Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Pirates – Series 39

Los Angeles Dodgers (75-46)  |  Pittsburgh Pirates (42-79)


“Listen, if you start worrying about the people in the stands, before too long you’re up in the stands with them.”

– Tommy LaSorda


Game 3:


Dodgers vs Pirates
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

For the second straight series, the Dodgers turned on the power in a blowout win to complete the sweep. On Wednesday, that came in the form of Max Muncy and AJ Pollock leading the offense, and Mitch White taking the bullpen out of a bullpen game in a 9-0 drubbing of the Pirates.

By the time White entered Wednesday’s game in the second inning, the Dodgers already lead 3-0. It was a perfect cushion for a bullpen game, though White provided all the relief.

The right-hander had his best major league game to date. Following opener Justin Bruihl — who got five outs, starting for the second time in three days — White allowed only two singles and two walks, and struck out six while finishing the game.

I’ve just been working on being efficient, and doing my best with that, just attacking guys and not walking,” White said. “Get a little swing and miss with the curveball, then go from there.”

White was efficient, needing only 74 pitches to get through 7⅓ innings, the longest professional outing of White’s career. His longest minor league games were a trio of seven-inning games in 2017-18 between Class-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa.

He was fantastic. This is something he’s going to remember for a long time,” manager Dave Roberts said. “We needed a big performance out of him, and he gave us that and plenty more.”

Dodgers pitchers have allowed 23 total runs in the last 11 games, winning 10, including the last six in a row.

Those three runs in the first inning began with a single by AJ Pollock, batting first for the first time this season.

Since the All-Star break, Dodgers leadoff hitters have started the game off with a bang more often than not. They have 16 hits in 28 at-bats to open the first inning, with six doubles, three home runs, and two walks. That’s a cool .571/.600/1.107 batting line, with 13 runs scored.

Over those 30 games, Chris Taylor has the most times batting leadoff with 12, filling in when Mookie Betts (six starts batting first) was hurt. Trea Turner assumed the top spot once he came to the Dodgers, and it was his first day off with his new team that paved the way for Pollock to hit leadoff on Wednesday.


Dodgers vs Pirates
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

In addition to the single in the first inning, Pollock hit a solo home run in the second and singled again in the fourth inning.

After each of Pollock’s first two singles, Muncy homered, a two-run shot in the first and a three-run job in the fourth. Muncy has three multi-homer games this season, all since the All-Star break, including two in the last four days. After the second homer, the Dodger Stadium crowd even chanted “M-V-P” a few times for Muncy, an outcome that makes quite a lot of sense.

It’s probably one of the cooler moments I’ve had in my career,” Muncy said. “I was kind of wild. I had to hold back a smile when I was in the batters box.”

Whenever fans recognize you as a potential MVP, you’ve got to be doing something right,” Roberts said. “I’m very happy for him.”

The second Muncy home run helped chase Pirates starter, JT Brubaker, after four innings, continuing a brutal stretch for the right-hander. Brubaker was 4-4 with a 3.74 ERA in his first 10 starts this season. But starting with a loss to the Dodgers in Pittsburgh on June 8 — allowing three runs in 4⅔ innings — Brubaker is 0-9 with a 7.08 ERA in 12 starts.

The Dodgers have won 16 straight games against the Pirates, dating back to 2018. That’s tied for the club’s longest win streak against a single opponent since moving to Los Angeles, matching a streak against the Padres in 1973-74.

At home, the Dodgers have been even better against Pittsburgh. They swept the Pirates at Dodger Stadium in 2017, 2018, 2019, and again in 2021, for 12 straight home wins against them.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Mitch White (1-1)

LP: JT Brubaker (4-13)

HR: Max Muncy 2 (28), AJ Pollock (15), Corey Seager (6)


The Dodgers go for a seventh straight win on Thursday night. The Dodgers will have another bullpen game in the opener of the four-game series against the New York Mets. Taijuan Walker, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning last Saturday against the Dodgers, starts for New York. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA & MLB Network.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Pirates
Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/USA TODAY Sports

Matt Beaty took advantage of only his second start of August with two hits, including the tie-breaking two-run double helped the Dodgers to yet another win over the Pirates. The 4-3 win for Los Angeles is their 15th straight over Pittsburgh.

Despite intermittent playing time, Beaty has navigated his way to hitting .267/.365/.383 on the season. His two-out, two-run double off Cody Pence broke a 2-2 tie, and gave Beaty six hits in his last 10 at-bats.

On the season, Beaty has more starts in the outfield (27) than at first base (16), where he started on Tuesday. But since the July 22 arrival of Billy McKinney — who manager Dave Roberts said is “a couple of grades better than anyone else we could put out there” in the outfield — five of Beaty’s seven starts have come at first base.

Beaty’s found his role off the bench, his 41 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter are 17 more than any other player on the team. Despite rarely starting, Beaty has still played in 35 of the last 38 games.

Matt’s been a pro. All guys want more at-bats, and his role on the club is to play sporadically, get spot starts, and take tough at-bats off the bench,” Roberts said. “Today, he really fought and competed.”

Adapting and finding a role, even if it’s sometimes a square peg in a round hole, seems to be commonplace for the 2021 Dodgers, who have used a franchise record 57 different players this season.


Dodgers vs Pirates
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

David Price made three spot starts in May and June as part of bullpen games, but was used basically as a reliever until right before the All-Star break when Clayton Kershaw was placed on the injured list. Tuesday was Price’s seventh real start of the season, the kind with proper rest and side work in between outings.

He’s still been effective in this stretched-out role, with a 3.66 ERA and 4.27 FIP since July 9, compared to 3.58 ERA  before that. Price allowed two runs in 4⅔ innings on Tuesday, which is right in line with his previous starts.

Price faced 19 batters on Tuesday, with a familiar pattern. He allowed one hit in his first time through the batting order, keeping the Pirates scoreless. After that wasn’t all that bad, but the two other hits he allowed were bunched together to start the fourth inning, and both scored.

My body feels good. My arm, elbow, shoulder all feel good as well,” Price said. “Getting back into my routine in between starts, everything feels good and I’m ready to go.”

After averaging 119 innings from 2017-19, seasons interrupted by elbow and wrist injuries, Price opted out of 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, he’s been willing to pitch in any role asked of him, ranging from long relief to high-leverage situations to starting, and that he’s been generally effective is a plus. But he’s pressed into a starter’s role as a necessity right now because of all the pitching injuries.

The Dodgers don’t have much of a choice at the moment, but to fill innings wherever they can.

I can’t say enough about David,” Roberts said. “I could go on and on about him as a teammate, just being unselfish.”

The first three relievers who followed PriceCorey Knebel, Phil Bickford, and Blake Treinen — retired all 10 batters they faced.

Kenley Jansen struggled in the ninth inning, allowing the now nightly Yoshi Tsutsugo double, a walk, and a single to trim the lead to just one run. But Jansen got the final two outs to close out the win.

Dodgers pitching has allowed three or fewer runs 10 times in 14 games in August.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Corey Knebel (2-0)

LP: Cody Ponce (0-3)

SV: Kenley Jansen (25)


After getting 8⅔ total innings from the starter/bulk pitcher in the first two games of the series, another bullpen game awaits on Wednesday. Mitch White is expected to be the bulk pitcher in the series finale against JT Brubaker starts for Pittsburgh. The first pitch is at 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Pirates
Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

It was closer than you’d like, but a win is a win as the Dodgers picked up the close 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Max Muncy stayed hot after an incredible series in New York. With one out in the eighth inning, Muncy connected and launched the go-ahead home run deep into the right-field pavilion, giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

For the Dodgers, they only scored two runs on the night, both of which came late. Luckily for them, that was all they needed on Monday night.

It was an eventful seventh inning, that somehow only resulted in two runs combined. We’ll start with the Pirates, who jumped on the board first. With runners on first and second, an error from Cody Bellinger at first base brought in Pittsburgh’s first run. There could have been interference called, but the umps ruled to play on.

This game could have gotten out of reach quickly, but the Dodgers’ bullpen locked things down. With runners on second and third with no outs, Brusdar Graterol retired two, with Blake Treinen getting the third out on one pitch. The Pirates were only able to tack on one run.


Dodgers vs Pirates
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

The Dodgers got that run back pretty quickly in dramatic fashion. Billy McKinney picked a perfect time to hit his first homer with the Dodgers, as his solo shot tied the game at one.

I thought it was [gone], but I try not to push the limit,” he said. “I try not to assume anything until it happens.”

It wasn’t McKinney’s only highlight for the night. Earlier in the game, he had a huge game-changing moment in right field.

With a runner on first, he fielded a hit in right field and gunned a throw to third base to get the runner. He had a lot of mail on the throw, as it was nearly sent into the bleachers. A leaping grab and great tag from Justin Turner got the crucial out at third base.

He’s been great,” manager Dave Roberts said of McKinney.He’s filled a void and played a big role. Like I mentioned, he takes good at bats and his job isn’t to carry us offensively. Couldn’t be happier for him.

That assist he got in right field, it’s a different ballgame. To get that assist, that changed the game.”

McKinney said having a game like this at Dodger Stadium was incredible, giving credit to the atmosphere.

Just the roar of the crowd,” he said. “Gives me chills thinking about it. It’s so cool. The fans are so driven. Honored and blessed to be on this side of the dugout.”


Dodgers vs Pirates
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Andre Jackson was called up from Oklahoma City to make his major-league debut. He did everything the Dodgers could have asked for, and then some.

The right-hander gave the Dodgers four scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Justin Bruihl was the opener for L.A., with Jackson coming in to pitch in the second inning. He showed flashes of what made him one of LA’s top pitching prospects, striking out five in his four innings.

It was everything I thought it was going to be, and more,” he said. “I didn’t have the nerves I thought I’d have.

He struggled a bit with command, as he issued four walks. Of his 71 pitches, only 39 were for strikes. Still, he settled down and allowed only one hit over his final three innings.

Early on, he had himself in a jam with multiple runners on base. He didn’t waver, as he settled down and got himself out of the inning without any damage.

I had to dog up and make some pitches,” he said. “That’s when it hit me, ‘This is real’. I’m glad I escaped with some clean innings. It helped me boost some confidence.”

It was certainly an encouraging outing from Jackson, a pitcher the Dodgers might have to turn to for the remainder of the season.

With a one-run lead, the Dodgers turned to Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning. Jansen has been great over the last week and continued his stretch of looking good. He threw 11 pitches, with every pitch being a strike. Old friend Yoshi Tsutsugo hit a double and moved over to third, representing the tying run with two outs. Jansen got the final out, securing the save for the Dodgers.



Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Blake Treinen (3-5)

LP: Chasen Shreve (1-1)

SV: Kenley Jansen (24)

HR: Max Muncy (26) Billy McKinney (9))


David Price will take the mound for L.A. while Pittsburgh will start Wil Crowe. it’s the second game of the seires with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.


Dodgers vs Pirates                   Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                   Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                   Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                 Dodgers vs Pirates                                                     

– Joe Arrigo

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeArrigo

Follow The Franchise on social media