, including sweeping the San Diego Padres following a 4-0 shutout win Sunday, Aug. 7.

Getting back to the Nationals, the Dodgers dropped that series to Washington. However, the win in the last game of the series has put Los Angeles on track to continue their hot play. The Dodgers are the best team in baseball. They own the best record in MLB. And for sure, Los Angeles looks like they will be the favorites to make it to the World Series.

Even though they dropped the first two games of the series against Washington, the Dodgers showed the Nationals what they’re capable of in the final contest. The Dodgers struck early and often. Gavin Lux had three hits and two runs, while Mookie Betts reached the base four times. The strength of the Dodgers is team balance, something they were not able to reach in the first two games of the series.

Los Angeles Dodgers’ first baseman Freddie Freeman has one of the drivers of the team’s success this season. Photo by Melinda Meijer/News4usonline

In the first game of the three-game series, the Dodgers dropped that contest 4-1. Ok. On the second day, the Dodgers, the top team in Major League Baseball’s West Division, seemed to appear they would break the ice against Washington and register their first win of the series. 

That was not the case. Behind some outstanding play from Betts, the Dodgers were in front of the Nationals all the way up to the final two innings. 

Then everything snowballed and went downhill. Leading 3-2, the Dodgers surrendered two runs in the eighth inning and then gave up four more runs in the ninth and eventually fell to the visitors, 8-3. The Dodgers wasted six innings of solid pitching from Mitch White, who gave up just two runs on nine hits. 

Yency Almone followed with a scoreless inning of his own. So, the Dodgers were in a great position to win their 65th win of the season. Washington had other ideas. For a while there, the Dodgers were in the driver’s seat, being powered by home runs from both Betts and Cody Bellinger. Outside of that, the bats from the Dodgers were relatively quiet on this night. 

The Dodgers managed to come away with only six hits in total against Washington. If you take away the two bombs into the outfield that were dropped by Betts and Bellinger, that would mean the Dodgers collected just four hits the entire game.

The pitching from the Los Angeles Dodgers has been nothing short of sensational over the last two months. Photo by Melinda Meijer/News4usonline

After drilling his 23rd home of the season in the first inning, Betts kept the Nationals from getting another run when he posted an assist after throwing out Victor Robles with a pitch-perfect throw at home plate. 

That would be pretty much your Dodgers highlight for the evening. Outside of that sequence, Robles had a decent night for the Nationals, coming up with three hits and scoring two runs. The Nationals got to Garrett Cleavinger for six runs over the final two innings to win the ballgame. 

The avalanche started when Luis Garcia made a connection off a Cleavinger pitch for a two-run home run in the top half of the eighth inning with two out. The Nationals then put the game away with four runs in the ninth inning. Even with the two straight defeats to Washington (34-65), a team that sits at the bottom of the National League East, the Dodgers maintain a double-digit lead over the Padres in the National League West Division. 

Reporter Jesus Perez contributed to this article