Dodgers Win Two in Weekend Series Against Diamondbacks

After a somewhat dismal performance on Saturday, the Los Angeles Dodgers mustered just enough offense in the finale on Sunday to secure a 3-0 win and seal a two-games-to-one series victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The win was the 100th of the year for the Dodgers, the ninth-time in franchise history they hit the century milestone for victories.

Lefty starter Julio Urias notched the win for the Dodgers, improving his season record to 19-3. Urias threw five full shutout innings, surrendering five hits while striking out three on 85 pitches. The lefty’s 19 wins leads all the majors.

The Los Angeles offense was led by Corey Seager and Trea Turner, who accounted for all three of the team’s runs. Seager slugged a pair of homers, while Turner added one of his own. Coincidentally, the day saw both players hit the 100th long balls of their respective careers.

Seager’s 464-foot blast was the longest of his career and the second-longest of the season for the Dodgers. Hitting out of the two and three holes, Seager and Turner went back-to-back in the first inning. Seager’s second of the game came in the third frame.

Turner’s blast was his 25th of the year, the most he’s ever hit in a single season. His previous HR high was 19 back in both 2018 and 2019.

Both Seager and Turner shared their rookie years during the 2016 season, and both players are still in the conversation for the Los Angeles shortstop duties next year, although Turner appears to be in the driver’s seat with Seager heading towards free agency.

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Along with Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler, Urias remains in the conversation as a strong contender in the National League Cy Young Award Race.

Starting pitcher Humberto Mejia took the loss for Arizona after going just 2-2/3 innings. His record dropped to 0-3.

Lefty reliever Justin Bruihl, righty Joe Kelly and righty Corey Knebel threw the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, holding Arizona scoreless. Kenley Jansen threw a one-hit ninth inning to notch his 36th save of the year.

In the meantime, while the Dodgers are winning series, the Giants are securing sweeps. San Francisco defeated the Colorado Rockies 6-2 on Sunday, maintaining a two-game divisional lead over the Dodgers.

After an off day on Monday, the Dodgers will begin a three-game series against the San Diego Padres on Tuesday before finishing the season with a three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Both series will be played at Dodger Stadium.

Gavin Lux Is Changing Dynamics of Dodgers Outfield

While some of the main foundations of the Dodgers’ roster have stayed the same over the course of the 2021 season, there are many that have taken on a new look, including an outfield crew that now features Gavin Lux.

With a healthy AJ Pollock and Mookie Betts, Los Angeles is one step closer to having the original outfield unit it ran onto the field Opening Day. However, based on what’s happening with Cody Bellinger, we might not see the Betts/Bellinger/Pollock unit in full force again until sometime next year.

Nevertheless, all signs are pointing to Chris Taylor being healthy after dealing with a neck injury for several weeks. With Bellinger struggling, throwing Lux into the mix provides a little bit more of punch than having to settle for someone like Luke Raley, Zach Reks or Zach McKinstry.

Matt Beaty is certainly a candidate for starting action, despite skipper Dave Roberts stating several times recently that he prefers Beaty’s bat off the bench, especially in late-game situations.

I guess we’ll never know the adjustments that Lux made during his latest stint in Triple-A, but since he was recalled to the big-league club on September 10, he has been nothing short of remarkable on offense. Over those 12 games, he has slashed .421/.522/.605 with two doubles, a triple, a homer, nine RBI and 10 runs scored. More importantly, his seven walks over that short period suggest he’s showing more discipline in the box.

While the move to try Lux at third base seemingly backfired, having him play in the outfield has paid some dividends. He made a few several decent plays in left field early in the week, but the real web gem came in the fourth inning of Friday’s game when he tracked down a ball hit by Arizona’s Daulton Varsho deep in the center field alley.

What’s interesting is the speculation of Bellinger’s role if or when he returns. It’s probably safe to assume that Raley is optioned back to play for Oklahoma City in the extended Triple-A season, but Bellinger could be used strictly for his defensive prowess if Lux stays hot with the bat.

Initially, it appeared as if Bellinger wouldn’t need much more time than the mandatory 10 days to come back from his broken rib, but the media reports on Friday suggested otherwise.

“It’s progressing, probably not at the pace we would all like,” Roberts said of Bellinger’s injury on Friday. “Progress is a good thing. But I just don’t want to box him in to playing on Tuesday.”

At this stage of the game, it’s probably not critical to have Bellinger in the initial lineup, although his defensive skills are certainly a huge plus late in games.

However, if Lux continues to make highlight reel plays out there in center field, it could change the dynamics of the way Roberts approaches his outfield options for the remainder of the 2021 season.

Dodgers Visit Arizona As Only Nine Games Remain in Regular Season

Nine games left! What a season it has been, and we’re still in for a critical finish. The Dodgers currently have the second-best record in the league at 98-55, but some fans are still content without that division crown.

This is crazy because most of the other teams would love to be in the Dodgers position. However, that division crown is still attainable. The Dodgers took two out of three from the Rockies at Coors Field, with the rubber match being a late-inning 7-5 comeback win.

Now, the Dodgers will visit the Diamondbacks, who are tied with the Orioles for the worst record in baseball at 49-104. The Dodgers should be able to take care of business in Arizona. A sweep would be ideal, but it is the MLB, so anything can happen.

Meanwhile, the Giants will visit Colorado for a three-game series against the Rockies.

The Dodgers last nine meetings of the season will be on the road against Arizona, and home against the Padres and Brewers.

The Giants visit Colorado and host Arizona and the Padres in their remaining three series.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts also alluded that Max Scherzer will most likely pitch in a potential Game 163 or Wildcard Game. Since acquiring Scherzer at the trade deadline, the Dodgers are 10-0 in his starts.

The rotation is set for the weekend. The Dodgers will hand the ball to Tony Gonsolin in the opener, followed by Clayton Kershaw and Julio Urias.

If you did not see the Dodgers’ recent post on social media you missed out on some fun photos. The whole team dressed up in costumes including the starting rotation posing as a biker gang.

The Diamondbacks will counter sending right-handers Humberto Castellanos, Zac Gallen, and Humberto Mejia.

I personally expect a sweep, but there could be that one trap game. As hot as the Giants have been all season I still find it hard to believe that the Dodgers are still only one game back despite everything that has gone on this season.

As far as potential Wild Card, it looks as it will be the St. Louis Cardinals—what a run they had late this season to itch themselves in the postseason. They are currently on a 12-game winning streak and pose quite the threat if the Dodgers were to meet them in the Wild card game.

For those of you who will be scoreboard watching, the Giants will send old friend Alex Wood to the mound against the Rockies. Wood is 10-4 with a 3.99 ERA. The Rockies will counter with Peter Lambert, who is making first start since 2019 due to Tommy John surgery; he has a career ERA of .7.25

The Diamondbacks seemingly do not have anything to play for except the first overall pick in which they are tied with the Orioles, although just the motivation of causing their division rivals a division crown could be enough.

The first pitch for the opener is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. Pacific.

Dodgers Somehow Remain One Game Out of NL West

We’re getting into crunch time for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the 2021 regular season. And if Thursday’s NL West games were indicative of the next nine games, a certain writer may not make it to the postseason.

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Will Dodgers’ Outfield Hold Up for 2021 Postseason?

Despite several lingering injury concerns, the Los Angeles Dodgers remain in striking distance to capture a ninth-straight National League West division crown. With 11 games left on the regular-season schedule, Los Angeles trails the San Francisco Giants by just one full game heading into Wednesday’s action.

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Dodgers Meet Rockies for Final Time in 2021

As the Dodgers enter the final stretch of the season, they are still only one game behind the Giants. If a tight division race wasn’t nerve-racking enough, being a game apart from your most hated vision rival adds another element.

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Dodgers News and Notes – NL West, Kershaw’s Slider, and More

The Los Angeles Dodgers ended the weekend where they started it, still just one game out of first place.

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Dodgers Secure Weekend Series Victory in Cincinnati

Powered by five strong innings from starter Clayton Kershaw and big offensive games from Corey Seager and Gavin Lux, the Dodgers held off the Reds on Sunday, 8-5, to claim a much-needed weekend series victory.

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Scherzer, Dodgers Handle Reds in Weekend Middle Game

Continuing his late-season dominance, Max Scherzer threw seven shutout innings to lead the Dodgers past the Reds 5-1 in the second contest of a three-game set in Cincinnati.

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Dodgers Begin Important Nine-Game Road Trip

This weekend will be September baseball at its finest. With only 15 games left to play, many teams will be fighting for their playoff lives.

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