This is the sixth 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 hello and welcome back! After a series win against the Rockies cemented sole possession of first place, we set our sights to the first road series on the Dodgers’ schedule, a three game set against the Giants.
The Giants are a miserable 1-5 on the season, in sole possession of last place in the NL West. The Dodgers swept them in the opening series of the season, and the Diamondbacks won two out of three in their only other series.
The starting pitchers are a rematch of our second game of the season, as Walker Buehler takes the mound against Johnny Cueto. Last time out, these two each threw terrific games in no-decision performances, as Corey Seager won the game for us with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth.
One surprise for us today: batting clean-up and playing right for the Giants is former Dodger Yasiel Puig. San Francisco signed him as a free agent after their 1-5 start, and has him in the lineup today for his Giant debut. I have a soft spot in my heart for Puig, so I’ll be wishing him the best in every game that he’s not playing against us.
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 bullpen suggestions, follow me on Twitch!
After a terrific performance against us in his first start of the year, Cueto struggled out of the gate. After Mookie Betts flew out to lead off the game, Cueto walked Max Muncy and Justin Turner. Cody Bellinger reached first on an error by Brandon Belt, and then Cueto walked Corey Seager with the bases loaded to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead.
The next inning saw a very different route to the same result. With two outs, Betts, Muncy, Turner and Bellinger hit four consecutive singles. Turner’s single scored Betts, making it 2-0 Dodgers. In the fourth, a solo home run by Max Muncy (his third of the season) made it 3-0.
Walker Buehler, on the other hand, had another great performance to start the game. He kept the Giants scoreless for the first five innings, but got into trouble in the bottom of the sixth. With the score now 4-0 after an RBI Muncy single scored Betts (who doubled), the Giants managed a two-out rally against Buehler. Evan Longoria singled through the infield on a 3-2 count, and Brandon Crawford hit a two-run home run into the water beyond right field, cutting the lead to 4-2 Giants.
Buehler got out of the inning with no more damage caused, but after that and his 100+ pitch count, we elected to turn to our bullpen in the seventh. Brusdar Graterol got his second appearance of his young Dodger career, throwing a scoreless seventh (with a manager assist from me when I called a pitch out with Billy Hamilton on first — Will Smith threw him out for the third out of the inning). Blake Treinen followed suit with a 1-2-3 eighth inning, including two strikeouts.
In to pitch the ninth with a two-run lead came Kenley Jansen, facing his second save opportunity of the season. Longoria led off the inning with a strikeout, but Crawford walked and Buster Posey singled to bring the winning run to the plate. Jansen forced a fly out from Wilmer Flores, and then a ground out from the pinch hitter Pablo Sandoval to end the game and secure the 4-2 Dodgers win.
Here’s the box score:
So yeah, not a great start to Puig’s Giants career — 0-4 with two strikeouts and three runners left on base. But it’s a good win for the Dodgers, who saw an improved performance from Mookie Betts, solid pitching, and another great outing for Max Muncy at the plate.
We’ll be back tomorrow with the second game of this series!