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Simulating the Dodgers’ 2020 season: Game 10 vs. Cardinals

Ross Stripling takes the mound and Will Smith delivers a super performance in our first series outside the division in Out of the Park Baseball 21.

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

This is the ninth 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 another sweep of the Giants, it’s time for our first series outside of the NL West, as we travel to take on the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s also our first four-game series, and the second game will feature our first matchup against a left-handed starting pitcher this season.

But that’s tomorrow, let’s focus on today. The pitching matchup sees Ross Stripling (0-0, 5.06 ERA) up against the Cards’ Jack Flaherty (1-1, 5.23 ERA). And with Corey Seager out for the next week or so, we left it up to you all who should start in his place at short.

Chris Taylor won the poll resoundingly, with Gavin Lux in second. Today was a scheduled day off for Lux, but with a lefty on the mound tomorrow, we’ll push that day off back and have Lux start today.

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!

Like many of the games this season, the Dodgers were able to jump out to an early lead. Mookie Betts led off the game with a walk. Three batters later and with two outs, Betts advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Cody Bellinger single, making it 1-0 Dodgers. In the second, Will Smith hit his third home run of the year, taking the lead to 2-0.

The game stayed 2-0 for a while, and Smith’s home run was far from his only action of the day. In the bottom of the first, with Kolten Wong on second base, Paul Dejong singled into left. With two outs, Wong rounded third and headed home, where Joc Pederson gunned him out at the plate. Wong’s next time on the bases, in the bottom of the third, saw him thrown out at second by Smith on a stealing attempt. And in the bottom of the fourth, it was Paul Goldschmidt who tried to score on a two-out single, but Mookie Betts threw him out at the plate.

Despite giving up six hits in the first five innings, Stripling managed to not give up a run through that point of the game. In the top of the sixth, the Dodgers beefed up his lead: Max Muncy scored on another Bellinger RBI single, Justin Turner scored on a Joc Pederson sac fly, and Bellinger scored on an RBI single by Gavin Lux to make it 5-0 Dodgers.

With that big of a lead, we let Stripling go out for one more inning. He gave up a solo home run to Paul DeJong, but was able to get out of the inning and the game with no further harm done. He exited after six innings with seven hits allowed, one earned run, five strikeouts, two walks, and a 5-1 lead.

Brusdar Graterol came in for his third appearance of the year in the seventh, allowing a single and striking out one in a scoreless inning. But the pitcher who actually got into trouble for the Dodgers was Joe Kelly, who came in to pitch the eighth. Matt Carpenter led off the inning with a single, but Kelly followed up by striking out the Pauls: Goldschmidt and DeJong. The inning wasn’t over yet, however: on the first pitch of the next at-bat, Dexter Fowler hit a two-run home run to left, making it 5-3 Dodgers.

The Dodgers were able to secure an insurance run in the top of the ninth. With one out, Gavin Lux doubled down the right field line, and pinch hitter Matt Beaty hit an RBI single, scoring Lux and making it 6-3.

Then it was time for Kenley Jansen. The closer pitched a perfect ninth, retiring the side on three consecutive groundouts (including a bizarre pinch hit bunt by Brad Miller with two outs in the ninth), securing the Dodger win to open the series.

Here’s the box score:

Stripling picks up his first win of the year, while Jansen gets his third save in three opportunities. Next time out, we’ll have Alex Wood (1-0, 0.73 ERA) up against Kwang-Hyun Kim (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who is scheduled to make his first major league start after three relief appearances so far this season.

Now that we’re through 10 games, let’s check in on league leaders!

National League hitting:

National League pitching:

And the standings:

Feel free to request specific players if there’s anyone you’d like to check in on! See you next time!