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Simulating the Dodgers’ 2020 season: Games 5 & 6 vs. Rockies

A “rain out” forces a doubleheader and Ross Stripling and Alex Wood make their first starts of the season, as we try to win the series against the Rockies in Out of the Park Baseball 21.

Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

This is the fifth 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!

Alright, so we have a bit of a different installment today! My dad and I were recording a very exciting Game 5 yesterday when OOTP crashed, losing our progress in around the eighth inning. It’s a shame, because we were winning a slugfest that included about seven Dodger home runs, including a Will Smith grand slam in the bottom of the fifth:

But we’ll have to make do. So canonically, the second game of the series against the Rockies was rained out — it’s the first rain-out at Dodger Stadium since April 17, 2000, and we’ll finish up the series with a doubleheader.

Mookie Betts will miss the first game with the flu, and we asked you which of our backup outfield options should start in his place. The results were close, but Kiké Hernández just barely beat out Matt Beatty and A.J. Pollock, and he’ll be in our starting lineup for the first part of the doubleheader in center field (we moved Bellinger to right for this one).

It’s time for the games! 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!

Ross Stripling took the mound in his first start of the season, going up against the Rockies’ German Marquez. Marquez started on Opening Day for Colorado, when he allowed one run in eight innings in a 5-1 win against the Padres.

It was also a scheduled day off for Justin Turner, so Chris Taylor started at third.

The first inning was a struggle for Stripling, as he nearly mimicked Julio Urias’s three-run first in the first game of the series. Garrett Hampson led off with a single, and Charlie Blackmon followed with a two-run home run to give the Rockies a 2-0 lead. Stripling retired the next eight batters in order, however, and significantly settled down after the first.

In the bottom of the second, three singles in a row to start the inning by Joc Pederson, Will Smith and Gavin Lux scored Pederson and Smith, tying the game 2-2. One inning later, Corey Seager drove home Hernández to make it 3-2 Dodgers.

Stripling ran into a spot of trouble again in the top of the sixth, when Blackmon led off the inning with a double and Nolan Arenado walked. After Trevor Storey grounded into a fielder’s choice, leaving first and third with one out, we brought in Scott Alexander to face the three lefties near the bottom of the Rockies’ order. Daniel Murphy grounded out, scoring Blackmon and tying the game 3-3, and Alexander struck out Dahl to end the inning.

From the next few innings, it was a duel between German Marquez and the Dodgers’ bullpen. Marquez pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, while Dylan Floro and Pedro Baez did the same for Los Angeles. Both bullpens delivered scoreless ninth innings (Joe Kelly for the Dodgers, Scott Oberg for the Rockies), sending us to extra innings for the second time this season.

If you’ll remember, the first time was a Seager walk-off home run in the bottom of the 10th against the Giants. And sure enough, the shortstop came through again. Pinch hitter A.J. Pollock led off the bottom of the tenth with a single against Jairo Diaz. He advanced to second on a pass ball, opening first base for an intentional walk to Muncy. Hernández singled to load the bases, bringing up Cody Bellinger with the bases loaded and nobody out in a tie game in the bottom of the tenth.

Bellinger struck out swinging, but Seager delivered with a deep fly ball to center field, scoring Pollock from third and winning the game 4-3.

Kenley Jansen, who pitched a scoreless top of the 10th, picked up his second win of the season.

Here’s the box score:

So with the second game of the series in the books, we turn our sights to the rubber match. On the mound for the Dodgers is Alex Wood, who takes Clayton Kershaw’s spot in the rotation after the ace’s injury. Wood pitched once for us earlier in the season, relieving Kershaw for a few innings after the injury. The Rockies start Jon Gray, who allowed seven earned runs in 5⅔ innings against the Padres in his only start of the season to-date.

Things got messy early once again for Gray, as Justin Turner and Bellinger hit back-to-back solo home runs in the bottom of the first for an early 2-0 Dodgers lead. In the bottom of the second, a two-out rally started by an Alex Wood single resulted in two more runs thanks to an RBI Mookie Betts triple and a Gray wild pitch. The triple was Betts’s first RBI and extra base hit for the Dodgers, in his second at-bat since his recovery from the flu.

In the bottom of the third, Smith hit a three-run home run to extend the lead to 7-0. But the bottom of the fourth, against reliever Wes Parsons is where things really opened up.

A quick accounting of that half-inning:

  • Betts, Max and Cody walk, loading the bases
  • Seager singles in Betts
  • Pederson walks, scoring Muncy
  • Smith doubles, scoring Bellinger, Seager and Pederson
  • Lux doubles, scoring Smith

That’s a total of six runs on three hits in the inning, as the Dodgers open up a gargantuan 13-0 lead.

That would end up the final score in this one. Whether the Rockies’ pitching truly improved or the Dodgers stepped off the gas a bit, we’ll never know, but one thing’s for certain: it was a trouncing.

Here’s that box score:

One other thing: remember when, at the start of the season, we made the bold decision to move Wood to the bullpen and have Ross Stripling in the starting rotation? Well, Wood certainly sent us a message in this one. He threw a three-hit, complete game shutout, with eight strikeouts and no walks. It was an incredible performance for his first start and first win of the season, and we move to 5-1 with our second series win.

The Dodgers have a day off Thursday, before a three-game road stretch against the Giants that starts Friday. We’ll see you then!