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Simulating the Dodgers’ 2020 season: Games 53, 54, 55 vs. Rockies

The Dodgers look to rebound after a tough series opener 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 39th 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!

Welcome back! Apologies for the delay between installments, but this week was my wedding anniversary so I took a few days off.

Last time, we got smoked by the last-place Rockies in game one of a four-game series at Coors Field. This time, we’ll hope for better results as we finish out the series.

First up, Walker Buehler (2-5, 3.81 ERA) will start things off against Jeff Hoffman (2-2, 7.53 ERA), followed by David Price (7-2, 3.92 ERA) against Kyle Freeland (0-2, 5.37 ERA), before Julio Urías (4-2, 3.84 ERA) takes on Germán Márquez (5-3, 3.38 ERA). A reminder — Cody Bellinger is out for this series with an injury, but will be back for the next one.

Watch 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!

For some reason our content management software decided today was the day not to embed Twitch videos, so you can watch today’s games here.

The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead in the second game of the series, when Justin Turner scored Corey Seager on an RBI double in the top of the first. The Rockies soon tied it up, however, when Nolan Arenado hit a solo home run off of Walker Buehler in the bottom half of the inning.

The Dodgers immediately got back to work in the second, opening up a lead that should have been enough to win the game and tie the series. With one out, Will Smith and Gavin Lux both walked. Walker Buehler bunted them both into scoring position, and Mookie Betts hit an RBI single, scoring Smith and taking the lead back. Next up: Max Muncy, who hit a towering three-run home run to right-center field to extend the Dodger lead to 5-1.

The Rockies brought one back in the bottom of the second, due to a combination of mistakes by Buehler. Yonathan Daza reached base on an error by the Dodger pitcher, and a balk later in the inning scoried Raimel Tapia from third.

But things went from bad to worse for Buehler in the third, when he gave up five consecutive hits to start the inning, eventually being taken out for Mitchell White. All told at the end of the third: six runs for the Rockies on six hits, and an 8-5 Colorado lead.

Leading the way for the Rockies was Arenado, who continued to produce after that first inning home run. He had four hits in his first four at bats, and managed to hit for the cycle by the fifth inning.

After five runs in the first two innings for the Dodgers’ offense, we were hopeful that that lead would soon disappear. But the Dodgers failed to score a run for the next six innings, entering the ninth now trailing 10-5. Turner hit his second RBI double of the game in the top of the ninth, making it 10-6, but it was too little, too late, as the Rockies won Game 2, 10-6.

Here’s the box score:

Game two was a lot calmer, as far as Coors Field goes, and this time it was the Rockies who took an early lead. Old friend Brian Dozier hit an RBI double off of David Price, scoring Trevor Story, but Price settled down and didn’t allow another run in the game.

The Dodgers struck back in the fifth. Max Muncy led off the inning with a single, and A.J. Pollock hit a single of his own to advance Muncy to second. Chris Taylor grounded into a fielder’s choice, putting runners on the corners with one out and Will Smith up. Smith hit a long fly ball to right, scoring Muncy on the sacrifice fly to tie the game. Price contributed with a two-out single of his own, and Mookie Betts singled Taylor home to take a 2-1 Dodger lead.

Price left the game with that 2-1 lead after seven innings, giving up five hits and two walks against five strikeouts. Brusdar Graterol and Adam Kolarek combined to pitch a scoreless eighth, and with a still-tired bullpen and some lefties due up in the bottom of the ninth for the Rockies, we brought in Scott Alexander to close the game. Alexander struck out Ryan McMahon to start things off, but gave up a single to Garret Hampson with one out. After getting Elias Diaz to pop out for the second out of the inning, we brought in Pedro Baez to face Ian Desmond for the last out of the game

That plan ... did not work. On the very first pitch of the at-bat, Desmond hit a towering 514-foot blast to left-center, winning the game and the series for the Rockies with a walk-off home run.

Here’s the box score:

With the series lost against the team with the worst record in the National League, we had not much more to play for than our pride in game four of this series. This time, both teams scored in the first — a solo home run for Max Muncy, and a solo home run for Trevor Story — but it was the Dodger offense who continued that energy throughout the game.

The Dodgers ended up hitting six home runs in this explosive affair — three by Max Muncy, and one apiece by Austin Barnes, Joc Pederson and Kiké Hernández (a grand slam in the top of the seventh that blew the game wide open).

Urías ended up with another really strong performance, striking out 10 in six innings and giving up three runs (two earned) en route to his fifth win of the season. Victor Gonzalez gave up three runs in two innings of relief, and Kenley Jansen closed it out with a four-run lead in the ninth.

Here’s the box score:

So, a disappointing series to say the least, but we remain 2.5 games ahead of the Diamondbacks in the NL West, and still have the best record in the National League (a half-game ahead of the Reds). Max Muncy now moves into a tie with Rhys Hoskins for the National League home run lead with 18, and Clayton Kershaw is now just a week away from his return from injury.

Next time, we travel to New York for three games against the Mets, who are a half game out of the NL East lead with a 29-27 record.