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Simulating the Dodgers’ 2020 season: Game 9 vs. Giants

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Julio Urias returns after a loss in his season debut as the Dodgers look to sweep the Giants for the second time this season in Out of the Park Baseball 21.

MLB: Spring Training-Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This is the eighth 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 close, but fairly convincing, wins against the Giants to open the series, we set our sights to another potential sweep in the third game of this first road series.

The pitching matchup: Julio Urias (0-1, 4.50 ERA) up against Andrew Triggs (0-0, 3.52 ERA). One change to our normal lineup: it’s a scheduled day off for Justin Turner, so Chris Taylor will bat fifth.

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!

Last time out, Urias gave up three runs in the first inning against the Rockies before settling down, but the Dodger bats weren’t able to back him up. This time, he ran into some first inning trouble again.

Lead-off batter Billy Hamilton reached first on an error by today’s third baseman Taylor, and advanced to second when Urias walked Austin Slater on four pitches. Wilmer Flores popped up to second for the first out of the inning, but Yasiel Puig beat out a single to third (Taylor couldn’t make the throw in time) to load the bases with one out. Evan Longoria sent a deep fly ball to right field, which Mookie Betts caught, but Billy Hamilton tagged up and scored to make it 1-0 Giants.

The top of the third had both positive and negative developments for the Dodgers. After Urias popped out to first to start the inning, Mookie Betts singled and Max Muncy walked. Cody Bellinger singled to right, bringing Betts home and tying the game 1-1, and Coreyy Seager followed up with a double, scoring Muncy and Bellinger and giving the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.

While sliding into second, Seager suffered an injury and will be out for six days with blurred vision. We brought in Kiké Hernández as a pinch runner — he’ll play third while Taylor moves over to short after a rough first inning in the field.

Taylor more than made up for his fielding blunders by hitting a two-run home run, his first of the season. Joc Pederson followed with a solo home run of his own off of new reliever Trevor Cahill, making it 6-1 Dodgers.

Urias pitched a wonderful game after his first inning struggles, finishing with 6 13 innings pitched, with one unearned run allowed off of four hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. Dylan Floro finished the seventh for him, giving up a hit but no runs, as the game entered the eighth still 6-1.

Against new reliever Logan Webb, Gavin Lux led off the top of the eighth with a single, advancing to third on a double by pinch hitter Matt Beaty. Mookie Betts skied a fly ball to center field, recording the first out of the inning but scoring Gavin Lux. Two batters later, Cody Bellinger singled Matt Beaty home, making it 9-1 Dodgers.

With such a huge lead and two innings to go, we brought in Caleb Ferguson to finish the game. He ran into some problems early, walking Tyler Heineman and giving up a two-run home run to Wilmer Flores, but he too settled down and closed out the game, with a final score of 9-3 Dodgers for the sweep.

Here’s the box score:

We move to 9-1 on the season, 2.5 games in front of the Diamondbacks and Padres in the NL West.

Next up will be a four-game road trip against the Cardinals, who are tied for first place in the NL Central with the Cubs at 6-3. That series will also feature our first game against a left-handed starting pitcher: Kwang-Hyun Kim, who is scheduled to make his first major league start on Tuesday after three relief appearances so far this season.

Monday’s game comes first, though, and will see Ross Stripling (0-0, 5.06 ERA) up against the Cards’ Jack Flaherty (1-1, 5.23 ERA). As a reminder, Seager will miss the series with his injury.

So now it’s time for your input! With Seager out for a little while, who should be our every day shortstop?

There are three healthy players on our active roster who are able to play shortstop. On a 20-80 rating scale, here is how comfortable they are playing short:

  • Kiké Hernández (40)
  • Chris Taylor (45)
  • Gavin Lux (35)

So who should it be?

Poll

Who starts at short? (2020 AVG/OBP/SLG)

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Kiké Hernández (.250/.250/.333)
    (17 votes)
  • 54%
    Chris Taylor (.286/.333/.643)
    (67 votes)
  • 31%
    Gavin Lux (.300/.333.333)
    (39 votes)
123 votes total Vote Now