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Simulating Dodgers’ 2020 season, Game 4 vs. Rockies

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Julio Urias makes his first start of 2020 and Brusdar Graterol makes his Dodger debut in our first game against the Rockies in Out of the Park Baseball 21.

MLB: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

This is the fourth installment of an ongoing series, where my dad and I will simulate each game on the Dodgers schedule until real Dodger baseball returns. Catch up on the rest of the series here! Thanks all for the comments and support!

Hello again! After a season-opening sweep against the Giants and a day off on Sunday, we move on towards the Dodgers’ second series of the season, a three-game set against the Colorado Rockies. This one will also be at home, followed by a 7-game stretch on the road against the Giants and Cardinals.

Last time out we had David Price’s winning Dodger debut, three home runs from Cody Bellinger, the first hit by Mookie Betts as a Dodger and an update on Clayton Kershaw’s injury. Our ace will be out for two months, and while we’re moving Alex Wood into the starting rotation, we left the corresponding call-up to the major league roster up to you, the True Blue LA community.

The answer was pretty resounding — more than half of you voted to call up top prospect Brusdar Graterol (Adam Kolarek was the clear second choice). So in he goes into the bullpen and, slight spoiler — he’ll make his debut later on in this installment.

On to the first game against the Rockies! Watch it here or scroll below to find out what happened. If you want to be notified when we go live with future simulations, follow me on Twitch!

A bit of a surprise for us at the beginning of the session — Mookie Betts has the flu and will be out for the first two games of the series. Between that, a scheduled day off for Will Smith and the fact that we’re facing the back-end of the Rockies’ rotation, we end up with four new starters for this one: Chris Taylor at second, A.J. Pollock in left, Kiké Hernández in right and Austin Barnes catching.

It’s also the first start of the season for Julio Urias, and he got into trouble early. Garrett Hampson led off the game with a first-pitch single to the left side, and Trevor Story followed up with a single, advancing Hampson to third. Charlie Blackmon grounded out to second, scoring Hampson for a 1-0 Rockies lead, and two batters later David Dahl singled home Story to make it 2-0. Later still in the inning, Daniel Murphy singled home Dahl to make it 3-0, and Urias eventually got out of the first after allowing five hits and three runs.

Jeff Hoffman took the mound for Colorado in his first start of the season, and he had a much better start of it than Urias, throwing three scoreless innings to open the game. In the bottom of the fourth, Corey Seager hit his second home run of the season, cutting the Rockies lead to 3-1. In the fifth, Max Muncy walked with one out, Justin Turner doubled him to third and Muncy scored on a two-out wild pitch to make it 3-2 Colorado.

As you can tell by the score updates, Urias settled down in a major way after that troublesome first inning, following by tossing five scoreless innings. We ended up taking him out of the game after that, so his final line was six innings pitched, three earned runs given up, seven hits allowed, six strikeouts and no walks on 91 pitches.

As Urias exited the game with the Dodgers trailing 3-2, our hope was the bullpen could continue the success from the opening series and keep this one close. Unfortunately, that would not be the case. After a 1-2-3 seventh for Dylan Floro in his season debut, we elected to let him go back out there in the eighth to save some of our arms. After he gave up a lead-off double to Trevor Story, however, we brought in Blake Treinen for his third appearance of the young season.

Treinen had a pretty disastrous start to his appearance, giving up a single to Charlie Blackmon and being called for a balk on a 2-2 count, scoring Story and extending the Rockies’ lead to 4-2. Treinen struck out Nolan Arenado for the first out of the inning, but back-to-back singles by David Dahl and Yonathan Daza scored Blackmon, making it 5-2 Colorado and forcing us to go to the bullpen again, this time for Scott Alexander. Alexander retired the last two batters to get out of the inning, but Treinen finished with a horrid third of an inning, three hits allowed, one earned run and one inherited run scored on a balk.

Cody Bellinger hit a double in the bottom of the eighth, but Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock were unable to bring him home. In the ninth, we brought in the newly called up Brusdar Graterol for his Dodger debut. He pitched a 1-2-3 inning, with fly outs from Tony Wolters and Garrett Hampson and a ground out from Trevor Story.

Bryan Shaw came in to pitch the ninth for the Rockies with a 5-2 lead, due to face Gavin Lux, Austin Barnes and Joc Pederson (who came into the game after a double switch). Lux led off the inning with a single, but Barnes grounded into a double play, leaving us suddenly with just one out to make up a three-run deficit. On an 0-2 count, Pederson launched a 442-ft. home run into the bleachers, narrowing the Rockies lead to 5-3. But Chris Taylor grounded out to short in the following at-bat, ending the game, 5-3 Rockies.

Here’s the box score:

The 162-0 dream is over, folks, but the series has just begun. Colorado now holds a slim lead in the NL West, and tomorrow sees Ross Stripling’s 2020 debut up against German Marquez (1-0, 1.13 ERA).

That’s right — the Rockies’ magic number is 158. Watch out, folks.

Now it’s time for your input. With Mookie Betts out one more game, who should we start in his place in right field?

Poll

Who should start for Mookie Betts? (2020 AVG/OBP/SLG)

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Chris Taylor (.167/.167/.167)
    (4 votes)
  • 35%
    Kiké Hernández (.250/.250/.250)
    (17 votes)
  • 27%
    A.J. Pollock (.000/.000/.000)
    (13 votes)
  • 29%
    Matt Beaty (.000/.000/.000)
    (14 votes)
48 votes total Vote Now