Smith, Dodgers Sweep Rockies in Final Leg of Homestand

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Pinch-hitting for Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday’s finale, rookie catcher Will Smith slugged a three-run, pinch-hit walkoff homer to secure both a 6-3 victory and series sweep over division rival Colorado.

All three victories came on walkoff home runs by three different rookies, an MLB first. Smith’s walkoff blast on Sunday was the second of his young career.

Smith was recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Oklahoma City after veteran David Freese was placed on the injured list with a hamstring strain.

Manager Bud Black and reliever Scott Oberg elected to pitch to Smith after deciding to intentionally walk Russell Martin. Earlier in the inning, Matt Beaty secured his second infield hit of the game and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Earlier in the game, the Dodgers certainly had a huge opportunity to secure the victory.

Batting for Austin Barnes in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chris Taylor smacked the first pitch he saw into the left field stands, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead and putting his squad back in the game. For a moment, it looked like that’s all the Dodgers would need to snag the win.

With one out in the seventh, Beaty eked out an infield single, then Enrique Hernandez followed with a double off the wall in right-center field. In the next AB, Taylor put the Dodgers back in the game with a single swing.

Taylor is now 13-for-33 (.394) with 3 doubles, 3 long balls and 11 RBI over the 11 games since Corey Seager was placed on the injured list.

Starter Kenta Maeda delivered another strong outing for the Dodgers. The Japanese righty scattered seven hits over seven full innings of work, allowing two earned runs while striking out six and walking two.

The Rockies got on the board first when David Dahl sent his eighth home run of the season over the center field wall. Two innings later, Garrett Hampson scored on a Ryan McMahon single to center, stretching the Colorado lead to 2-0.

Righty starter Antonio Senzatela was decent for Colorado through six innings of work. Prior to Beaty’s single, Senzatela surrendered just three hits and no runs while striking out five and walking two. He was credited with the runs scored by Beaty and Hernandez in the seventh.

In the top of the eighth inning, Pedro Baez allowed the Rockies to climb back into the game when Daniel Murphy scored on a Tony Wolters double down the right field line. Hernandez took the cutoff from Bellinger in right, but Martin was unable to handle the throw at home despite having more than enough time to nail Murphy.

Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the victory, his third of the year.

The win extended the Dodgers’ divisional lead over Colorado to 13 full games.

Oberg suffered the loss.

On Monday, the Dodgers will begin a three-game series against division rival Arizona on the road.

 

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36 thoughts on “Smith, Dodgers Sweep Rockies in Final Leg of Homestand

    1. Not as tough as you might think. Come on Dennis. You know unless they move Martin or Barnes, it is not happening. Not to say that will not happen, but I doubt Ol Andy is thinking along those terms. Smith’s time is coming, but I do not think it is this year unless Barnes or Martin get hurt. Now, he might do what he did when he traded Ellis later in the year, but that remains to be seen. Right now, Smith is a viable option to either of those guys, but common sense and watching Ol Andy for these past 4 1/2 years says he does not make that move quite yet. I would think an outfielder goes first.

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      1. You honestly believe they are going to trade this kid? He is heads and tails above Ruiz right now. Ruiz struggling to hit .250 at AA. Smith crushing the ball at AAA and excelling in the part time big league role. I keep the kid, package Barnes with some outfielder and get a decent reliever.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Much as it pains me to agree with you Bear I also can’t see them trading Smith at this point, even for an elite reliever. I’ve always thought Ruiz had the higher ceiling, but he hasn’t even proven himself at AAA yet and Smith, in a very small sample size, has done everything anyone could have asked of him up here. If it were me, it would be Martin who goes, unless someone insisted that Barnes be included in a deal for a Hand or a Vazquez-type pitcher. Another guy whom we haven’t mentioned, although he isn’t having all that good a season, is Diaz. If the Mets fall far enough behind, I could definitely see him being available.

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      3. Since this discussion isn’t about first base, I’m going to stick in my opinion. 🙂
        If Smith continues to hit as well as he has, or even close to that level, I could see Friedman moving Martin at some point to keep Smith around. Since Ruiz won’t be ready next year, they’re going to use a tandem of Smith and Barnes at catcher and Smith just might force their hand into doing that a 1/2 year early.
        The other alternative would be to include Barnes in a trade for a reliever and re-sign Martin in 2020 (or sign another guy to back up Smith), but I’m guessing that moving Martin off the roster would be the more likely.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. No the Pelicans robbed the Lakers blind already in the AD trade, no need to make it even worse. All the Laker fans are going nuts about getting Anthony Davis but they don’t know the secret that New Orleans fans have had to deal with for years. He’s a brittle immature crybaby that will miss 20 games if he pricks his finger. When Father Time finally catches up to Lebron AD can’t lead a franchise, he needs an alpha dog to be the head guy.

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      1. It’s hard to win a championship when your roster consists of an aging great player, a brittle great player, a couple of other very good players and 10 or 11 rookies or washed up vets playing on minimum contracts. We also have an assistant coach who is just waiting for the right time to stage a coup to get rid of the head coach and a GM who didn’t know the rules well enough to insure he kept the maximum cap space. “The Lakers” is the answer to the question “What would you get if you had the Three Stooges run an NBA franchise.”?

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  1. And we complain about AF! Look who’s running the show with the
    Lakers and the Trojans! Heartbreaking! Remember at the beginning of the season when we were wondering who the real Belli was (17or 18) and that we were expecting a big regression from Muncy. Turns out they both are better than we ever imagined. This is as good as it gets as a Dodger fan. Well, until we finish in October! AF is one big move from making that happen!

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  2. Andy has won nothing yet. He has gotten them to a couple of World Series but they have not gotten over the hump. He has found some gems and he should get credit for that. He didn’t win the big one in Tampa and he has not won the big enchilada here. Is this the year? Only time will tell. There are still holes. There have been ever since he took over. Right now, they are the best team in baseball. The division title is probably theirs because none of the other pretenders can stand up to their lineup and staff. Get a second shut down arm in there, and I might think they are the lead dog in the race. I haven’t cared about the Lakers for years. College football is what it is. Winning is important, but the education of the kids is what really matters. SC has had very good teams. But they cannot compete with the SEC and those power schools back east.

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  3. By the way Rich, the last two big moves AF made did not really pay off. Darvish, and Machado. Better hope they get home field for the series because if they play the Yanks in the series, 1-9, they are way more powerful than the Dodgers. Pitching wise, not so much. And I know it pains you to agree with me about anything Jefe….take an aspirin.

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  4. WELL bear I certainly agree with you that they need a 2nd closer and then this team is ready to claim their title. Even tho Darvish and Machado didn’t lead us to a title they were the best players on the market at the time and the right signings. Can’t fault AF for that. No guarantees in life. A Smith, Hand type signing is what we need and if AF delivers good on him but again it’s no guarantee that they can deliver. If you’re GM who do you get and what do you give up?

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    1. Get it right Rich. They were not signings, they were trades and they cost the Dodgers prospects not money. In Machado’s case it was 5 players for a rental. Granted, it was done out of the feeling that they needed a full time replacement for Seager. But even with Machado, who if he had performed like he was in Baltimore, would have made a huge difference, they were barely were able to tie for the division title on the last day and had to play a 163rd game to win the division. He was a combined 15-66 in the playoffs and the world series and struck out 18 of those 66 at bats. That’s what your so called difference maker did in crunch time, and we all know about the massive flameout that Darvish had. Hand or Smith, and I think you can forget about Hand as long as the Tribe is still in the race, which they are, are going to cost plenty in the way of prospects. And you can bet that Farhan is licking his chops hoping the Dodgers come to him seeking Smith so he can fleece his old boss out of some prime players that might not affect the Dodgers right now, but maybe impact them down the pike. Until the day that he hoists a World Series trophy, AF has won nothing, nada, zip….

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  5. As a GM I sure am not dealing with my main rival. I look somewhere that they need what I have to deal. Pittsburgh and Detroit come to mind. Both have a few solid arms that might become available in the weeks to come.

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  6. Will Smith is 24 with 24 total plate appearances. You guys make him sound like Johnny Bench. Ruiz is 20. When Smith was 20 he was hitting .240 for Louisville. Maybe Friedman has changed his mind about him, but I think right now Smith is the hot hand and nothing more. If Cleveland or SF would take him in trade for an established pitcher, I believe I would still do it.

    Martin looked like Grandal on that throw. That game never should have gotten to Smith.

    You don’t like conversations about first base Jefe? Sorry to have bored you. I was enjoying myself. I like poking the Bear now and then. I believe he likes it too.

    It’s June and we have a large lead. Feels great. It’s June. The causatum is miles away and yet to be determined.

    “It can be easy to swept up into predicting advantage and victorious outcomes once thoughts of the future take over. When this fatuity dawns, remind yourself there are always many other potential outcomes.” Scoopadamus, 2019.

    I’m enjoying the ride. But what do I know. I enjoy debates about first base.

    Got a text from an old high school buddy a few minutes ago. He’s a former high school coach, retired in Oklahoma. He said he loves how Roberts manages and it’s easier for him to root for the Dodgers without Puig and Machado. I get it. I think I agree with him. This team is fun to follow.

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    1. I may not have made myself clear with my first base comment, my friend. I wasn’t bored by it but felt I didn’t have enough real life experience at that position to throw in my two cents worth. Apparently you, Bear and Karros have spent a fair amount of time at that position so I didn’t feel it was my place to comment, having last played there in Little League.
      Now that you’ve given me an opening, I’ll comment: I think the best answer is to have Bellinger play both positions at the same time. Sometimes you have to think outside the box.

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      1. He’s fast.

        Saw a Pirate bunt with the bases loaded. The RH shift was on, the first baseman was even with the bag and looked cemented in the ground when the guy turned to bunt and the pitcher didn’t cover. Surprise! Today’s baseball.

        You don’t need to have played a position to have an an opinion. I’ve never been President of the United States, but I could sure give you an opinion the guy who is. Ask Bear about that one.

        Among Sunday’s top prospect performers – Connor Wong. I wouldn’t get too excited. He’s 23 and hitting .230 in A ball.

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  7. I know they were trades bear! Both were great moves by AF even if they didn’t net a title. Never would have made thenplayoffs wo a Machado! AF may not have won a title yet or nada butbI know he’s won your heart! PS Good to have you back in Colorado. California mellowed you out too much!

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    1. Great moves? Seriously? Darvish won 4 games during the regular season and lost 3. They would have won the division without him easily. They won by 10 games as it was. He won 1 game in each of the playoff series and lost 2 in the World Series. Granted, they gave up less for him than they did for Machado, but they did not get much in return and they got a total meltdown in the series. Machado hit 52 points lower as a Dodger. His power numbers were down and he struck out more. He was a total dick. He did not hustle, he sat in the dugout with that obnoxious smirk of his and he tanked when he was needed most. I state again, I do not love AF, until they hoist a trophy he has won nothing. The best thing I can say about this team is that they are a lot more fun and exciting to watch than the other groups he ran out there. They play hard and they grind. I was totally wrong about Muncy though. He has become a very solid player. And Scoop, I am not getting into any political stuff here.

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      1. Are you saying that Friedman is at fault because his shortstop went down and he traded for the best guy on the market, who then didn’t play the way he was supposed to? In my opinion, that’s on Machado, not Andrew.
        Darvish will never live down his WS performance but other than that he was decent and we still don’t miss Calhoun (the major piece in the Darvish trade).
        This is a serious question to you Bear because I’d really be interested in your thoughts here. If you were the Dodgers GM exactly what would you do in the next six weeks to make the club better and have the best chance to win the big prize? If you would make a trade or trades, who would you get and what would you give up?

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      2. Machado is totally at fault. He is the guy making the big money. His not performing is totally on him. AF took a shot and it did not pan out. My view is that he did not make the Dodgers all that much better. They were good before he was traded for. They had turned their season around well before he joined the team. Personally I think he screwed the chemistry up some. Darvish was mediocre. You trade for players like that and you expect more. AF made those decisions. He picked guys he felt would push them over the hump and was wrong. Had they both did the job they should have done, we would be celebrating at least one title. I think they had no shot against the Sox who were better balanced and out pitched them totally. We all know they need another solid arm in the pen, maybe two. The obvious choices are going to cost a pack of prospects. That’s what teams are going to want. Vazquez in Pittsburgh is very controllable. I hate trading for rentals. That’s why I avoid Smith and doing anything to help the Giants. There are going to be some very good pitchers available. I say trade from strength if you are going to trade and the Dodgers are deep in middle infield and outfield positions in the minors. The Indians are turning things around, but if they do sink lower and Hand becomes available, I make a deal for him because he pitched in the division for a long time. Might cost a little more but I think he is the kind of pitcher who makes a huge difference. They have assets that will never make the bigs. Funny, everyone praises AF when he has basically never won a thing and they chastise Colletti who along with Logan White built the farm system back up and signed or drafted the core of this team.

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      3. OK, I hear that you don’t want a rental. You say we’re deep in middle infield and outfield prospects and you think it might be a good idea to go after Hand or Vazquez. So lay out a trade for each so I can see if you and I value our prospects similarly or if one of us thinks much more highly of them than the other guy. I think we also need to keep in mind that neither Cleveland nor Pittsburgh is about to go through a total rebuild so they’re likely to want guys already in the majors or pretty close. I don’t think they’ll settle for a basket of guys from Great Lakes and Ogden. I look forward to seeing your proposed trades. After all, that’s what these blogs are all about. Have at it Mr. GM.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Didn’t ask you anything political Bear. I know where you stand on that. Was just making a point with Jefe and asked him to ask you. He chose not to. Wise move on his part.

        Friedman has done an excellent job at continuing what was in place when he got here. He hasn’t f’d it up. But I’m with you on passing any kind of final judgment on him. He’s not done. When he is, and we are counting titles he’s brought us, then I’ll have a more favorable opinion on him.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Did not imply you did my friend. We all have different views on life and politics. But neither is really relevant on a baseball blog. I am with you on the fact that Friedman has not screwed up what he was handed. He has made some astute moves, and he has also made some stinkers. All GM’s and leaders in his position do. I do not believe that he has ever really come close to fixing the bullpen, which to me seems like a well worn inner tube with so many patches on it that it will never really hold air. but considering the fact that bullpens across the majors, and most of the contenders BP’s are all suffering from inflated ERA’s and HR totals. So the BP is probably in line with every other contenders pen. Here is the kicker, the Dodgers are rated as one of the top 5 pens in the majors along with Houston, the Yankees and the Brewers and the A’s………….go figure!

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  8. Bear, we just have a different philosophy about baseball and maybe life in general. I’m not into an all or nothing outlook. I have immensely enjoyed the Dodger run the last several years even if they haven’t won a title. And I think AF and Roberts have done a fantastic job giving us a consistent chance at winning a title each and every year. Not only have they put together a quality group of players on the field but have even more so off the field. It’s a remarkable group of young men and a blessing to our community. I look forward to winning a title but I’m enjoying every second along the way!

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    1. Neither am I. I think everyone is entitled to their own opinions and that is the American way. Most Dodger fans have enjoyed the teams since AF took over. I get it believe me I do. I just do not think the guy is the miracle worker everyone else does. Winning is the goal, and it starts with the division. They have that part figured out. The last two years they have made it to the big dance. Having seen the Championship teams, I know what it has taken them to win. Pitching has always been the key, especially in a short series. But I think AF’s window is closing a lot more rapidly than some others might. 3 of his biggest stars are aging and their performances have shown that. They have gotten a lot from unexpected sources. So luck plays into it also. But he had a strong core when he took over, made so many roster moves he had people’s heads spinning. But the bottom line is 30 years and counting. That’s what this is all about. Not just me, the fans, and I mean a majority of the fans are not satisfied just getting there, and frankly, you should not be either. Baseball is entertainment. That we all know. But in all honesty, those first couple of teams he put together were not all that exciting in my eyes. Those all or nothing swings, the bad relief corps, it was hard to watch. These guys are a lot more enjoyable to watch. And this years team may be his best shot at bringing the ring home. I am glad I was not a Cubs or Red Sox fan who had to wait so many years for those celebrations. I also know it is not that easy to win. But I reiterate, until AF hoists the big trophy, he is a second fiddle guy.

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  9. OK Jefe. First guy I would look to trade for is Shane Greene of the Tigers. 21 saves, ERA below 2, WHIP is 0.80, 30 years old arbitration eligible at the end of the season. Hitters well below .200 with this guy. Since the Tigers need just about everything, I trade Hernandez, and 2 prospects. Kike is redundant on our roster anyway and he would have a great shot at playing everyday in Detroit. I send them a AAA guy like Rios, and maybe Kendal or some other top high A player. Would they go for it? Maybe, but he is going to be a lot cheaper than say Vazquez who is going to cost them maybe a couple of MLB ready guys. Giants if we were trading for Smith, would probably want at least 2 top tier players. Someone like say Lux and maybe May. I would trade Lux to the Pirates in a Vazquez deal since they are loaded with SS’s in the system, The Giants would probably also want to throw in another of their players or pitchers to clear payroll, Dyson, Watson, but I am leery of dealing with the enemy. Lux, Peters, Santana and 2 a level prospects to the Pirates for Vazquez.

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    1. Lots to digest here Bear. My comments as follows: Greene would seem like a good get and he certainly wouldn’t cost nearly as much as Vazquez. I could see the Tigers taking Rios but really what use do they have for Kike since they’re 3-5 years from competing for anything. Kendall has no trade value in my mind. They would probably ask for something like Beaty and Josiah Gray, which to me is too much, but it doesn’t mean they couldn’t go back and forth and agree on something.
      Giants will not get anywhere near what you suggest because Smith only has a 1/2 year of control. The Pirates would probably start by asking for Lux and May and then add a couple of guys. The problem with what you suggest for Vazquez is that Peters and Santana have both had down years so for the A level prospects you mention you would have to give them something like Vargas and a very good A pitching prospect for them to bite. That said, I’m not trading Lux for a reliever. We may have middle infielders down on the farm but no one compares to him. He is definitely our future shortstop or second baseman so I’m keeping him. Anyway, an interesting discussion. Feel free to throw some comments back my way. Just be gentle, please. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was thinking Lux because Downs is progressing so well right now and the Dodgers are not going to need another SS for at least 3 or 4 years. Santana is getting healthy and that is probably why he has not pitched much. Vazquez is a very controllable commodity and that’s why the price will be high. You are probably right on Kendall, but there are a lot of good kids in this system, so he can easily be replaced, there is another Santana who is a 3rd baseman playing at RC, that could be a possibility also. Hernandez could fill a lot of roles for the tigers especially if they deal Castellanos and some of their other pieces. They do not really have a guy like Kike.

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      2. I could be very wrong, but I’m guessing that if you asked 100 scouts and front office guys who would have the better career between Lux and Downs, 90 of them would say Lux.
        I’m not saying AF would never trade him but because of the way that even the best relievers suddenly go off a cliff, I don’t think he’d sacrifice a future every day starter and possible All Star for a reliever, no matter how good.
        Seager has only two years of control after this year and his agent is Boras

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I know Boras is his agent. I think if he is totally healthy over those 2 years,, he might walk, But he continues with health problems, things might be different. I think they screwed up not trying to lock him up early.

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  10. One huge difference I see in AF this year is that he is not dragging guys off the waiver wire nearly as much as in the past. Think this is mainly because the roster is so stacked with pitchers already with MLB experience now at AAA.. Corcino, McCreery, Shultz, Defratus, Quackenbush, McAlister, Grimm, Rosscup, Zastrnsty, and of course, Brock Stewart. Old friend Schlitter was called up to the majors yesterday by the A’s.

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