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Dodgers Slug Three Home Runs To Even Series Against Nationals

Bellinger and Grandal

The Dodgers slugged three home runs on Saturday night to even the series against the Washington Nationals. Two of the three home runs (Joc Pederson, Enrique Hernandez, Cody Bellinger) came against opposing starter Stephen Strasburg. Two of the three blasts were solo shots (Pederson, Hernandez) and Bellinger’s was a two-run blast. Joc’s home run came on his birthday, and the second inning homer gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.

Hernandez’s was a pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning and Bellinger’s two-run shot nearly cleared the pavilions in the bottom of the eighth. The long balls backed another brilliant performance from Hyun-jin Ryu. The Korean left hander tossed seven shutout innings allowing just two hits and striking out eight as he improved his record to 3-0. To make the night even better, Kenley Jansen turned in a scoreless ninth inning, (his velocity was back up to 96) and the Dodgers won 4-0.

Strasburg was impressive as well, but the solo home run from Pederson put him and the Nationals down 1-0 in the second frame. The Dodgers led by a run until Hernandez hit the solo home run in the seventh. Strasburg pitched seven innings allowing just the two home runs and struck out 10 Dodger batters. He walked two and made only 60 pitches. Ryu made 80.

Nationals 0 2 0

Dodgers   4 7 0




The Nationals had the bases loaded in the top of the third when Trea Turner singled, Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman walked. But Ryu got out of it by getting Moises Sierra to ground out to end the inning and the threat. The Dodgers had the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth inning with nobody out, but didn’t score either. In that frame Chris Taylor singled, Corey Seager walked and Yasmani Grandal was hit by a pitch. There was also a wild pitch mixed in. Unfortunately Bellinger, Pederson and Matt Kemp all struck out.

Then the Dodgers extended their lead in the seventh inning with Strasburg still on the mound when Hernandez blasted his second home run of the season. That put the Dodgers up 2-0. After Tony Cingrani pitched a scoreless eighth, the Dodgers added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth. After Grandal reached on a walk, Bellinger launched a massive home run that almost landed in the parking lot.

Kenley entered in the top of the ninth and immediately got back-to-back pop outs from Harper and Zimmerman. There was a walk to pinch-hitter Matt Adams, but veteran catcher Matt Wieters struck out to end the game. Not only was it a good night for the Dodgers, it was also a good night for me in Oscar’s monthly poker game. I won six hands throughout the night including getting four queens in the biggest pot. It was a productive night for everyone.

The Dodgers will go for the series win in the rubber game on Sunday night baseball. Southpaw Alex Wood will battle Jeremy Hellickson with first pitch scheduled for 5:05 PM PST. Happy birthday Joc!

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

31 thoughts on “Dodgers Slug Three Home Runs To Even Series Against Nationals

  1. Ryu looking very good and very efficient! Hope Kenley’s back!! Still hate the all or nothing at bats – bases loaded no outs with 3 K’s … they should be fined if they pull that again!!!

  2. Live by the sword (bomb) or die by the sword (bomb). When they can hit 4 HRs they win.

    Nice job by Ryu.

    Kindly Gascan didn’t chuck the whole effort from Ryu, nice.

  3. That game, in my opinion, is a blueprint on how we will win the West again – pitching and isolated power. We were 7 for 29 (.241) with 10 Ks and we were 0 for 4 WRISP. And we won. We didn’t win because of of 3 home runs totaling 4 runs. We won because we shut them out.

    Like many I miss the game I played. Everybody in the lineup could bunt, everyone worked on hitting behind runners, we worked hard on putting the ball in play. We also worked hard on defensive fundamentals – all bases were covered and all bases were backed up. I watch today’s defenses and see 6 guys standing and watching with few anticipating the overthrow. Hardly anyone steals anymore and protecting the plate with two strikes is no longer a thing. Swing for the fences and pull the ball into a shift that guarantees you a Mendoza line average if you do actually connect. The game is different, but it’s still baseball and though I’m still interested, my interest is fading. I’m hoping for that illusive championship, but I realize the odds are not in our favor.

    1. Badger
      Very profound Badger, in my opinion. You absolutely hit the nail on the head this time. Where did our game go? I feel as you do, my interest is also fading but I still have hope of at least one more championship before I move on. 30 years is an awful long time.

    2. Badger

      I don’t know why certain teams don’t stress all of those fundamentals, because that would make their teams better.

      HRs are great, but it is hard to hit HRs against good pitching.

      And really, there are teams and players in this day, that does do all of that stuff.

      The Astros are one of those teams.

      Last night, Nomar was stressing on the Dodger pregame show, that a player needs to shorten up their swings, when they are down to two strikes, and in certain situations, like we saw last night, when the bases were loaded.

      I think Nomar gets as frustrated as we all do, in these situations, that we don’t capitalize on, in games.

      I don’t know why Cody doesn’t do that more often, because he can shorten up, and hit the ball, the other way.

      But of course, it isn’t only Cody, and is most of the team.

      Maybe once Turner gets back playing, he can stress this stuff, with the other players.

      Because Turner does do all of this, in these situations.

      And Turner is our best contact hitter, on the team.

      I bet everyone didn’t know that Ryu had a lower ERA then Strasberg had, before last night’s game, and of course, Ryu’s era is even lower today.

      I am really happy that Ryu is pitching, like we know he can.

      1. What worries me is that we’ve gotten worse in situational hitting this year, versus last year .

        All those comebacks and walkoffs we had last year did not come from home runs.

  4. Great and interesting article that shows why stats are so useful….

    Pitchers are throwing more and more pitches out of the strike zone. It works, but it also means more pitches per plate appearance, more walks, more strikeouts, more HBP, and longer waits between balls in play.

    1. Not surprised. With 1-8 in the lineup swinging out of their shoes why throw the ball down the middle?

      “we may be in the midst of the first-ever calendar month in major league history with more strikeouts than hits.”

      Kind of sums it up for me.

      Also into equation is the knowledge that as a starter, you’re less likely to finish than at any time in history. Pitch count? Ef that. If I’m only going 5 who cares if I throw 80 in 4?

      1. Right. Great point and to build on it. If you only go thru the lineup twice, you can throw more variety and to different locations.

        No need to hold back anything from your bag of tricks.

  5. Dodgers 4.2 to 3.8.

    Bluto, I know you are all for shorter starter outings, but starters aren’t going to like it. They have to go 5 to get the W. Possibly wins don’t mean much to you but they do to starters.

    1. I agree.

      I think just like launch angle, the lessening of pitchers stints is getting taken to the absurd.

      I wonder why the TTOP can’t be mitigated by pitchers changing attack patterns or pitching sequences.

  6. Package

    You are not going to like the line up, tonight, just more of the same.

    Go check the numbers, against this starting pitcher tonight.

    1. MJ
      Yeah, more of the same. I hate Roberts! No reason for that. Joc runs into a pitch last night and now he is Babe Ruth. I knew then that he would begin playing Joc more. Joc is not a better hitter than Kemp. Not even close. Joc has a .375 OPS with 4 Strike outs and 3 walks no BA. Kemp is hitting .318 with a HR and 6RBIs. Pretty easy to see who should play.

      1. Kemp has 3 homers and 10 ribbies….give the man his due. Dodgers prospect Conner Wong 2 homers at RC today… has 8 dingers in 12 games….pretty impressive. Joc is no Babe that’s for sure, but he is a lefty and Roberts tossing all his lefty’s in the salad tonight….he did that last year with his all righty lineup…….

      2. Package

        You know how I feel about that.

        I especially don’t like Kemp not starting another game, because he was hot, before this stuff started to happen.

        1. Mr. Norris
          Yeah, a little sarcasm. The bad thing is Roberts will never admit he should have played Kemp.

          1. Like I said…Roberts did the same thing last year against LH pitchers using an all RH lineup…there are 6 lefty hitters on the Dodgers roster and all of them are in this game..

          2. Package

            Did you hear on the broadcast, that Joc’s brother told Roberts to start Joc for his birthday yesterday?

            It is a good thing we won, considering Kemp had good numbers, against the Nats starter tonight.

            I think Kemp will start tomorrow, but I hope all of this, sitting doesn’t affect him.

            Because he is not use to being pulled in or out of games.

            He has almost played everyday since he left, except when he went out last year, for his hammy.

  7. Seems like tonight it makes no difference who is hitting. They have 1 knock…Seager’s first inning single…..embarrassing..

  8. It was a nailbiter there for sure, but Kenley was able to get the outs and avoid the Nationals’ meat of the lineup. The big outs were in the 8th inning.

  9. I do not expect Buehler to go more than 5 innings. So it will be on the bullpen again. I still think they are striking out too much. 8 more tonight, 2 by Puig….and where oh where is Kyle Farmer? He did not play in any of the games. He only has 22 at bats, but he is the 5th best hitter on the team by average, ahead of everyone except Utley, Bellinger, Kemp and Grandal. Dodgers have played 20 games and have 19 homers. Only the Reds and Marlins are worse. Reds have 11 and the Fish 13. Buehler against Garcia tomorrow…a lefty who is 1-0 with a 0.86 ERA. Kike and Kemp and probably Farmer should all start tomorrow. Then it is Maeda vs Peters, 2-2 with a 6.98 ERA then Kershaw on Wednesday against Richards who is 0-2 with a plus 6 ERA….question, who goes down when Buehler comes up? Has to be a pitcher since if they send down a position player, Muncy would be the obvious choice, then they would have a 3 man bench and 14 pitchers on the roster. Doubt that happens…and Font would have to clear waivers to be sent down. Of course they could fake DL him….they are good at that stuff.

    1. It’s too short a snapshot of Muncy to really get a feel for his game and I’m still wondering why they brought him up in the first place with Farmer doing as well as he has. I don’t understand these moves. Muncy on paper doesn’t have that much going for him. It’s nice that he can play multiple positions but we have enough of those players. When Turner returns, there will be no place for Muncy on the team.

      Buehler has some wicked stuff and I hope he learned from his prior time with the team. He was very inconsistent in spite of his blazing speed. We’ll see what he bring soon enough.

      Bats need to wake up. Not playing Kemp is not a good move at this point.

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