Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Astros – Series 35

Los Angeles Dodgers (65-44)  |  Houston Astros (65-43)


There are three types of baseball players: those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wonder what happens.

– Tommy LaSorda



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Astros
Photo Credit: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times

Max Scherzer is used to the big stage. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has seen almost everything in baseball and has designs on even bigger games this year. But Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium provided an electric atmosphere just the same, and Scherzer was up to the task in the Dodgers’ 7-5 win over the Astros.

I understand why we’re here. I understand we have a great team, and the fans should feel that way,” Scherzer said Wednesday. “But as a player, you can only control what you can control. You can’t worry about other people’s expectations. All I can do is go out there and pitch my game.”

Scherzer was electric, striking out 10 in seven innings, allowing only a pair of runs. He played to the crowd by striking out Jose Altuve three times in three at-bats, then Scherzer finished off his night by getting pinch-hitter Chas McCormick swinging.

That earned a curtain call from the Dodger Stadium faithful for Scherzer, who struck out 10 or more for the fourth time this season, and the 106th such game of his career, counting the regular season and postseason combined.

He’s the sixth different Dodgers pitcher to strike out double digits in a game this season, though only three are active. That’s a big reason why Scherzer is here, helping to fortify a rotation that needs all the help it can get.

Scherzer’s been with the Dodgers all of five days, and he’s already got an accurate lay of the land for a team that’s 3½ games out of first place in the National League West.

I’m glad I’m part of an organization that wants to win and has their sights on the ultimate prize. I mean, that’s what we play the game for, is to do that,” he said on Tuesday. “It’s fun to join these guys because we have a great chance to win. But it’s going to take a lot of work to get there. Nothing is assured yet.”


Dodgers vs Astros
Photo Credit: Yahoo

Timing is everything, and had Scherzer had this kind of game on Tuesday, he would have been the hard-luck loser as the Dodgers were shut out. But on Wednesday, the home team had no trouble scoring.

Mookie Betts led off the first with a home run, then hit another one in the second inning. He took notice of the enlivened crowd.

It’s probably one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in. It was amazing to be a part of,” Betts said. “Definitely, I will put that in my memory bank.”

In between, Will Smith cashed in a pair of runners on base with a three-run homer of his own, giving him 19 RBI in 14 games since the All-Star break.

AJ Pollock added a two-run shot in the third inning, the fourth home run against Astros starter Jake Odorizzi in three innings. The veteran right-hander allowed three homers in his first start of the season, then allowed only two over his next 10 games. But in his last three starts, Odorizzi was taken deep eight times.

All those runs provided enough cushion to withstand home runs against relievers Joe Kelly and Kenley Jansen in the final two frames. But in the end, this was Scherzer’s night.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Max Scherzer (9-4)

LP: Jake Odorizzi (4-6)

HR: Mookie Betts 2 (17), Will Smith (15), AJ Pollock (14); Michael Brantley (7), Carlos Correa (17), Kyle Tucker (21)


The Dodgers will take on the Angels in The Freeway Series this weekend. David Price starts Friday night’s series opener against Patrick Sandoval. The first pitch is at 7:10 on SportsNet LA and MLB Network.




Game 1:


Dodgers vs Astros
Photo Credit: FR24 News

Dodger Stadium fans unloaded a few years’ worth of bottled-up rage on the Houston Astros, but all that energy wasn’t enough to win the game or even score a run. The Dodgers had no answer for Lance McCullers Jr. in a 3-0 loss to Houston on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.

The crowd was as loud as any of the 36 postseason games played at Dodger Stadium over the previous eight years, and it all started during batting practice.

Fans yelled “cheater” and many other things and booed the Astros all during BP, even throwing back home runs onto the field. This practice continued during the game, with fans throwing several foul balls hit by Astros players during the game, the first time Dodgers fans had a chance to see the Astros in person at Dodger Stadium since news of, and subsequent punishment for, their sign-stealing scandal in 2017.

Fans have been waiting. There’s a lot of pent-up frustration, anger, which, I understand it,” manager Dave Roberts said before the game.

The crowd was giving it to the visiting team for the entire game, cheering every Houston out and jeering every Astros player. But the boos were the loudest for the three who played during the 2017 World SeriesJose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and McCullers.

There were multiple people in the stands wearing Oscar the Grouch costumes, a few fights in the stands, and at least five inflatable trash cans that were thrown onto the field. But in between that and the “Fuck Altuve” chants, there was a baseball game to be played.

Tuesday was the seventh regular-season game between these two teams since the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme was revealed.


Dodgers vs Astros
Photo Credit: Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For the players, we’ve gone there and played, we played those guys here last year and played them there this year. We’re sort of in that mode of, it’s another good ball club coming to Dodger Stadium that we’ve got to try and beat,” Roberts said before the game. “The fans haven’t had that opportunity, so I think for them, feeling that there is potentially some closure from that aspect, I totally get it.

Even though the venom spewed his way from the sold-out crowd, McCullers was great, striking out nine and pitching into the seventh inning. He allowed only four hits, one of them to AJ Pollock in the seventh, followed two batters later by a seven-pitch walk to Mookie Betts, which ended McCullers’ night.

Max Muncy saw nine pitches from left-handed reliever Blake Taylor but struck out to end the threat.

Walker Buehler was stingy as well but needed 113 pitches to get through six innings. Houston scored once off him, with two doubles in the third inning, the second a Michael Brantley line drive to right field, scoring catcher Martin Maldonado.

No matter how emotional this series is, that’s a good team over there,” Buehler said.

There was a palpable, nearly nonstop energy at Dodger Stadium for over four hours, but most of that dissipated in the top of the eighth when Yordan Alvarez — who as a 19-year-old was traded by the Dodgers to the Astros for reliever Josh Fields — crushed a home run well into the right-field pavilion. The Russian nesting doll of old wounds turned a 1-0 deficit into 3-0, deflating the crowd.

The announced attendance of 52,692 at Dodger Stadium made this the largest MLB crowd of the season and quite possibly the angriest. But they didn’t get the closure they wanted.


Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Lance McCullers Jr (9-2)

LP: Walker Buehler (11-2)

SV: Ryne Stanek (2)

HR: Yordan Alvarez (20)


Max Scherzer makes his Dodgers debut on Wednesday night with Jake Odorizzi taking the mound for Houston. The first pitch is slated for 6:40 with the game on SportsNet LA.


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– Joe Arrigo

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