This is the 23rd 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 lost a tough three-game series to the Pirates. We turn our attention now to our last series of April and our first interleague series of the year: two games at home against the Minnesota Twins. It all starts with Julio Urias (2-1, 2.67 ERA) up against old friend Kenta Maeda (1-3, 3.38 ERA).
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 and chime in with your live feedback and/or input on managerial decisions, follow me on Twitch!
It got cut in two for some reason, so here’s part 1:
And part 2:
The Dodgers took an early lead in the bottom of the second when Austin Barnes hit a two-out double, scoring Gavin Lux. Lux had reached base on an error, but scored from first to make it 1-0 Dodgers after two innings.
Urias coasted through the first three innings with only two hits allowed, but got into trouble in the fourth. After walking Nelson Cruz to lead off the inning, Miguel Sano and Max Kepler hit back-to-back home runs for the Twins, making it 3-1.
Justin Turner brought one back with a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth, but Urias’s problems continued in the fifth. Byron Buxton singled to lead off the inning, and advanced to second on a walk to Jorge Polanco. Urias got Cruz to ground into a double play, but after a questionable decision by the manager to walk Miguel Sano, Urias threw a wild pitch to score Buxton and gave up an RBI double to Max Kepler to score Sano. Caleb Ferguson came in to relieve Urias, who left the game after giving up five earned runs in 4 2⁄3 innings pitched.
In the sixth, Ferguson gave up a two-run home run to Jorge Polanco to make it 7-2, and there was no coming back from that for the Dodgers. In the bottom of the seventh, a two-out rally scored two runs (one on a wild pitch, one on a passed ball). And while Joe Kelly, Pedro Baez and Brusdar Graterol combined for 2 2⁄3 of scoreless relief work, the Dodger offense wasn’t able to muster anything more, dropping this one 7-4.
Here’s the box score. Buxton finished the game 4-for-5 with two stolen bases.
Game two wasn’t much better. Ross Stripling’s problems on the mound started early — Jorge Polanco reached based on a bunt in the first, advanced to third on a double by Cruz and scored on a groundout by Sano, and a two-run home run by Ehire Adrianza made it 3-0 Twins in the second.
It was just the beginning for Adrianza, who had one heck of a game from the eight spot in the lineup. He finished 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBIs and was a double short of hitting for the cycle.
We’ll fast forward a bit to the bottom of the seventh. The score was 5-0 Twins (four runs given up by Stripling in six innings of work, one given up by Jimmy Nelson in his second appearance as a Dodger), and the Dodgers only had three hits so far on the day. With one out, Chris Taylor walked, and advanced to third on a Max Muncy double. Taylor scored when Austin Barnes grounded out to short, and Muncy scored after an RBI infield single by Kiké Hernández.
In the bottom of the eighth, now trailing 6-2, Cody Bellinger walked with two outs and nobody on. Chris Taylor hit his fifth home run of the year, making it 6-4. Muncy singled to keep the rally going, but Austin Barnes struck out to end the inning.
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth (bringing his ERA on the season below the 6.00 mark), bringing in Tyler Duffey to pitch the bottom of the inning with a two-run lead. Hernández, pinch hitter Gavin Lux and Mookie Betts all grounded out, ending the game and series with another Twins victory.
Here’s the box score:
So we’ve been through 30 games now, and our first full month of play. It’s time to check in on how the team is doing, and ... oh. Oh no.
That’s right, folks. We have lost first place in the National League West to the red-hot Diamondbacks, winners of eight of their last ten. Meanwhile, we’ve lost five of our last six games, and all but one of those games was against a team with a sub-.500 record.
Here’s how our batters are doing. Seager and Bellinger are leading the way in OPS, but we have quite a few underperformers in the group.
Here’s how the pitching staff is performing. Of note: Jimmy Nelson is listed as a starter, but he’s in the bullpen for us.
Want to know how players around the league or in the farm system are doing? Go ahead and ask in the comments!
Next time out, we have a three-game series to start the month of May on the road against the San Diego Padres. First up: Alex Wood (3-1, 1.49 ERA) against Zach Davies (2-3, 2.72 ERA). See you then!