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Dodgers On Deck: Dodgers vs Angels Series #19


Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17)  |  Los Angeles Angels (26-34)


The Dodgers go to battle again against the Angels in another Freeway series.

The two LA teams got at it in a three-game set that the Angels needed to try and win badly to make the postseason. No Angels’ player wants to make the postseason more than Mike Trout, who has only made it once. But with the addition of Anthony Rendon this year, they hope it would be enough help for Trout and the Angels to make it into the postseason. The Dodgers, though, have other plans for their little brother, and watching the two best players in baseball is always fun.



Los Angeles Dodgers vs Los Angeles Angels Series #19


Game 1 – Win 9-5

Dodgers vs Angels
Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

The way the Dodgers played this game gave you hope that they can come back even after some early game adversity. Clayton Kershaw got the nod for game one. In his final start of the regular season, he was hit around pretty good and did not look like the Kershaw of the last few starts. This is somewhat alarming with the postseason being just around the corner, but let’s chalk it up to a fluke, hopefully.

For the first time in his career, Clayton Kershaw gave up a home run to Mike Trout on his famous curveball. So this should be a significant indication that this was an odd start for Kershaw all together. His pitching line jumped out but not for the right reasons. He gave up four runs on eight hits with two home runs. Dodgers fans have always worried about Kershaw in the postseason, but with this team and the way he’s been pitching of late, we can give this game a mulligan, and fans can be optimistic towards his first postseason start.

The Dodgers and Angels went on an absolute hitting tear in this game. Both teams had twelve hits, but the Dodgers had nine players cross home, and the Angels only got five guys across the plate. This was an efficient hitting game for the Dodgers; the pitching staff also had six strikeouts and five walks. No one player for the Dodgers really went off, but it was a well-played game as a team, and no player had more than two hits. But all the hits on the team seemed to happen at the most critical moments in this game. Brusdar Graterol recorded the win, but he also had five guys come out of the bullpen after him to help lock the game down.

This was another big win for the team as they knocked the Angels out of the postseason and kept the much-needed momentum going into October.



Game 2 – Win 7-6

Dodgers vs Angels
Photo Credit: LA Times

The bottom of the first inning in game one was an absolute merry go round. The Dodgers found themselves with the bases loaded early and got the first run on a walk to Cody Bellinger with nowhere to put Mookie Betts. Mookie Betts initially got on base from a hit-by-pitch in his left hip from Julio Teheran. Then the inning unfolded with a hit, fielders choice, and a throwing error to make it a 3-0 game early. This game had the feel of a boxing match with the two teams going blow for blow the first few innings. The Dodgers threw up a three-piece in the first, and the Angels answered with four in the third.

Joc Pederson, Edwin Rios, and Will Smith all went yard this game. The Dodgers put up another three runs through innings six, seven, and eight, making the game seem somewhat out of hand for the Angels. At the top of the ninth, Alex Wood gave Dodgers’ fans a good scare by allowing two runs in the inning, making it a one-run game. Dave Roberts would pull the struggling pitcher and go to the lefty Adam Koralek to finish the inning and seal the win. 

The Dodgers pitching (9.0, 11 H, 5 ER, 6 R 9 SO’s 2 BB) for this game was somewhat all over the place. Gonsolin and Joe Kelly looked good; Gonsolin gave up the four in that third inning but cruised along other than that. Alex Wood really struggled in the ninth, but Kolarek locked it down. Hitting for the Dodgers by the numbers was incredibly efficient, even with the team’s frightening fourteen strikeouts. The Dodgers made sure to cash in on hits this game. They had seven runs scored on only eight hits. That is the recipe for winning games and, most importantly, winning in the postseason. Not leaving runners on base is the best way to raise a team’s percentages of winning a baseball game.

In the sixth inning of the game, there was a blackout that left managers and players startled for a few. “I panicked for two seconds, to be honest,” said Edwin Rios. Angels manager Joe Maddon called the sudden blackout “surreal.”. Maddon added, “Right away, you think something’s going on somewhere, but we were assured that was not the case,”.



Game 3 Win 5-0

Dodgers vs Angels
Photo Credit: True Blue LA

It was the last game of the regular season for the Dodgers, and they did not disappoint. The pitching was in postseason form; the bats found the ball again when it mattered most. Victor Gonzalez started the game in an opener role for the Dodgers and did well not allowing any runs in the first.

Dave Roberts then turned the ball over to the flame thrower Dustin May who was absolutely dealing for a good stretch of innings and pitches. This was very promising to see him go an extended period of innings and continue to be scary dominant. He showed some poise and pitched with authority in that stretch.

A.J. Pollock blasted a ball to center field that Jo Adell gave a good look at but ultimately no chance to get it. This was the proverbial nail in the coffin for the Angels as the score was now 5-0 in the seventh. The Dodgers played in top form without Mookie Betts. He did not play today with it being the last game of the season, and the team already having clinched a spot. Fans also missed out on Mike Trout and Albert Pujols, who is a future Hall Of Famer. Pollock and Pederson provided all but one run for the Dodgers with a combined four runs on four hits.

Kenley Jansen had a great outing, closing the final game and inning of the regular season. The Dodgers shutout the Angels in the first-ever season-closing freeway series, This is some significant momentum moving forward, taking another series and sweeping this one altogether.

The Angels also parted ways with their General Manager Billy Eppler after the game. This is a surprise and a big deal. Mike Tout resigned his massive extension because of his relationship with Eppler, and Shohei Ohtani initially signed with the Angels for his ties with Eppler. Will new management think about moving these stars? Will Arte Moreno continue to use his GM’s as the fall guys for his inept ownership and baseball decision making? Stay tuned. The Angels will be a fluid situation this offseason.



Wild Card Series Preview

The Dodgers will now begin the chase for the ever so elusive World Series Championship. This wild card series will have the Dodgers matched against the Brewers, who grabbed the final of two National League Playoff spots on Sunday. The Dodgers need everyone on the postseason roster to contribute, and the team leaders Kershaw and Betts, most notably to lead by example. Pitching will be critical as usual, but the postseason further exemplifies pitching as it is always more important in October. The Dodgers will face Christian Yelich and the Brewers in another matchup to determine who moves on.



Scheduled to pitch in game 1 Wednesday, 9/30

Dodgers: Walker Buehler  (1-0) Regular Season / Brewers TBD



Schedule to pitch in game 2 Thursday, 10/1

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (6-2 )Regular Season / Brewers TBD



Schedule to pitch in game 3 Friday, 10/2

Dodgers: TBD  / TBD 

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-Rich Decristan – Franchise Sports Media

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