Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Rockies – Series 32

Los Angeles Dodgers (61-40)  |  Colorado Rockies (43-56)


“I believe managing is like holding a dove in your hand. If you hold it too tightly you kill it, but if you hold it too loosely, you lose it..”

– Tommy LaSorda


Game 3:


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Chris Taylor homered twice, and Will Smith hit a game-winning solo shot in the eighth inning to back a strong combined pitching performance in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over the Rockies on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

Smith, whose walk-off homer won Tuesday’s game against San Francisco, broke a tie in the eighth inning Sunday with his fourth home run over his last seven games, and his second against Rockies reliever Carlos Estévez in eight days.

Joe Kelly worked around an infield single in the ninth inning to close it out, the seventh Dodgers pitcher to earn a save in 2021. He also injured his hamstring while fielding that infield hit, and will receive treatment on Monday before the Dodgers fly to San Francisco.

Kelly concluded a stellar day for the bullpen, with a combined five scoreless innings with no walks, three singles allowed, and five strikeouts. That included a pair of weekend returns — two perfect innings from Brusdar Graterol, and a scoreless frame with two strikeouts for Jimmy Nelson.

Phil Bickford pitched a scoreless eighth for his first major league win.

Before Sunday’s series finale against the Rockies, the Dodgers honored the 40th anniversary of the 1981 championship team, with 18 players from that team, two coaches, plus then-PR director (and future general manager) Fred Claire and then-owner Peter O’Malley all on the field at Dodger Stadium.

Derrel Thomas, a jack of all trades who in five years with the Dodgers started seven different positions — including three times at catcher — was introduced by the master of ceremonies Charley Steiner as “Chris Taylor, nine years before Chris Taylor was born,” alluding to renowned versatility, including starting at six different positions this season.

Thomas, more of a speed merchant in his day, hit 12 home runs in his five years with Los Angeles. Taylor’s offense is the separator between the two, especially with Taylor having his best year.

At the moment, Taylor is having the best stretch of his best season.

Taylor homered in the first inning, his sixth straight hit in the opening frame out of the leadoff spot. That stretch includes four extra-base hits and three home runs.


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Taylor also homered in the fifth, like his earlier shot a game-tying home run.

He’s invaluable, having regular players out,” manager Dave Roberts said. “For him to step up, play a premium defensive position, have a huge day offensively, taking at-bats, obviously the homers, we needed every bit of it.”

He has a six-game hitting streak that includes four multi-hit games, during which he’s hitting .480/.500/1.160 with seven extra-base hits.

This week, I’ve just been in a good place, and mechanically been pretty consistent,” Taylor said. “When the fastball slows down a little bit for me, I usually hit the breaking stuff better. That’s kind of been the case.”

Taylor’s home runs on Sunday came off a slider and curveball from Jon Gray. The first-time All-Star is now hitting .284 and 16 home runs on the season.

Josiah Gray in his first major league start continued to show the promise that has him rated as the Dodgers’ best pitching prospect. On Sunday he induced 19 whiffs, a number exceeded by only one Dodgers pitcher (Clayton Kershaw, three times) this season.

That translated into six strikeouts for Gray — giving him a 37-percent strikeout rate through two games — including two against the bottom of the Rockies order to escape a bases-loaded situation in the fourth.

I had to dig deep. That’s honestly what I told myself,” Gray said. “I got a righty [Josh Fuentes] coming up, I got the pitcher next I saw in the on-deck circle. So I knew if I got the righty there, I’d have a great chance of getting out of the inning.

That Gray was it for that situation was because of a pair of one-out walks, followed by an intentional walk.

Gray was done after four innings and 79 pitches, a perfectly reasonable outing for someone who missed two months with a shoulder impingement and has pitched into the fifth only once since the beginning of May.

Colorado scored two runs against Gray, the first starting with another walk, to Raimel Tapia in the first. Tapia stole second, advanced to third on a grounder, and scored on a single by Trevor Story. Catcher Elias Díaz homered off Gray in the second, his fourth allowed in two games.

When he can locate that fastball with the characteristics it has, keep guys honest with the breaking balls — two different breaking balls — it’s going to be really fun to watch. He’s a special player,” Roberts said.

He’s still a little rough around the edges, but the stuff is clearly evident. Tapia later stole another base off Gray, which seems to be a requirement for a Dodgers pitching staff that has allowed 79 stolen bases this season, 16 more than any other MLB team.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Phil Bickford (1-1)

LP: Carlos Estévez (2-2)

SV: Joe Kelly (1)

HR: Chris Taylor 2 (16), Will Smith (14); Elias Díaz (9)



The Dodgers are off on Monday as they head to The Bay Area to take on the San Francisco Giants. The 3 game series starts Tuesday at 6:45 with Julio Urias taking on Logan Webb. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

The Dodgers scored only one run on Saturday night. They recorded five hits. Sometimes in baseball, that’s all you need, as the Dodgers defeated the Rockies, 1-0.

Their lone run came off the bat of an Austin Barnes home run in the second inning. It was his fourth homer of the season and it proved to be the difference-maker for the Dodgers. Barnes had two of L.A.’s five hits on the night and has five hits over his last three games.

Aside from that, the offense was hard to come by as the Dodgers totaled three other hits. Kyle Freeland was fantastic for the Rockies and usually does well when he faces L.A. He tossed seven innings and struck out six.

Tony Gonsolin had his best outing of the season, as he continues to go deeper into games for the Dodgers. He went 5 13 innings on 81 pitches, allowing only two hits. It’s the second time this season Gonsolin has thrown 5 13 innings and the second time he’s struck out seven. He had only seven whiffs on the night, with five of them coming via his slider. However, he had 18 called strikes, one of his best numbers of the season.

“Throwing a lot of strikes,” Gonsolin said when asked what led to his success. “I was able to get first-pitch strikes and didn’t fall behind in too many counts.”

What was really encouraging from Gonsolin was his ability to throw strikes, as he walked only two batters. Obviously, the ideal number would be zero but considering his shaky command at times this season, you’ll live with it.

The rest of the bullpen did their job. Alex Vesia tossed 1 13 innings and didn’t allow a hit, as he continues his dominant stretch since being called back up. Since returning to L.A., Vesia has thrown seven scoreless innings while allowing only two hits.

Joe Kelly, who Dave Roberts said was unavailable tonight, was very much available as he recorded a strikeout after taking the ball from Vesia. Blake Treinen took the eighth and efficiently recorded three outs on only eight pitches.

Kenley Jansen entered the game in the ninth with a one-run lead. The whole stadium was holding its breath, but the big man shut things down. He quickly recorded two outs and four pitches, needing one out to secure the save. After jumping ahead 0-2 on Ryan McMahon, he fell behind and walked him, putting the tying run on base.


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

C.J. Cron stepped to the plate representing the go-ahead run. Jansen made quick work of him, striking him out on three pitches to secure his biggest save of the season.

I was really excited the way he was received tonight,Roberts said following the game. “That’s what makes Dodgers fans the best in all of sports. I know Kenley fed off that. He was really good tonight. To have him close out that game was really big for all of us.”

We’ve had some tough losses, we need Kenley,” Barnes said. “He’s been good for us. There’s bumps in the roads sometimes. He responds.”

With the Dodgers desperately needing their starters to eat innings this week, the rotation has done a fantastic job. Walker Buehler and Julio Urias each went deep in their starts, while David Price and Gonsolin each gave the Dodgers much-needed innings as well.

With the Pirates close to beating the Giants, the Dodgers are likely going to head into Sunday’s game trailing by two games in the division.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Tony Gonsolin (2-1)

LP: Kyle Freeland (1-5)

SV: Kenley Jansen (22)

HR: Austin Barnes (4)


Josiah Gray makes his first career start for the Dodgers on Sunday against the Rockies Jon Gray. The Dodgers will be celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the 1981 World Series Championship. The game can be seen on SportsNet LA and MLB Network (if you’re out of the market) with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10/



Game 1:


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

I really don’t even have any words to describe this one. For the third straight night, the Dodgers lose in heartbreaking fashion as they fall to the Rockies in extras, 9-6.

The Dodgers had a golden opportunity to win this game, just like they’ve had in each of the previous three games. After the bullpen blew yet another lead, the Dodgers entered the ninth inning trailing a run. The first four runners reached base, tying the game at six and loading the bases with zero outs.

L.A. had the bases loaded and no outs with the game-winning run at third base. Will Smith struck out. Sheldon Neuse struck out. AJ Pollock struck out.

I was pretty certain the game was going to be over,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Will [Smith] has taken a lot of good at bats for us. A lot of big hits for us. I felt really good about it.

All the Dodgers had to do was put the ball in play and they had three consecutive strikeouts. Instead of celebrating a walk-off, this game went into extras.

Entering the night, the Dodgers were 1-9 in extra-inning games. Things went exactly as you’d expect. Trevor Story began the inning with a double off Jimmie Sherfy to put the Rockies ahead. Charlie Blackmon then hit a two-run homer to give the Rockies a 9-6 lead.

In the bottom half of the 10th inning, the Dodgers couldn’t even advance the runner from second base over to third. It’s the third straight loss for the Dodgers in which they had a lead late, but this one hurts the most. Aside from blowing the lead against the team with the worst road record in baseball, the fact the Dodgers had the bases loaded with zero outs and couldn’t even put the ball in play is an embarrassment. That simply can’t happen.


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

I have no idea,” Justin Turner said on why the Dodgers struggle so much in extra innings. “If you guys have anything let me know. It’s pretty weird. That’s obviously not good.”

We’ve lost them on the road and at home, I don’t have an explanation,” Roberts said. “I’d like to think it’ll even itself out. Outside of dissecting each game, I couldn’t give you an educated answer.”

The Dodgers have now lost five of their last six games, so L.A. sits only three games back of first place still. You can’t help but feel deflated though after what we’ve seen this week. The Dodgers could easily be in first place, but they’re not.

A loss is a loss,” Roberts said. “To lose them late is tough. We still had a chance to win the game. Guys gotta step up and get outs.”

A two-out rally in the bottom of the first inning helped give the Dodgers the early lead. After a Chris Taylor leadoff double, the next two hitters got out. Will Smith, who seems to be delivering hit-after-hit for L.A. as of late, had yet another RBI. His double gave the Dodgers the 1-0 lead. For Smith, he has 13 RBI since the All-Star break, leading all of baseball.

Cody Bellinger followed with an RBI double of his own, snapping an 0-for-25 stretch in which he looked completely lost at the plate. Bellinger came in to score on a single from Matt Beaty, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

After Colorado scored a run a few innings later, the Dodgers countered right back with a run of their own. Justin Turner hit a solo shot, already his 18th home run of the season. He’s currently tied for fifth in major-league baseball among third basemen in homers. All at the young age of 36.

The Dodgers added another run in the sixth inning, as AJ Pollock singled in a run. He drove in Bellinger, who was inches away from hitting a home run the at-bat prior. Instead, he settled for a standup triple. Bellinger ended up leaving the game with left hamstring tightness.


Dodgers vs Rockies
Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP

David Price made the start for the Dodgers and was fantastic. Through the first five innings, he was moving, averaging about 11 pitches per inning. His final line doesn’t give the big picture, as he allowed three runs in 5 23 innings with only four strikeouts. Price was one out away from tossing six innings and one earned run allowed.

He allowed a home run to Trevor Story and then walked Charlie Blackmon. He was pulled from the game and was relieved by Phil Bickford. Back-to-back singles from the Rockies brought them to within one run, but Bickford struck out Elias Diaz to end the frame.

Since April 13, Price has appeared in 24 games and has made six starts. During that time, his ERA is 2.45. He’s been fantastic for the Dodgers as of late and has really filled into the starting rotation nicely.

David was fantastic,” Roberts said. “We got to his pitch count. He couldn’t have pitched any better. All and all, very well done, and looking forward to his next start and keep building up. He did everything he needed to do.”


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Daniel Bard (5-5)

LP: Jimmie Sherfy (2-1)

SV: Lucas Gilbreath (1)

HR: Justin Turner (18) Elias Diaz (8) Trevor Story (12) Charlie Blackmon (6)



The Dodgers will start Tony Gonsolin while the Rockies will start Kyle Freelans. The first pitch is at 6:10 and can be seen on SportsNet LA.


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