While losing three straight heading to the All-Star break is no one’s idea of a good thing, this Dodger 5-3 loss to the Padres should not diminish a few things.
- Their 13½ game lead is the largest in the National League since the 1986 New York Mets led their division by 13½ games
- Their 60-32 record after 92 games is only behind the 2017 Dodgers (63-29) and the 1962 and 1974 Dodgers teams in Los Angeles Dodger franchise history
- Their +129 run differential is the best in the majors
- They have the best record in the majors at the All-Star break
Now putting all that aside, the Padres pitching did a good job shutting down the Dodgers offense in the last three games, this the fourth time this season, the Dodgers were held to three or less runs in three straight games.
Fernando Tatis Jr sparkled at the plate and in the field. He homered twice, the first one gave the Padres a 1-0 lead and then in what turned out to be the winning blow, Tatis hit a three-run homer off Pedro Báez to make the score 5-1 in the fifth inning.
Tatis made a very nice play to throw out Austin Barnes and shut down a possible Dodger rally.
Joey Lucchesi had given up three runs in his one prior start against the Dodgers this season and he gave up three runs today. The difference today was that he pitched into the seventh inning.
Ross Stripling made the start for the Dodgers, he gave up solo home runs to Tatis and Manuel Margot. In the fifth inning, the sun betrayed him as Max Muncy lost a pop fly in the sun and instead of one out and a man on first, there were runners on second and third and no outs.
Stripling would strike out Lucchesi and then Báez replaced Stripling and Tatis hit his second home run.
The Dodgers scored their runs on solo home runs from Muncy and Justin Turner. Alex Verdugo singled home Edwin Rios to score the Dodgers final run.
The Padres used their closer Kirby Yates for the straight game and he might have had his least stressful save of the series as he retired the Dodgers on a strikeout and two ground outs.
After Báez, the Dodgers used four different relievers to pitch one scoreless inning apiece. Dylan Floro, JT Chargois, Julio Urías and Kenley Jansen also each struck out two.
WP: Joey Lucchesi (7-4), 6⅓ IP, 3 ER, 6 H, 4 SO
LP: Ross Stripling (3-3), 4⅓ IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 3 SO
Sv: Kirby Yates (30), 1 IP, 1 SO
Home runs: Fernando Tatís Jr. 2 (14), Manuel Margot (5), Max Muncy (22), Justin Turner (10)
The Dodgers will play the Boston Red Sox at the venerable Fenway Park when teams begin play on Friday after the All-Star break.
The Dodgers will have Joc Pederson (with third-base coach Dino Ebel pitching to him) participate at the Home Run Derby tomorrow and then manager Dave Roberts will have Hyun-Jin Ryu and Cody Bellinger in his starting lineup on Tuesday. Also with Roberts at the All-Star game are infielder Max Muncy and pitchers Walker Buehler and Clayton Kershaw.