Dodgers prove they can still win and beat improved Padres
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Evaluate the lineups of the Dodgers and San Diego Padres. The Padres’ is best. Observe the standard of their at-bats. The Padres are higher. Watch their defenses. The Padres’ is best.
So how had been the Dodgers capable of depart Petco Park nonetheless in first place within the Nationwide League West? How had been they capable of win the final two of their three video games right here, despite the fact that they had been outplayed for almost all of the sequence?
The Dodgers won’t be as gifted as they had been in earlier seasons, however they’re nonetheless the Dodgers.
“We play each out,” manager Dave Roberts stated Sunday. “It’s sort of been who we now have been.”
The Dodgers nonetheless know the best way to win — similar to how the Padres nonetheless know the best way to lose.
The Padres eradicated the Dodgers from the playoffs final 12 months. They additional improved their roster over the winter. But, by some means, they nonetheless discover methods to lose unlosable video games. They continue to be baseball’s model of the Chargers.
The Dodgers had been behind by a run and all the way down to their ultimate out Sunday when Mookie Betts despatched the sport into further innings with a homer off Padres nearer Josh Hader. Rookies Michael Busch and James Outman vaulted the workforce to a 5-2 victory in the 10th inning, with Busch driving in Freddie Freeman with a single and Outman following with a two-run homer.
Earlier than Betts’ house run, the Dodgers had solely three hits. That was the identical variety of hits they’d your entire recreation Saturday in a 2-1 victory.
“I feel our workers protecting us within the recreation is the largest factor,” Outman stated.
Within the sequence finale, the Dodgers had been saved in a recreation they didn’t need to be in by Julio Urías and 4 relievers.
Urías was given each excuse to implode after he was failed by his protection within the first inning as Outman and Betts dropped catchable balls within the outfield that contributed to the Padres taking a 2-0 lead.
The Dodgers’ opening-day starter, the 26-year-old Urías didn’t reply to the misplays by shouting in frustration as he’d performed in some earlier begins. As a substitute, he regrouped and pitched into the sixth inning. The Dodgers didn’t acquire their first hit towards Padres starter Joe Musgrove till there have been two outs within the fifth inning, however Urías wasn’t distracted by the absence of run assist. Rookie second baseman Miguel Vargas allowed a routine grounder to skip by him within the fourth inning and Urías himself made an errant throw later in the identical inning, however Urías didn’t let that cease him from making pitches when he needed to make them.
Urías was charged with eight hits, which mirrored the depth of the Padres’ lineup. Slumping Juan Soto remained a nonfactor offensively, however the Padres nonetheless had weapons up and down their order within the likes of Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Xander Bogaerts, Nelson Cruz and Jake Cronenworth.
The Dodgers’ No. 5 hitter was Jason Heyward, who joined the group on a minor league contract.
However the Padres couldn’t widen the hole. And within the sixth inning, they gifted the Dodgers a run, with the stone-gloved Soto dropping a routine fly ball in left discipline to permit Freeman to achieve second base. He scored on a double by Will Smith.
The Padres’ failure to tack on runs was in the end their undoing. With two outs within the ninth inning, Betts labored a 3-and-1 rely towards Hader, who entered the sport with 11 saves and an 0.60 earned-run common.
Betts launched a 96-mph fastball into the stands.
“He’s the very best participant on the sector,” Roberts stated. “He’s all the time received to imagine that.”
Busch, who entered the sport as an eighth-inning pinch hitter, and Outman, who seemed misplaced during the last two weeks, completed what Betts began.
Outman credited Urías with serving to him neglect about his botched play within the first inning.
“We’re capable of flush it out as a result of we’re within the recreation,” Outman stated. “There’s no purpose to dwell on it as a result of we want runs now.”
After a disconcerting begin, the bullpen has additionally began to spherical into type as Roberts has gained a greater really feel for whom he can belief specifically conditions. On Sunday, Roberts known as on Yency Almonte, Victor Gonzalez, Caleb Ferguson and Evan Phillips.
The win was the Dodgers’ eighth in 9 video games. The workforce’s lead within the Nationwide League West elevated to 1½ video games over the Arizona Diamondbacks and three over the Padres.
The supervisor stated he sensed in spring coaching that this explicit group of Dodgers would exhibit the identical resilience as its predecessors.
“However,” Roberts added, “you don’t actually know till you play and also you rise up towards some adversity and see how guys reply.”
Loads can, and doubtless will, change for the Dodgers between now and when the video games really matter in October.
However they’ve already demonstrated a capability to scratch and claw and win ugly. The Padres haven’t.