Dodgers Sweep Nationals Amid 9-Game Winning Streak

(Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Although it was one of the most enduring series of the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers dug deep, finding a way to steal all four games from the Washington Nationals on Independence Day weekend.

Because of Trevor Bauer’s placement on administrative leave by the MLB on Friday, the Dodgers were forced to employ yet another bullpen game in the season finale on Sunday.

Rain and thunderstorms ended up affecting two of the four games. The opener was called in just five innings after waiting more than an hour to see if the weather would clear. However, the Dodgers still used four pitchers of its highly overworked relief crew in the win.

In Saturday’s contest, the rain hit right in the middle of the game, resulting in an unwanted intermission that lasted one hour and 44 minutes. Clayton Kershaw’s night was cut short because of the delay, causing skipper Dave Roberts to use six total pitchers by the time all the dust settled on the victory.

Not to mention the turnaround between Saturday’s game and the finale on Sunday was right around 10 hours, creating a short, restless night for both teams.

Nevertheless, as it looked like the final game would be a bit of a nail biter, Los Angeles brought home two insurance runs in the ninth to alleviate some of the stress, resulting in a 5-1 victory.

The Nationals took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning when Starlin Castro drove home Josh Harrison with a single to center, but the Dodgers struck back in the top of the fourth when Matt Beaty launched his fourth homer of the year into the centerfield stands.

In the seventh inning with nobody out, Gavin Lux doubled to center and later scored on a single by Albert Pujols, who was pinch hitting for reliever David Price.

Using pitcher Tony Gonsolin as a pinch runner for Pujols, the team added another run when Gonsolin scored on a Max Muncy double to finish the scoring in the seventh.

With his second double of the day, Muncy drove home Lux and Austin Barnes in the ninth.

Lux also had a huge day for the Dodgers, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

The Dodgers used a whopping eight pitchers in Sunday’s victory, including Kenley Jansen, who was inserted in a non-save situation at the beginning of the ninth inning. Jansen secured the save in Saturday’s 5-3 victory.

Price was credited with the win, his fourth of the season. With the loss, Washington righty Joe Ross fell to 5-8.

The Dodgers finish up their current road trip with a four-game set against the Marlins of Miami beginning Monday.

31 thoughts on “Dodgers Sweep Nationals Amid 9-Game Winning Streak

  1. I am more than pleasantly surprised that we managed to sweep the Nats this weekend. Obviously the Bauer thing didn’t disrupt the team. Maybe not having him in the clubhouse actually helped.

    We probably need to add Joe Ross to that list of potential starters we could get. He’d go under the category of “Meh, just another body” but he sure looked good today. Only 28 and has another year of control.

    As I was watching Lux get 3 hits today, I was reminded of how streaky Andre Eithier used to be. When he was struggling he was no good to anyone but when he was hot, he carried the team. Maybe Lux will turn out to be one of those very streaky hitters.

    1. Lux is streaky but so far the downs are longer than the Ups! The young man is almost helpless against left-handed pitching. Muncy is having an amazing year so far. So happy for Pujos getting RBI’s in the last 4 games. Pujos has helped against lefties.
      As trading for a starter would be buying very high I doubt Friedman makes that move as he is always looking to the Future. The Dodgers have two pitchers that have been effective in long relief and could be stretched out to start in Price and Nelson. I think Price and Nelson are much better than anyone they could get without giving up blue-chip prospects and overpay. The Dodgers have played 84 games so a bit over 1/2 way through the season. They have gone through a tsunami of injuries and are still in competition to win the division. Seager will be back after the AS Game and he is a big bat.
      I believe the Dodgers will wait out the investigation on Bauer to see how this plays out. No need to rush decisions as the team is playing well there is still half the season to play.

      1. Almost? Totally is more like it. He has not hit lefty’s yet. Almost as bad against them as Joc was.

  2. Lux has put up 1.9 WAR in half a season. I think his OPS+, 85 now, will be at or over 100 with a near 4 WAR by year’s end. He’s hanging around some terrific professional hitters and he will learn. Just bat him at bottom of the order for now

    I agree that the Dodgers will wait as long as they can with Bauer. The general consensus, at least as far as I can tell, is he’s gotta go.

    1. Until he can figure out Lefties I really like Pujos getting some starts at 1st and Muncy at second. Pujos at least puts the ball in play and knows how to move the runner over no matter what. Lux simply strikes out,
      I would platoon Lux against Left-handed pitchers which sporadically the Dodgers are beginning to do. Especially once Seager is back and the rest of the starters are back after the AS break I would platoon Lux with Taylor as Seager goes back to SS.

    1. Go AB-D (with a k and an x)!
      By the way, Pepiot started tonight, went 7 perfect innings with 11 k’s, started the 8th by walking the first batter and was pulled. He is rapidly becoming our leading starter prospect.
      Good to see JoJo out on the mound again, and I would call his performance tonight a good beginning.

      1. Interesting that Gray’s turn in OKC’s rotation now lines up where Bauer would be in the big league rotation. Or maybe just a coincidence.

      2. Both those guys are already 23. Pepiot turns 24 next month. Their stat lines suggest to me they deserve a shot. Pepiot has given up only 17 hits in 41.2 innings and in 3 minor league seasons Gray has a WHIP under 1. If it were another team under these conditions I believe one or both would be up for the second half. But, this is the Dodgers.

        Nationals now behind both Mets and Braves. Remember when I posted the playoff odds? Nationals make playoffs now at 14%. For the record, I’d extend Scherzer 3 years. He doesn’t need to throw 200 innings for us. 25 starts, 150 innings, 4-5 WAR. What’s that worth? Heck, Rich Hill got 4.3 WAR in 135 innings at age 36. Scherzer is better than that guy.

        I had the Rockies in last place. Had that wrong. dbacks are 31.5 back before the All Star break. They are on pace for 118 losses.

  3. I agree Scoop. I would give Scherzer three more years if that’s what it took. Only question is what would he want in $. Assuming the team would also be ready to bring CK back for two or three years, can you pay Max more than Clayton? Pay both about the same per year? Is that affordable?

    D’backs and Rox are both definite candidates for total rebuilds which should mean that most anyone on their roster is available. Is there anyone on those rosters who would improve the Dodgers? I’m sure the answer to that is yes, but the question is are we willing to spend the cost in prospects. Today’s GM’s are far less concerned about dealing in division as long as they get the best deal in return.

    1. If there’s a way to get Bauer’s contract off the books it would be affordable. We have no idea when they plan on getting under the threshold again to reset the tax.

      1. Dennis do you believe the Tax will be in effect after the Labor Agreement? I do not. The Players Union made a very poor strategic decision with the Luxury Tax. I do not believe the current Luxury tax or the penalties of draft picks will survive after the strike next year. The Players believe and it has proved out that many owners use the Tax to make money and have kept salaries as low as they can and their teams uncompetitive which was the supposed reason for the tax and draft penalties.
        The Tax and the draft pick penalties are the reason there will be a long strike in 2022 unless the owners decide to primarily give them up.

      2. I believe Bauer’s contract for next year is $45MM. I don’t think you can get both Scherzer and CK for that total, but of course Andrew can move other contracts and dollars around I suppose.

        Nice to be able to put a face to your name now. You might want to close that cabinet door before something falls out. 🙂

      3. I hope as many here have suggested they bring up Pepiot or Gray as trading for an elite guy would cost them about double as they will be trading with a need. The Dodgers have invested highly with pitchers in the draft and drafted later for position players, So the Dodgers have a plethora of young arms and I still say they should bring them up and try them out. Jackson is on the 40-man give him a shot. Some players rise with a challenge others fail. You don’t know until you try. There is a lot of mental on who excels at the MLB level. I like Pepiot as he has a great out-pitch. Gonsolin is coming around and should be able to pitch more innings. Why don’t they stretch out Nelson or Price? Nelson has pitched very well as has Price. If they need another bullpen guy bring up Quakenbush or Alexander. Their payroll is high right now and there is no guarantee what is going to happen with Bauer. I think it may be a long process.

    2. You’re right about dealing within the Division Jefe. It’s possible, but I don’t see it likely. You get it wrong and the bite hurts more. Dealing in the other league is safer, followed by dealing outside the Division, then comes dealing with a rival.

      The new agreement. Who knows how that shakes out. Just another reason to go for it now as far as I’m concerned.

      1. Dealing in the other league is safer but today’s GM’s are less emotional and more stats based and would rather get the best deal, not caring as much about screwing up in their own division. They’re ready to handle the backlash if they make a bad deal. All things equal, they’ll deal outside the division, but all things are rarely equal.

  4. Pepiot was one of the stars of the offsite camp last year his change-up is a great out pitch. Nunez has pitched very well at OKC this year and Gray as Dennis reported is back and so far pitching well.
    It makes sense for the Dodgers to give MLB time to their young players to give them experience at the elite level so they can gauge for themselves what they need to do to get to the Show. Peters had supposedly addressed his strikeout issues but then showed he had not & he is struggling at OKC. Uceta had control issues. Santana has great stuff but could not control it and was traded. White has been erratic. As Carrillo and Jackson are on the 40 man roster I was hoping to see them this year. Revelo is tearing up OKC with a 407 avg, 504 OBP & a 1.263 OPS granted he is 29 and playing 1st but he is right-handed and shows good power against lefties. Peters is still on the 40 man as is Neuse I think the Dodgers should give up on them and bring up Pepiot, Gray, and possibly Rangel if they need a solid right-handed bat although Pujos is doing a great job…
    What about Quakenbush he is dominating as a reliever at OKC.

    1. You can cross Ravelo off your list TMax. He’s now playing in Japan. Apparently the Dodgers decided they weren’t going to give him a chance any time soon and when the Japanese league came calling they allowed him to sign over there.

      1. Oops missed that…Curious as Ravelo was tearing up the league all year and before Pujos they desperately needed someone to be competitive against Lefties they didn’t bring him up for a while. When Seager gets back I would platoon Lux at second with Taylor as Lux is almost helpless so far against left-handers.

  5. If they’re
    not ready for the bigs at age23/24 you can pretty much forget about them. We’ve seen a steady parade of other teams rejects this year for a look see then they’re gone but not our own prospects. I’m thinking there’s probably a reason. They should at least be getting some exposure to the league.
    And why in the world aren’t price and Nelson starting . We’ve been fortunate, in that our pitching staff has only suffered injuries to yhe bottom of our rotation, and that’s why a thought these guys were for. Their pretty expensive 1 inning guys.

    1. Actually Nelson is a cheap one inning guy. He’s only earning 1.25 mil this year. Price is a whole other story.
      Also, Nelson has been so effective in short relief that I’m fine with keeping him short, late inning situations. I don’t understand why Price hasn’t been stretched out long before now.

    2. I agree with Gordon not many guys over 24 make it and stick at the MLB level. The Position players are usually not real blue-chip prospects over 25 or so. That is why I am frustrated with the Dodgers for not at least bringing up some of these young pitchers to see if their stuff and mentality will be competitive. Pepiot is 23 he should be given a shot. Josiah Gray is also 23 both of them prime ages to get them to the MLB. They brought up White and Uceta will mixed results why not Jackson, Carrillo, Pepiot, or Gray? I do get it that Gray has been on the IL.

      1. Keep in mind that there was no minor league season last year. The alternate site exposure was still not the same as having league games. I think that MLB teams are taking this into consideration when determining how close to MLB ready certain prospects might be.

      2. Actually when you think about it, this parade of 1 and done pitchers have been relievers, which is probably the problem. Our starters have performed well, but they rarely are able to get past the 6th innings, which compounds the fact that the pen is so shallow, that they may be afraid to remove price and Nelson, because they have nothing else to fill the holes. And I do think the pen has generally performed well this year but they don’t have anything else on the farm. This bauer disaster is a whole new problem.

  6. They optioned Cleavinger and brought up Alexander today. I would get Nelson or Price to begin starting. I agree the Bullpen has been very good and to my amazement, Jansen has been outstanding. With Treinen and Kelly pitching well and Jansen at the back of the bullpen, the Dodgers have been able to shorten games.
    I still say if the Dodgers do not believe Jackson or Carrillo can help why put them on the 40 man roster?

      1. Yes, but why protect them and Peters too if they are not fit to sporadically help at the MLB level? The Dodgers have had a tsunami of injuries why not bring up anyone you judge so valuable as to protect? As I stated earlier I would drop Neuse and Peters off the roster and bring up Gray and Nunez. Raley and Reks at least are hitting well at OKC Peters is not. Neuse just so so and did not impress at the MLB level.

      2. Peters’ days on the 40-man are probably numbered. Carrillo is just 22. Jackson has one of the better fastballs on the farm, and many scouts seem to think he’ll be a valuable rotation piece if he can develop a solid breaking arsenal. Don’t forget Jackson is a former outfielder, so he hasn’t been throwing breaking stuff all his life. The waiting game right now is Jackson advancing his offspeed offerings.

      3. Gray hadn’t pitched in weeks and then pitched 2 innings yesterday. You think he’s ready to pitch in a major league game?
        If you bring up Gray and Nunez, who do you send down along with Uceta? Or do you want to carry 14 pitchers?

      4. No, I would simply drop either Peters or Neuse off the 40 man roster so Gray could come up when he is needed. I would stretch out Nelson and or Price to start right now and let Gray pitch a few more games to either start or replace Nelson as the long man for now. Gray is not ready yet.

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