WP: Clayton Kershaw (5-5); LP: Jhoulys Chacin (10-4); Save: none; Homeruns: Mil - Christian Yelich (16), Jesus Aguilar (26); LA - Joc Pederson 2 (15,16), Cody Bellinger GS (18), Yasiel Puig 2 (13,14); Brian Dozier (18); Justin Turner (6)
This Box Score won’t help the flight home
When you lose a game 21-5 it’s hard to say that a particular inning was the determining factor, but tonight’s third inning set up Clayton Kershaw for an easy win for the LA Dodgers (61-49) over Milwaukee Brewers’ (63-49) starter Jhouly Chacin and four relievers.
The Brewers had a very brief lead tonight, scoring off of Kershaw in the top of the first. Christian Yelich decided to start another hitting streak right away, and his hard groundball into left center ended up as a double, partly because the Dodger Stadium outfield grass plays like artificial turf and partly because teams have started positioning their left fielder near the leftfield line with Yelich at the plate. Kershaw and Yasmani Grandal combined for two wild pitches to plate Yeli - Kershaw by spiking two curveballs and Grandal by trying to backhand the ball rather than blocking it.
Joc Pederson led off the bottom of the the first against Chacin with a no-doubt bomb into the rightfield seats to tie things up at one.
That (at the time) pivotal third - frustrating both at the plate and on defense - started with Chacin pulling a double down the third base line, and Lorenzo Cain beating out an infield single to put runners at first and third with nobody out and the heart of the order due up. But Kershaw caught Yelich looking on an inside fastball, Jesus Aguilar lined to third, and Jonathan Schoop struck out to end the inning.
Then the Dodgers took advantage of poor fielding and a missed strike call, combined with some good hitting, to take a commanding lead. After Chacin retired Kershaw, Schoop booted a routine groundball for an error, and Manny Machado bounced a seeing eye single up the middle. Lorenzo Cain’s lob throw into second bounced and Orlando Arcia mishandled it, allowing Pederson to score the go-ahead run. Chacin hit Justin Turner and walked Yasmani Grandal (sort of; the 3-2 pitch was an obvious strike), and Cody Bellinger’s drive down the rightfield line hit the foul pole for a grand slam and a 6-1 lead.
Yasiel Puig led off the bottom of the fourth with a homerun to left to bump the lead to 7-1.
Yelich lined a one out homerun over the rightfield fence in the fifth to make it 7-2...he continues to scorch lefthanded pitching.
Chacin ran out of gas in the bottom of the fifth, walking two of the first three, and Craig Counsell had no choice but to relieve him. He chose Matt Albers to try and work out his issues since he came back from the disabled list, and he allowed a three run homer to Brian Dozier to put LA into double digits with a 10-2 lead. Jhoulys finished the night going 4.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and 4 walks (and a hit batter), 9 runs (8 earned), and with 3 strikeouts.
After Dozier’s homer and a walk, Albers struck out the last two he faced in the fifth, and then Pederson leading off the sixth. Was he getting his stuff together? Uh, no...a single and a two run homer by Turner made it 12-2 and ended Albers’ night. Tyler Williams took over, and got the final two outs around a single. Albers allowed two more homers in an inning of work, with three runs and three strikeouts, with a walk.
Eric Goeddell took over for Kershaw in the seventh and retired the first two he faced before walking pinch-hitter Eric Thames on four pitches and giving up a single to Yelich. Jesus Aguilar finally broke through with a three run homer to pull the Brewers within 12-5.
Milwaukee couldn’t stand the prosperity as the Dodgers plated nine in the seventh. Williams couldn’t retire a batter and allowed Pederson’s second homer of the night, with two doubles allowed and a walk as well. Hernan Perez took over and got knocked around, allowing three doubles and a single. One of the doubles was a dropped flyball by Yelich in center, but perhaps the official scorer was feeling generous. Puig capped the scoring with his second homer of the night. So the Dodgers finished the seventh with a single, six doubles, and two homers.
Erik Kratz threw a 1-2-3 eighth, and the Brewers were scoreless in the eighth and ninth.
The Cubs fell to the Padres, so the Crew remains just one back heading back home for a weekend series with the Colorado Rockies (58-50). Colorado will send out German Marquez (9-8, 4.82) and the Brewers will counter with Junior Guerra (6-7, 3.43). As disappointing as tonight’s performance was, it is important to remember that the Crew took five of eight on their four game trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles - a result most would have taken if given the option to skip the trip entirely.
- Did the Brewers acquire the correct second baseman? With three strikeouts tonight before leaving in a double switch, Jonathan Schoop reached five consecutive K’s and is 0-8 to start his Brewer career, plus the error. Dodger pick-up Brian Dozier, on the other hand, is four for eight with two homers and a double, three runs scored, and four batted in. To be fair, he also had an error. Small sample size, of course.
- Arcia had a nice play on a slow roller by Puig to end the second, charging hard and barehanding the ball before throwing out the Dodger right fielder.
- After five innings the Dodgers had ten runs on six hits.
- The Dodgers had six doubles to go with their seven homers, and every one of them came in the seventh inning.
- Hernan Perez allowed five earned runs in that nine run seventh, but if the flyball dropped by Yelich had been called an error none of them would have been earned.