Video Credit: MLB

FSM Essential Recap: Dodgers vs Nationals – Series 27

Los Angeles Dodgers (52-31)  |  Washington Nationals (40-42)


“As long as you live keep smiling because it brightens everybody’s day.”

– Vin Scully



Game 4:


Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports

Just like every other bullpen game used by the Dodgers this season, Sunday was a low-scoring affair, at least for a while. The Nationals had an excellent start, but Los Angeles provided the relief in a 5-1 win that completed a four-game road sweep of Washington.

That’s nine straight wins for the Dodgers, who are 7-0 against the Nationals this season, outscoring Washington 39-16.

With a well-rested bullpen heading into Sunday morning’s series finale, the Dodgers used eight pitchers and struck out 11 batters in the win.

The bullpen was fantastic,” said Dave Roberts. “It was special.”

A walk by Phil Bickford and two singles allowed by Victor Gonzalez gave the Nationals their only run of the game, in the third inning.

The Dodgers answered with a home run by Matt Beaty in the fourth, his first since June 1, snapping a 46-plate-appearance power drought. Joe Ross was otherwise fantastic, striking out 11 in his 6⅔ innings.

Both teams had trouble scoring early in a game that was started at breakfast time, after a night game that included a rain delay of an hour, 44 minutes.

I don’t know who thought it was ever a good idea to have a 7:15 game, then follow it up with the 11 a.m. game,” said Max Muncy. “That’s probably one of the worst decisions I’ve seen.

Today was a heavy coffee day, for sure,” said shortstop Gavin Lux, who had three hits.

But the Dodgers got to Ross in the seventh inning and won the game by untying the knot.


Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Nick Wass/AP

Albert Pujols delivered a pinch-hit single off Ross to score Lux, who doubled, for the go-ahead run. It was the sixth hit in 44 at-bats against a right-handed pitcher since joining the Dodgers for Pujols, who is hitting .360/.396/.700 in 50 plate appearances against lefties with L.A.

Earlier, in the third inning, Bickford batted for the first time as a professional (he also never batted in college, either at Cal State Fullerton or the College of Southern Nevada). Bickford struck out on three pitches.

When Roberts said before the game that everyone was available in Sunday’s bullpen game, most assumed he meant relief pitchers. But in came starting pitcher Tony Gonsolin to pinch run for Pujols, the first major league game for Gonsolin at something other than pitcher. Muncy followed with a two-out double against left-hander Brad Hand, scoring Gonsolin from first.

With runs at a premium at the time, every mistake gets magnified. Josh Bell singled just out of reach of a diving Beaty in left field in the sixth, but when he tried to stretch it into a double, Bell made it safely but slid past the bag, and was tagged out. Alcides Escobar doubled to right two batters later but had nobody on the bases to drive in.

The Dodgers also blew the game open in the ninth, punctuated by a two-run double that confounded former two-time Gold Glove Award winner Gerardo Parra in center field.


Game 4 Boxscore:


WP: David Price (4-0)

LP: Joe Ross (5-8)

HR: Matt Beaty (4)


The Dodgers shuffle off to Miami, where rain is expected throughout the series, especially with the potential arrival of Tropical Storm Elsa. Monday’s series opener is scheduled to kick off at 3:40 on SportsNet LA. Walker Buehler starts for L.A. against Miami’s Trevor Rogers, weather permitting.



Game 3:


Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Nick Wass/AP

It took a little longer than normal, but the Dodgers won their eighth straight game on Saturday night, defeating the Nationals 5-3.

With the game tied at three apiece, it entered a rain delay right after the start of the fifth inning. We had to wait about two hours, but the game finally resumed at about 7:20 p.m.

With the score tied at three, the Dodgers took the lead in the sixth inning. Will Smith got the rally started after getting hit by a pitch. Albert Pujols then reached base thanks to a fielders choice, putting runners at the corners. Gavin Lux struck out, bringing up AJ Pollock with two outs.

Pollock has been hot as of late, especially in this series. He hit a home run in the first two games of the series. He couldn’t deliver a homer in his third straight game, but he did deliver in the clutch for L.A. Pollock used his legs to beat out an infield single, giving the Dodgers the 4-3 lead.

LA scored an insurance run in the ninth inning as Chris Taylor singled in Gavin Lux to give the Dodgers the 5-3 lead.

Brusdar Graterol, Joe Kelly, Phil Bickford, Blake Treinen, and Kenley Jansen all combined to throw five scoreless innings of relief. Things got a little interesting with Kelly in the sixth inning, as the bases were loaded with two outs. He struck out Gerardo Parra to end the frame.

Things got interesting for Jansen in the ninth. He allowed the first two runners to reach base, bringing the game-winning run to the plate with no outs. Jansen settled in and got back-to-back strikeouts, needing only one more out to win. He got Josh Bell to line out, securing the save and the victory.

He slowed down a little bit as far as the delivery, I thought it was too quick the first couple of hitters,” manager Dave Roberts said following the game. “Ball was coming out really good. He came up big once again.

At times, it gets quick on him. Even a guy that’s a perennial All-Star. For him to reset and recalibrate, he’s shown that numerous times this year.”

Meanwhile, way, way, way back in the first portion of the game, Clayton Kershaw was on the mound. He worked quickly through the first three innings and had a very low pitch count. He ran into trouble in the fourth inning and was one strike away from escaping the inning with a scoreless frame. With two strikes, he threw one right down the middle to Yan Gomes, who made Kershaw pay with a three-run homer to tie the game at three.


Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Scott Taetsch/USA TODAY Sports

Due to the rain delay, that would be it for Kershaw. In his four innings of work, he struck out three and issued one walk. He threw 54 pitches and could have gone deeper into the game had it not been for the delay. The rain delay kind of screwed the Dodgers big-time, considering Sunday is going to be a bullpen game. It looks like Edwin Uceta and David Price will see a bulk of the load, so hopefully, they’re able to give the Dodgers some length.

Roberts said that it’s going to be an “all hands on deck” kind of situation. Luckily though, it appears nobody that threw tonight will be unavailable on Sunday.

I think we’re in a good spot,” he said. “We’ll make a move to bring Uceta tomorrow. He’ll be fresh and can go 75-80 pitches if need be. We have enough pitching.”

As of right now, the Dodgers are tied with the Giants for first place in the NL West.


Game 3 Boxscore:


WP: Brusdar Graterol (1-0)

LP: Wander Suero (0-2)

SV: Kenley Jansen (21)

HR: Yan Gomes (8)



The Dodgers will look to win their ninth consecutive game as they look for the four-game sweep against the Nationals. The first pitch is at 8:05 AM and can be seen on SportsNet LA. It is a bullpen day for the Dodgers while the Nationals will start Joe Ross.



Game 2:


Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

Through six innings, the Dodgers had no answer against Max Scherzer. They had a few hits against him, and their lone run came off the bat of a Justin Turner home run. Luckily for L.A., Scherzer was pulled after six innings, opening the door to the Nationals bullpen.

Advantage Dodgers.

Chris Taylor led off the inning with a double. AJ Pollock advanced him over to third with a flyout, bringing up pinch-hitter Albert Pujols. On the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Pujols beat out an infield single, Taylor scored, and the Dodgers trailed by only one run.

Austin Barnes was hit by a pitch, and Zach McKinstry walked, loading the bases for Mookie Betts. After working a 2-0 count, Betts singled to left field, bringing in two runs to give the Dodgers the lead. Max Muncy proceeded to counter with a two-run single of his own, giving L.A. the 6-3 lead just like that.


Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Julio Cortez/AP

Taylor followed a few batters later and wanted to get in on the action, so he then proceeded to have a two-run single, making it 8-3 Dodgers. Unfortunately, Pollock stepped up to the plate with only one runner on, unable to follow with the two-run singles. So, he decided to hit a two-run home run instead. His homer gave the Dodgers nine runs in the inning and a 10-3 lead.

Flipping things over, it was a very encouraging outing from Julio Urias. He gave L.A. six solid innings. Urias allowed three runs to score, but only one of them was earned. In the second inning, an error from Turner at third base brought in two runs. Then a sacrifice fly brought in the third run.

After a career-high 12 strikeouts in his last start, Urias had only three on the night. Ironically, the first two outs he recorded for the game were strikeouts. He didn’t have swing and miss stuff, be after the second inning, he was in total cruise control, which is more than okay for the Dodgers.

Brusdar Graterol finished the game for L.A. and tossed 1 23 innings. It was his first game with the club since April 26. He missed time with injury and then has spent time in Oklahoma City. Definitely, it was an encouraging sign seeing Graterol pitch well after he’s struggled in 2021 so far.


Game 2 Boxscore:


WP: Julio Urias (10-3)

LP: Sam Clay (0-1)

HR: Justin Turner (13) AJ Pollock (8)


The Dodgers will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound on Saturday afternoon as L.A. will go for their eighth consecutive win. Meanwhile, the Nationals will send Paolo Espino to the mound. The first pitch will be at 4:15 and the game can be seen on Fox nationally.



Game 1:

Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

The Dodgers and Nationals only played five innings on Thursday due to the weather. Luckily for L.A., they were winning, meaning they were awarded the victory.

Knowing the bad weather was coming, things weren’t looking good for the Dodgers. Entering the fifth inning, they trailed the Nationals 2-1. AJ Pollock began the inning with a solo home run, tying the game at two. Steven Souza Jr., Chris Taylor, and Justin Turner all reached base, loading the bases for Max Muncy.

On the second pitch of the at-bat, Muncy absolutely crushed a slider deep into the right field bleachers. Muncy knew it right away. Patrick Corbin knew it right away. That ball was long gone.

We knew there was a storm coming,” Muncy said. “There was a little urgency in the dugout. Thankfully the timing was right.”

With the Dodgers leading 6-2, Garrett Cleavinger threw a much-needed quick inning to make the game official. The weather became crazy when the game went to commercial break, and that was that. After a lengthy delay, they decided to call the game, giving the Dodgers the 6-2 victory.

Tony Gonsolin was originally going to start the game, but Dave Roberts opted to use Victor Gonzalez as an opener with the threat of rain looming. He only was able to record two outs after allowing an RBI single to Juan Soto. Phil Bickford came in to record the final out of the inning.

With the Dodgers leading 6-2, Garrett Cleavinger threw a much-needed quick inning to make the game official. The weather became crazy when the game went to commercial break, and that was that. After a lengthy delay, they decided to call the game, giving the Dodgers the 6-2 victory.




Dodgers vs Nationals
Photo Credit: Michael Owens/Getty Images

Although they have one of the best teams in all of baseball, there will be zero Dodgers in the starting lineup for the All-Star GameMLB released the winners of the second phase of fan voting, with the Dodgers being completely left out. Players on the ballot included Max Muncy, Gavin Lux, Justin Turner, Chris Taylor, and Mookie Betts.

The biggest snub is clearly Muncy, who has been the best first baseman in the National League this season.

Muncy lost to Freddie Freeman, and it wasn’t close. Freeman took in 48 percent of the vote, with Muncy finishing with 34 percent. Had this been like the old-fashioned way of voting, Muncy would have won. After the first phase of voting, he led all first basemen in votes. However, Major League Baseball now has two phases of voting, with the top three vote-getters advancing.

It is what it is,Muncy said following the game. “Fans didn’t feel I deserved a spot, so that’s all it was. I know Dodgers fans were doing their best. Unfortunately, it’s a lot of the country against us. Thank you to Dodgers fans who voted.”

There were some other close races, as Justin Turner finished six percent behind Nolan Arenado at third base. Mookie Betts finished three percent behind Jesse Winker for the third and final outfield spot. Chris Taylor finished in fifth place with seven percent of the vote, and Gavin Lux finished in third place with 20 percent of the vote at second base.

When speaking with reporters following the game, Dave Roberts said that it disturbs him.

It’s the fan voting,” he said. “The best team in baseball doesn’t have a starter representing the National League. I’m sure our guys won’t admit it, but [they are] disappointed. It is what it is.

With Roberts being the manager, hopefully, Muncy finds himself in the starting lineup as the DH. There’s also a solid chance Turner and perhaps Taylor make the team as reserves.



Game 1 Boxscore:


WP: Tony Gonsolin (1-0)

LP: Patrick Corbin (5-7)

HR: Max Muncy (18) AJ Pollock (7)



The Dodgers will visit President Joe Biden at the White House today to celebrate their World Series championship. The first pitch against the Nationals is at 4:05 with Julio Urias on the mound for L.A. and the Nats scheduled to start their ace, Max Scherzer. The ganme can be seen on SportsNet LA.


Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                   Dodgers vs Nationals                                                                           


– Joe Arrigo

Follow Joe on Twitter @JoeArrigo

Follow The Franchise on social media