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Dodgers Week 13: The wake up call

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Two big streaks with a no-hitter in the middle

MLB: JUN 27 Cubs at Dodgers

On its face, dropping four of seven games makes for a bummer of a week. But the Dodgers found a way to backload their losing week, such that they feel pretty good about it.

At least relative to three days ago. The way the week started was a disaster, dropping all three games against the division-rival Padres in San Diego, then coming home to get no-hit by four Cubs pitchers.

“That doesn’t make anyone feel good,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think the word embarrassment probably sums it up.”

“We just got outplayed for three games. Over the course of the season that’s going to happen,” said Clayton Kershaw, who lost the middle game in San Diego. “Then coming back here, being no-hit, I think maybe it was a wake up call.”

“We play 162 games. I don’t know very many teams that are hot for 162 games,” Mookie Betts said after the no-hitter. “You go with the waves. That’s pretty much it.”

The trip to San Diego wasn’t all bad for the Dodgers, who saw the activation of both Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger off the injured list. They eventually helped the Dodgers get out of the riptide. Muncy homered in the decisive eighth inning on Friday, then doubled home a run on Saturday, a game won by Bellinger in with a ninth-inning walk-off shot.

Bellinger homered again on Sunday, backing Kershaw’s best start of the season, helping the current three-game winning streak to front of mind, rather than the 3-4 week overall.

“The ebbs and flows of the season, you have to whether them, Roberts said. “It’s just not making your lows too low, and trying to be consistent. You can feel it after getting swept in San Diego and then getting no-hit, our guys don’t spiral. We just kind of have a way of regrouping to win a baseball game.”

Batter of the week

Cody Bellinger homered twice, including the Dodgers’ first walk-off win of the season — “My best bolt of the year, for sure,” Bellinger said — stole a base, and reached half the time after getting activated from the injured list. Honorable mention goes to Max Muncy, with both injured list returners the top two on the team last week in OPS.

Pitcher of the week

Clayton Kershaw was part of the first-inning home run streak in his first start of the week, allowing two on Tuesday in San Diego. But he managed to last six innings in that one, then delivered a masterpiece on Sunday, striking out 13 Cubs in eight strong innings, with an especially devastating slider.

“It’s hard to imagine him being any better,” Roberts said.

Week 13 results

3-4 record
23 runs scored (3.29 per game)
23 runs allowed (3.29 per game)
.500 pythagorean win percentage

Year to date

47-31 record
396 runs scored (5.08 per game)
293 runs allowed (3.76 per game)
.634 pythagorean win percentage (49-29)

Miscellany

Welcome aboard: Zach Reks got his first call to the big leagues on Monday, starting in left field against Yu Darvish in San Diego. Reks is the fourth Dodger to make his major league debut this season, joining Luke Raley (April 9), DJ Peters (April 23), and Edwin Uceta (April 30). Reks was 0-for-2 against Darvish and played five innings in the field, then got sent back to Triple-A the next day, when Max Muncy was activated off the injured list.

“We knew it could be very short-term, but with a player like Zach and his history and what he’s done for himself earning this opportunity, we wanted to give him a chance to get that one day of service,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I don’t expect it to be his last day with us this season.”

Three pitches: In the eighth inning of a tie game on Saturday, Phil Bickford retired the middle of the Cubs batting order — Kris Bryant, Anthony Rizzo, and Javier Báez — on just three pitches. The 25-year-old right-hander from Westlake struck out eight in 5⅔ innings last week, and since joining the Dodgers has a 1.72 ERA and 1.49 FIP in 15⅔ innings, with 22 strikeouts, three unintentional walks, and a 35.5-percent strikeout rate that trails only Jimmy Nelson among active Dodgers.

“You don’t see too many three-pitch innings in the big leagues,” Roberts said. “His willingness and eagerness to take the baseball and pitch big innings regardless of the spot is incredible. His gratitude for being a big league ballplayer playing for the Dodgers, his hometown team, is incredible.”

The eyes have it: Zach McKinstry hit his first career grand slam on Sunday, continuing a hot couple of weeks, hitting .314/.385/.543 since June 13. That followed a rough, 2-for-23 stretch after he was activated from the injured list on May 29. What turned things around for the utility man?

“I was closing my eyes on contact,” McKinstry said. “Which is wild to think about. But when I was doing rehab stuff, when I try to feel certain things on the body, I like to close my eyes.”

The coaching staff noticed McKinstry closing his eyes in San Diego, which he didn’t fully realize he was doing. He said making sure he blinks before the pitcher throws has helped kick the habit.

“I started seeing the ball a little bit longer out of the pitcher’s hand and it’s been good,” he said. “I’ve been hitting the ball hard ever since, and having good at-bats.”

“That’s a new one for me,” Roberts said, laughing. “I actually commend Zach for having the success he had up to this point with having his eyes closed on contact. I guess some things you take for granted.”

Transactions

Monday: Outfielder Zach Reks was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his major league debut, and pitcher Edwin Uceta was optioned to OKC.

Tuesday: Max Muncy was activated from the injured list after missing nine games with right oblique tightness, and Reks was optioned to Triple-A.

Wednesday: Cody Bellinger was activated off the IL after missing 10 games with left hamstring tightness, and Andy Burns was optioned to Oklahoma City.

Game results

Week 13 batting

Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Player AB R H 2B HR RBI SB BB PA BA OBP SLG OPS
Bellinger 11 4 3 0 2 4 1 6 18 0.273 0.500 0.818 1.318
Muncy 17 4 4 3 1 3 0 4 21 0.235 0.381 0.588 0.969
Turner 23 0 9 2 0 2 0 2 26 0.391 0.462 0.478 0.940
Betts 20 5 4 1 1 1 1 4 24 0.200 0.333 0.500 0.833
McKinstry 18 2 4 0 2 5 0 0 18 0.222 0.222 0.556 0.778
Pollock 18 1 4 2 1 2 0 0 18 0.222 0.222 0.500 0.722
Taylor 23 2 6 2 0 0 0 3 26 0.261 0.346 0.348 0.694
Smith 19 1 3 0 1 2 0 2 21 0.158 0.238 0.316 0.554
Lux 19 2 1 0 0 1 1 6 25 0.053 0.280 0.053 0.333
Starters 168 21 38 10 8 20 3 27 197 0.226 0.335 0.440 0.776
Barnes 9 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 9 0.111 0.111 0.444 0.556
Pujols 9 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 10 0.111 0.200 0.111 0.311
Beaty 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 0.000 0.154 0.000 0.154
Souza 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 0.000 0.111 0.000 0.111
Reks 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Burns 0 ----- ------ ------ ------
Bench 39 2 2 0 1 1 0 2 43 0.051 0.140 0.128 0.268
Pitchers 12 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 13 0.167 0.231 0.167 0.397
Offense 219 23 42 10 9 21 3 30 253 0.192 0.296 0.370 0.666
Andy Burns played in one game last week (Tuesday), but did not bat

Week 13 pitching

Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Pitcher G Record IP H R ER BB SO ERA WHIP FIP
Gonsolin 1 0-0 4.0 1 1 1 2 7 2.25 0.750 4.19
Kershaw 2 1-1 14.0 8 4 4 3 20 2.57 0.786 3.51
Bauer 1 0-0 6.0 5 3 3 4 10 4.50 1.500 7.60
Buehler 1 0-1 6.0 5 3 3 2 6 4.50 1.167 6.27
Urías 2 0-1 9.3 11 8 8 5 17 7.71 1.714 5.08
Starters 7 1-3 39.3 30 19 19 16 60 4.35 1.169 4.99
Bickford 4 0-0 5.7 3 0 0 0 8 0.00 0.529 0.11
Kelly 4 0-0 3.3 0 0 0 1 5 0.00 0.300 1.73
Cleavinger 2 0-0 2.7 2 0 0 2 1 0.00 1.500 5.56
Gonzalez 3 0-0 1.7 1 0 0 4 2 0.00 3.000 5.94
Jansen 1 0-0 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0.00 1.000 -1.07
Price 4 1-0 2.0 4 1 1 0 0 4.50 2.000 5.94
Treinen 3 1-1 3.0 3 2 2 0 3 6.00 1.000 0.94
Nelson 2 0-0 1.3 1 1 1 1 2 6.75 1.500 2.18
Bullpen 23 2-1 20.7 15 4 4 8 23 1.74 1.113 2.31
Totals 30 3-4 60.0 45 23 23 24 83 3.45 1.150 4.07

Previous reviews: Apr. 1-4 | Apr. 5-11 | Apr. 12-18 | Apr. 19-25 | Apr. 26-May 2 | May 3-9 | May 10-16 | May 17-23 | May 24-30 | May 31-June 6 | June 7-13 | June 14-20

Up next

The Dodgers run the Mike Morse gauntlet, finishing up the homestand with a brief, two-game series against the Giants at Dodger Stadium, followed by a travel day to Washington D.C., where the Nationals await for a four-game series, including a true breakfast start time on Sunday, 8:05 a.m. PT on Independence Day.

Saturday’s Nationals starter is up in the air, with Erick Fedde suffering an oblique injury last week.

Week 14 schedule

Mon, Jun 28 Tue, Jun 29 Wed, Jun 30 Thu, Jul 1 Fri, Jul 2 Sat, Jul 3 Sun, Jul 4
Mon, Jun 28 Tue, Jun 29 Wed, Jun 30 Thu, Jul 1 Fri, Jul 2 Sat, Jul 3 Sun, Jul 4
vs. Giants vs. Giants Off at Nationals at Nationals at Nationals at Nationals
7:10 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 4:05 p.m. 4:15 p.m. 8:05 a.m.
Bauer v. Buehler v. Gonsolin v. Urías v. Kershaw v. Bauer v.
DeSclafani Gausman Corbin (L) Scherzer TBD Ross
SNLA SNLA/ESPN SNLA SNLA Fox SNLA