The bullpen and inability to hit with runners in scoring position looks as if it’ll keep LA out of the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Yet again, the bullpen blew a lead, the offense couldn’t hit with runners on, and the Dodgers dropped their third consecutive game.
A solo home run in the eighth and a two-run home run in the ninth would give the Cardinals a 3-1 victory.
Before the bullpen blew yet another game, Wednesday night was an old-fashioned pitchers duel featuring two of the best young pitchers in the game.
Walker Buehler, 24, and Jack Flaherty, 22, were both virtually un-hittable all night. Buehler had a career-high nine strikeouts, where Flaherty had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning.
Both pitchers would get a no-decision.
The Cardinals threatened in the third inning. After a lead-off walk, Yairo Munoz singled to left, but was thrown out at second base. This would have given St. Louis runners at the corners with zero outs, instead, there was a runner on third and one out.
Buehler proceeded to strike out Flaherty and Matt Carpenter, escaping the inning untouched.
On the night, Buehler would strike out nine, which is a new career-high. In the month of August, he has a 1.07 ERA.
Through 5 1⁄3 innings, the Dodgers had still yet to record a hit. Amid a 2-for-30 stretch, Joc Pederson stepped up to the plate and hit his 19th homer of the year, giving LA their first hit of the night and a 1-0 lead. On the night, LA had only two hits.
Flaherty would go six innings, striking out 10 while allowing one run.
The Dodgers bullpen needed only six outs to walk away with the victory. Even that was too many to ask for. Scott Alexander allowed a solo homer to Tyler O’Neill, knotting the game at one.
For the Dodgers bullpen, this is the 10th time in the last 13 games the bullpen has lost the lead in the 7th inning or later.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Dodgers loaded the bases for Manny Machado. This entire series, LA has been unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position. Tonight was no different. Machado grounded out to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen appeared for the second night in a row, and ended up getting his second straight loss. Jansen got the first batter out, but then allowed a single to Gyorko and a home run to Paul DeJong.
For Jansen, he had only allowed three home runs in his last 47 2⁄3 innings. Over the last two nights, he allowed three homers over the course of nine batters.
This is the first time in 12 years the Cardinals have swept the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers now fall to 4 1⁄2 games back of first place.
The Dodgers have an off-day tomorrow and will welcome San Diego for a weekend series. Rich Hill (5-4, 3.73 ERA) will look to continue his hot-stretch as he’ll square off against Clayton Richard (7-10, 5.11 ERA).
Home Runs: Joc Pederson (19), Tyler O’Neill (4), Paul DeJong (14)
WP: Dakota Hudson (4-0) 1 IP, 1 H
LP: Kenley Jansen (0-5) 1 IP, 2 ER, 3 H
SV: Jordan Hicks (5) 1 IP, 3 K