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Dodgers Week 18: Waiting to launch

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LA lost a series to the first-place Giants, and won a series against last-place Arizona

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks
AJ Pollock hit .520 last week for the Dodgers
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

The Dodgers last week only broke even, living at both ends of the spectrum.

Two blowout wins went in the Dodgers’ favor, and they split a pair of lesser blowouts (games decided by only five runs). Both one-run games were lost, which included yet another extra-inning defeat on Friday, dropping the Dodgers to an unfathomable 1-11 in extras this year.

Most importantly, the Dodgers dropped a second series to the Giants in as many weeks, further distancing themselves from the first-place team they are trying to catch. Two weeks ago the Dodgers were one game back of San Francisco in the National League West. Dropping five out of seven games now has the Dodgers three games back of the Giants.

“It’s not ideal. A lot of it was the Giants. They got the best of us and outplayed us, in my opinion. But you’ve still got to beat everybody,” manager Dave Roberts said. “I think right now, where we’re at, there’s a good vibe going on. I definitely see us taking off as the days move on.”

Much of that good vibe was generated on Friday, when the Dodgers acquired Max Scherzer and Trea Turner from the Nationals. Scherzer will make his Dodgers debut on Wednesday, and Turner is expected off the COVID-19 injured list at some point next weekend. But over the weekend in Arizona, the Dodgers also got Corey Seager back after missing 65 games with a broken hand, and Mookie Betts returned after missing two weeks with hip inflammation.

There’s still some concern about the rotation even with adding Scherzer, since Clayton Kershaw’s return has been stalled with soreness in his left arm, and Tony Gonsolin will miss at least one start on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. But the new additions still bring optimism that the Dodgers will be able to make a run and close the gap at some point.

They just need fewer weeks like this one, going forward.

Batter of the week

AJ Pollock had four more multi-hit games last week, including a four-hit game Sunday that extended his hitting streak to 11 games. He was 13-for-25 with four doubles during the week. Pollock has reached base in 20 straight games, during that time raising his OPS from .731 to .888 and his batting average from .245 to .304.

“He’s aggressive to his zone, and he’s burning pitches to get into good counts, and he’s earning good counts. When he gets a pitch that’s a mistake, he’s doing some damage,” Roberts said. “He’s just consistently taking good at-bats, whether it’s the base hit, the double, the homer, driving in runs, taking walks when needed, he’s doing all of it, and he’s carrying us right now.”

Pitcher of the week

Walker Buehler won this the last two weeks, and all he did was strike out eight in seven scoreless innings against the rival Giants. However, much like how First Citiwide Change Bank makes its money, Julio Urías wins this week on volume.

Urías allowed only one run in his two starts, in a combined 10⅔ innings, striking out 12 and most importantly walking none.

Week 18 results

3-3 record
35 runs scored (5.83 per game)
16 runs allowed (2.67 per game)
.807 pythagorean win percentage

Year to date

64-43 record
560 runs scored (5.20 per game)
395 runs allowed (3.75 per game)
.654 pythagorean win percentage (70-37)

Transactions

Monday: Max Muncy was activated off the paternity list, and Sheldon Neuse were optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Thursday: Danny Duffy was acquired with cash from the Royals for a player to be named later. DJ Peters was designated for assignment.

Friday: Max Scherzer and Trea Turner were acquired from the Nationals in exchange for catcher Keibert Ruiz, pitchers Josiah Gray and Gerardo Carrillo, and minor league outfielder Donovan Casey.

Friday: Catcher Chad Wallach was claimed off waivers from the Marlins.

Friday: Corey Seager was activated from the injured list after missing 65 games with a broken hand.

Saturday: Tony Gonsolin was placed on the injured list with right shoulder inflammation. Max Scherzer was added to the active roster. Pitchers Garrett Cleavinger and Edwin Uceta were recalled from Triple-A to bolster the bullpen. Luke Raley and Brusdar Graterol were optioned.

Sunday: Mookie Betts was activated off the injured list after missing 11 games with right hip inflammation. The Dodgers also called up pitcher Yefry Ramírez, who pitched two scoreless innings in his debut with the team on Sunday. To make room on the 40-man roster for Ramírez, Jimmie Sherfy was transferred to the 60-day injured list. Mitch White and Zach McKinstry were optioned to Triple-A.

Game results

Week 18 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
Betts 5 2 2 0 1 1 0 1 6 0.400 0.500 1.000 1.500
Pollock 25 4 13 4 0 4 2 0 27 0.520 0.519 0.680 1.199
Taylor 27 5 8 2 1 5 1 2 30 0.296 0.367 0.556 0.922
Muncy 22 3 8 2 0 3 1 2 24 0.364 0.417 0.455 0.871
Seager 10 2 3 1 0 0 0 1 12 0.300 0.417 0.400 0.817
Turner 25 4 6 0 2 7 0 2 28 0.240 0.321 0.480 0.801
Smith 17 3 5 0 0 2 0 1 19 0.294 0.368 0.412 0.780
McKinney 23 3 5 0 0 3 0 2 25 0.217 0.280 0.217 0.497
Bellinger 23 3 4 0 1 1 0 0 23 0.174 0.174 0.304 0.478
Starters 177 29 54 9 5 26 4 11 194 0.305 0.361 0.463 0.824
Pujols 9 1 4 1 0 6 1 2 12 0.444 0.583 0.556 1.139
Beaty 9 2 3 0 0 0 0 3 12 0.333 0.500 0.333 0.833
Raley 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 3 0.333 0.333 0.333 0.667
Barnes 8 2 2 0 0 0 0 1 9 0.250 0.333 0.250 0.583
McKinstry 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Bench 33 5 10 1 0 6 1 6 40 0.303 0.425 0.333 0.758
Pitchers 14 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 16 0.000 0.000 0.000 0.000
Offense 224 35 64 10 5 33 5 17 250 0.286 0.351 0.415 0.766

Week 18 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
Buehler 1 1-0 7.0 3 0 0 2 8 0.00 0.714 1.74
Urías 2 1-0 10.7 10 1 1 0 12 0.84 0.938 0.92
Price 1 0-1 4.3 4 4 3 3 2 6.23 1.615 4.32
Gonsolin 1 0-0 1.7 1 2 2 5 1 10.80 3.600 10.97
Starters 5 2-1 23.7 18 7 6 10 23 2.28 1.183 2.49
Treinen 3 0-1 3.3 1 1 0 2 3 0.00 0.900 3.17
Kelly 2 0-0 2.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000 2.17
Ramírez 1 0-0 2.0 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 0.500 2.67
Nelson 2 0-1 1.0 1 1 0 0 1 0.00 1.000 7.17
Uceta 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0.00 0.000 -0.83
Price 1 0-0 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00 0.000 1.17
Jansen 1 0-0 1.0 2 0 0 1 3 0.00 3.000 0.17
Vesia 3 1-0 3.0 3 1 1 1 3 3.00 1.333 2.17
Bickford 3 0-0 3.0 2 1 1 2 4 3.00 1.333 0.50
White 2 0-0 5.7 4 2 2 1 6 3.18 0.882 3.88
Gonzalez 3 0-0 2.7 3 1 1 2 3 3.38 1.875 2.04
Graterol 3 0-0 2.3 3 1 1 1 1 3.86 1.714 3.60
Cleavinger 1 0-0 0.7 2 1 1 1 1 13.50 4.500 24.17
Bullpen 26 1-2 28.7 21 9 7 12 31 2.20 1.151 3.07
Totals 31 3-3 52.3 39 16 13 22 54 2.24 1.166 2.81

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 | June 21-27 | June 28-July 4 | July 5-11 | July 12-18 | July 19-25

Up next

The Dodgers run the Ken Forsch gauntlet, returning home to host the Astros for two games and the Angels for three. The Freeway Series rotation is a best guess, with both teams’ rotations in flux.

Week 19 schedule

Mon, Aug 2 Tue, Aug 3 Wed, Aug 4 Thu, Aug 5 Fri, Aug 6 Sat, Aug 7 Sun, Aug 8
Mon, Aug 2 Tue, Aug 3 Wed, Aug 4 Thu, Aug 5 Fri, Aug 6 Sat, Aug 7 Sun, Aug 8
Off vs. Astros vs. Astros Off vs. Angels vs. Angels vs. Angels
7:10 p.m. 6:40 p.m. 7:10 p.m. 6:10 p.m. 1:10 p.m.
Buehler v. Scherzer v. Price v. Urías v. Buehler v.
McCullers Odorizzi Ohtani Detmers (L) Suarez (L)
SNLA SNLA SNLA/MLBN* SNLA SNLA/MLBN*