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Simulating the Dodgers’ 2020 season: Game 22 vs. Pirates

The simulated Dodgers aim for a sweep of the visiting Pirates in Out of the Park Baseball 21.

MLB: Spring Training-San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This is the 18th 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! After two wins against the Pirates yesterday, we look to finish the job with a sweep today. Walker Buehler (1-2, 2.25 ERA), who has lost two games in a row, will take the mound for the Dodgers against Joe Musgrove (2-2, 5.18 ERA). Coming into today’s game, the 16-5 Dodgers are three games up on the Diamondbacks in the NL West, while the 8-13 Pirates are in last place in the NL Central, three-and-a-half games behind the division-leading Reds.

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 managerial decisions, follow me on Twitch!

With Buehler looking to rebound from a few rough starts, it was great to see him cruise through the first two innings with three strikeouts and just one hit allowed. But in the top of the third, Buehler tore his fingernail while pitching to Erik Gonzalez. Gonzalez grounded out, but Buehler had to be taken out of the game. He’ll be ready in time for his next scheduled start.

In came Caleb Ferguson, pressed into long relief duties, and he performed admirably. The lefty pitched 3 23 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk against four strikeouts.

In the bottom of the sixth, we took out Ferguson, bringing in Joc Pederson (benched today in favor of Chris Taylor, who rewarded us with a 2-for-3 performance) to pinch hit. Pederson flew out, but Mookie Betts followed up with a solo home run to right, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. It was Betts’ first home run as a Dodger, and it only just barely cleared the fence (thanks to a little help from some wind).

That ended up being all the lead the Dodger pitching staff needed. Scott Alexander pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Brusdar Graterol continued his scoreless inning streak with a two-strikeout eighth and Blake Treinen closed it out for his second save of the year in a scoreless ninth.

Here’s the box score:

Next up: a day off Monday, followed by a six-game road stretch that begins with three games in Washington against the Nationals. The first pitching matchup: David Price (3-1, 4.26 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (1-0, 6.33 ERA). See you then!