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Simulating the Dodgers’ 2020 season: Games 37, 38 vs. Padres

The Dodgers look for a better performance against San Diego than last time out in Out of the Park Baseball 21.

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Workouts Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

This is the 29th 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!

Last time out, we dropped our last game in a three-game set against the Cubs. The Diamondbacks’ lead in the NL West remains just a half-game, however, thanks to Dodger wins in the first two games of that series.

Now we’re set for a three-game homestand against the Padres (who are hot on our tails in the Wild Card race), starting with a doubleheader today. Unfortunately, Cody Bellinger will miss this series after spraining his ankle against the Cubs.

First up: Walker Buehler (1-4, 2.87 ERA) against Mackenzie Gore (1-1, 1.88 ERA), followed by David Price (5-1, 3.33 ERA) returning to the mound against Dinelson Lamet (2-0, 4.21 ERA).

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!

Walker Buehler has been struggling recently, and reader, today was no different. After hitting Tommy Pham with the first pitch of the game, here are the results for the next five batters:

  • Jurickson Profar doubled, advancing Pham to third
  • Fernando Tatis Jr. singled Pham home, advancing Profar to third
  • Manny Machado struck out swinging
  • Trent Grisham singled to left-center, scoring Profar and Tatis
  • Eric Hosmer hit a two-run home run to left

Through six batters, Buehler had given up five runs and gotten exactly one out.

The rest of his game was perfectly fine: the young right-hander lasted five innings, giving up no more runs and striking out 10 against one walk, but the damage was done. The Dodgers’ one dent against Mackenzie Gore was a two-run home run for A.J. Pollock in the bottom of the fifth, but the team managed just five hits all game.

The Padres won this one 6-2.

Here’s the box score:

With our backs now firmly against the wall (no one wants to lose two series in a row to the Padres), we moved on to game two with David Price on the mound. Price did not give up five runs in the first inning, so already we were off to a better start.

With one out in the bottom of the third, struggling catcher WIll Smith hit a 2-0 double over the center fielder’s head. Two batters later, Mookie Betts crushed a 404-foot home run to left-center, taking an early 2-0 Dodger lead.

The Padres brought it back in the top of the fourth, however. Jurickson Profar led off the inning with a sharp single into left field, and Fernando Tatis Jr. hit a 419-foot blast to left-center to tie the game 2-2.

In the top of the fifth, the left-handed Franchy Cordero hit an opposite-field home run on an 0-2 count, taking a 3-2 Padres lead.

The Dodgers went down in order in the bottom of the fifth, and it was starting to look like yet another close and disappointing loss for this team. But in the bottom of the seventh, with one out, the bats clicked. Max Muncy walked, bringing in the reliever Pierce Johnson. Corey Seager doubled Muncy home to tie the game, and after Justin Turner flew out, Joc Pederson just barely cleared the right field fence with a 363-foot home run, scoring Seager and taking a 5-3 lead.

Price retired the side in order in the seventh, exiting the game with three runs allowed, four hits given up, and eight strikeouts against no walks. Blake Treinen came in to pitch the eighth, and immediately gave up a home run to Franchy Cordero to cut the Dodger lead to 5-4. Pinch hitter Wil Myers singled, but Treinen got Tommy Pham to ground into a double play for the first two outs of the inning. With two outs, Treinen walked Jurickson Profar, so we brought in Kenley Jansen for the final inning and change.

Jansen, who has struggled in recent appearances, threw a wild pitch to open things up, letting Profar advance to second. But he struck out Tatis Jr. to end the eighth without further incident.

Back out in the ninth, Jansen struck out Machado and Grisham to get two quick outs. But a double by Eric Hosmer put the tying run in scoring position with two outs. On an 0-1 count, Jansen got the catcher Austin Hedges to fly out to right, ending the game with a 5-4 Dodger win.

Here’s the box score:

Next time: the rubber match against the Padres, with our fingers crossed that this one will go better than the last. Julio Urias (3-2, 3.73 ERA) will face Joey Luchessi (4-2, 4.34 ERA). See you then!