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Dodgers Week 4: Mookie Betts on fire

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LA ended their week on a 5-game win streak

San Diego Padres v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

The Dodgers’ week was a lesson in perspective. They lost the first two games, and their slump dropped them to 11-7 on the year, which is merely a 99-win pace over a full year.

Any looming sense of worry dissipated with the Dodgers winning their last five games of the week, including their first three-game sweep of the Angels in Anaheim, ever. Just like that, they have the best record in the National League.

Batter of the week

Mookie Betts was in the middle of everything all week, hitting .379 (11-for-29) last week, leading the team in hits, runs, home runs, RBI, and even stole a base. Thursday was the sixth three-homer game of Betts’ career, tying Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa for the most in major league history. Betts is 27 years old. When Mize had his sixth three-homer game he was 37. Sosa was 33 for his.

Honorable mention goes to Austin Barnes, who was 8-for-18 (.444) with a home run and a double while shouldering the bulk of the catching load while Will Smith dealt with a neck injury.

Pitcher of the week

Clayton Kershaw allowed only one hit (a solo home run) and two walks in seven innings to beat the Angels on Friday. It was the 10th start of at least five innings in which Kershaw allowed zero or one hit, and his first one since 2016.

“Everything had a little more crispness to it tonight,” Kershaw said after the win.

Honorable mention goes to Kenley Jansen, who retired all seven batters he faced, with five strikeouts, including a three-pitch strikeout of Mike Trout to end Saturday’s win.

Week 4 results

5-2 record
41 runs scored (5.86 per game)
22 runs allowed (3.14 per game)
.758 pythagorean win percentage

Season to date

16-7 record
128 runs scored (5.57 per game)
68 runs allowed (2.96 per game)
.762 pythagorean record (18-5)

Standings: 1st place, NL West; 2 games up on Colorado
Current wild card round playoff matchup: vs. No. 8 Arizona (11-11)

Miscellany

The strand: Up 6-0 in the ninth inning on Wednesday, Scott Alexander loaded the bases with nobody outs, and Kenley Jansen was summoned. He escaped the jam with two strikeouts and a groundout. “This is as good as, you know, the characteristics that we talked about with the cut fastball,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It just had that late life that up-shoot kind of thing tonight. So that was really good to see.”

Jansen in his career has inherited the bases loaded 13 times. Based on run expectancies from Baseball Prospectus, about 16.6 of those 39 runners were expected to score. But only four scored against Jansen, who held batters to 1-for-19 (.053/.095/.053) with 10 strikeouts and a walk in these situations.

Kenley Jansen’s bases loaded jams

Date Opponent Inning Score Outs Result Expected runs Runs Difference
Date Opponent Inning Score Outs Result Expected runs Runs Difference
4/22/11 Cubs 8 9-2 1 strikeout, lineout 1.5344 0 1.5344
9/17/11 Pirates 8 6-1 1 2 strikeouts 1.5344 0 1.5344
4/21/12 Astros 8 5-0 1 walk, pop fly, flyout 1.5366 1 0.5366
7/17/12 Phillies 8 2-1 2 2-run single (out at 3B) 0.7011 2 (1.2989)
8/18/12 Braves 8 6-1 2 strikeout 0.7011 0 0.7011
5/26/14 Reds 8 4-3 2 strikeout 0.6435 0 0.6435
6/23/15 Cubs 10 0-0 0 groundout, sac fly* 2.2654 1 1.2654
5/3/16 Rays 9 10-5 2 flyout 0.6955 0 0.6955
5/6/17 Padres 8 5-1 2 strikeout 0.7299 0 0.7299
6/29/17 Angels 8 6-2 2 flyout 0.7299 0 0.7299
9/22/18 Padres 9 7-2 1 2 strikeouts 1.5618 0 1.5618
5/27/19 Mets 8 8-5 1 9-2 double play 1.6337 0 1.6337
8/12/20 Padres 9 6-0 0 2 strikeouts, groundout 2.3617 0 2.3617
Totals 16.629 4 12.6290
*walk-off sacrifice fly Run expectancy data: Baseball Prospectus

Extra-inning history: The runner-on-second-base rule in extras has produced two Dodgers wins and two firsts in major league history. This week is was Max Muncy, who delivered the first leadoff sacrifice fly in MLB history in the 10th inning Saturday to beat the Angels, 17 days after Edwin Rios hit the first leadoff two-run homer ever to beat Houston.

Welcome aboard: Keibert Ruiz was called up over the weekend, and on Sunday was the second Dodger to make his major league debut this season. At just 22 years old he was the sixth-youngest starting catcher in franchise history, but then lightning struck. In the third inning against Julio Teheran, Ruiz homered in his first major league at-bat, the seventh Dodger to do so, and the first since Garey Ingram on May 19, 1994.

Defensive play of the week: Kiké Hernandez showed impressive range and amazing contortion on Friday to rob Shohei Ohtani of a base hit.

Transactions

Monday: Joe Kelly was placed on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder inflammation, and Adam Kolarek was recalled from the alternate training site.

Wednesday: Tony Gonsolin was recalled to start against the Padres, and Kolarek was optioned.

Wednesday: Not so much a transaction, but Joe Kelly’s suspension was reduced by MLB from eight to five games.

Saturday: Will Smith was placed on the injured list, retroactive to Thursday, with neck inflammation, and Keibert Ruiz was called to the majors for the first time.

Game results

Week 4 batting

Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB BA OBP SLG OPS
Betts 29 8 11 0 4 9 1 2 0.379 0.438 0.793 1.231
Barnes 18 3 8 1 1 4 0 0 0.444 0.444 0.667 1.111
Turner 22 4 8 1 1 4 0 2 0.364 0.417 0.545 0.962
Taylor 25 6 8 3 0 1 1 2 0.320 0.393 0.440 0.833
Pollock 20 3 5 1 1 3 2 3 0.250 0.348 0.450 0.798
Bellinger 27 5 6 1 2 6 1 2 0.222 0.276 0.481 0.757
Seager 18 3 3 0 2 6 0 1 0.167 0.211 0.500 0.711
Muncy 22 3 4 0 1 5 0 2 0.182 0.240 0.318 0.558
Pederson 18 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0.056 0.150 0.056 0.206
Smith 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0.000 0.200 0.000 0.200
Starters 203 36 54 7 12 38 5 17 0.266 0.327 0.478 0.805
Ruiz 4 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 0.250 0.250 1.000 1.250
Beaty 9 2 3 0 1 1 0 0 0.333 0.333 0.667 1.000
Rios 13 1 4 2 0 1 0 0 0.308 0.357 0.462 0.819
Hernández 12 1 2 1 0 0 0 2 0.167 0.286 0.250 0.536
Bench 38 5 10 3 2 3 0 2 0.263 0.317 0.500 0.817
Offense 241 41 64 10 14 41 5 19 0.266 0.326 0.481 0.807

Week 4 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA WHIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA WHIP
Gonsolin 1 0-0 4.7 3 0 0 0 1 8 0.00 0.857
Kershaw 1 1-0 7.0 1 1 1 1 2 6 1.29 0.429
Urías 1 1-0 6.3 5 2 2 2 0 3 2.84 0.789
May 2 0-1 10.3 12 4 4 2 2 4 3.48 1.355
Stripling 1 0-1 4.7 6 6 2 2 2 4 3.86 1.714
Buehler 1 0-0 4.7 6 5 4 1 1 5 7.71 1.500
Starters 7 2-2 37.7 33 18 13 8 8 30 3.11 1.089
Santana 3 0-0 4.7 2 0 0 0 3 2 0.00 1.071
Graterol 3 0-0 3.0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.667
McGee 2 1-0 2.3 0 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 0.429
Jansen 3 0-0, 2 Sv 2.3 0 0 0 0 0 5 0.00 0.000
Kolarek 1 0-0 2.0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 1.000
Floro 3 0-0 2.0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 1.500
Ferguson 2 0-0 2.0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0.00 1.000
Treinen 3 1-0 3.3 3 1 1 0 1 4 2.70 1.200
Alexander 3 1-0 3.0 5 1 1 1 1 1 3.00 2.000
Baez 2 0-0 1.7 1 2 2 0 3 2 10.80 2.400
Bullpen 25 3-0, 2 Sv 26.3 19 4 4 1 10 19 1.37 1.101
Totals 32 5-2, 2 Sv 64.0 52 22 17 9 18 49 2.39 1.094

Previous reviews: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

The week ahead

The Dodgers run the Jeff Cirillo gauntlet, playing a quick home-and-home with the Mariners followed by the Rockies at home next weekend. Both two-game sets with Seattle include a 4:10 p.m. start time on travel day.

Week 5 schedule

Mon, Aug 17 Tue, Aug 18 Wed, Aug 19 Thu, Aug 20 Fri, Aug 21 Sat, Aug 22 Sun, Aug 23
Mon, Aug 17 Tue, Aug 18 Wed, Aug 19 Thu, Aug 20 Fri, Aug 21 Sat, Aug 22 Sun, Aug 23
vs. Mariners vs. Mariners at Mariners at Mariners vs. Rockies vs. Rockies vs. Rockies
6:40 p.m. 4:10 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 4:10 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Stripling v. Gonsolin v. Urias v. Kershaw v. Buehler v. May v. Stripling v.
Dunn Gonzales (L) Walker TBD Gray Freeland (L) Senzatela
SNLA SNLA SNLA SNLA/MLBN* SNLA/MLBN* SNLA/MLBN* SNLA/MLBN*