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Simulating the Dodgers’ 2020 season: Game 15 vs. Nationals

The simulated Dodgers look to clinch another series win as they take on the Nationals in Out of the Park Baseball 2021.

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This is the thirteenth 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!

Welcome back! Last time out, we survived a 15 inning affair in our first game against the Nationals. Chris Taylor hit a walk-off two run home run, and our bullpen is very tired for this one. Ross Stripling (1-0, 3.18 ERA) will go up against Joe Ross (2-0, 1.80 ERA).

It’s time for the game! Watch it here or scroll below to find out what happened. If you want to be notified when we go live with future simulations and chime in with your live feedback and/or input on manager decisions, follow me on Twitch!

It was the Nationals who took an early lead this time, scoring in the top of the second on three consecutive singles from Starlin Castro, Victor Robles and Yan Gomes. In the third, Asdrubal Cabrera hit a two-run home run, making it 3-0 Nationals.

Joe Ross cruised through the first two innings against the Dodgers, but in the bottom of the third, there were signs of life from the offense. With Ross Stripling at second and Mookie Betts on first and two outs, Justin Turner ripped a single through the left side, scoring Stripling and cutting the lead to 3-1.

In the bottom of the fifth, Turner and the Dodger offense struck again. After Betts got caught stealing for the second, Max Muncy walked. Turner slapped a double down the right field line, scoring Muncy and making it 3-2 Nats.

After Stripling retired the Nats in order in the sixth, the Dodgers offense got back to it. After Chris Taylor struck out and Joc Pederson flew out, Will Smith doubled. Joe Ross intentionally walked Gavin Lux, and pinch hitter Matt Beaty slapped a single through the left side, scoring Smith and tying the game 3-3.

With Beaty pinch hitting for him, Stripling leaves after six innings, with three earned runs allowed on eight hits and one walk against three strikeouts. In to replace him: Caleb Ferguson, who throws two fantastic innings, striking out five.

Chris Taylor, last night’s hero, opened up the bottom of the eighth against Blake Wood with a ground out to third. Joc Pederson flew out to second for two quick outs. Will Smith singled on a 1-1 count, bringing in Fernando Abad to face the lefty Gavin Lux. When Lux grounded back to Abad, it looked like the inning was over. But the pitcher threw wildly to first, going over Eric Thames’ head. When all was said and done, Smith was at third and Lux was at second, with two outs and the pitcher’s spot up.

There was some debate between the co-managers about who to pinch hit against the lefty Abad. The two options were Kiké Hernández, who has performed better this year, and A.J. Pollock, who our scouts rate as a better hitter against lefties. I vouched for Pollock, despite his disappointments for us so far this season.

The man came through.

On a 2-2 count, Pollock slapped a single through the left side, scoring Smith and Lux and giving the Dodgers a 5-3 lead. Mookie Betts grounded out to end the inning, but the damage was done.

Pedro Baez came in to pitch the ninth, giving Kenley Jansen the day off. He struck out Victor Robles, got Yan Gomes to ground out to first, and struck out the pinch hitter Yadiel Hernandez to end the game.

Here’s the box score:

So Caleb Ferguson picks up his third win of the year, moving into a tie with David Price and a whole lot of other players for the most in baseball. Pedro Baez picks up[ his first save, and Stripling gets his second no decision of the year.

Next time: Alex Wood (2-0, 1.47 ERA) against Max Scherzer (1-2, 2.57 ERA) as we look for the sweep. See you then!