We knew the Dodgers facing the Nationals was a mismatch, but the nature of baseball is that anything can happen on a given day in a long season. But Monday saw the extreme version of both teams, a 10-1 rout for the road team at Nationals Park.
As great as the Dodgers offense was, scoring in double digits for the fifth time this season, the headliner was Tyler Anderson, who retired his first 16 batters faced and pitched eight scoreless innings.
Anderson’s bid for a perfect game was broken up by a César Hernández double in the sixth inning. Alcides Escobar followed with a single to center field, but Hernández had to make sure it was caught before advancing, and didn’t score on the play. That mattered even more two pitches later when a ground ball up the middle became an inning-ending double play, keeping the Nationals off the board.
Anderson needed only 101 pitches to get through his eight innings, his third straight outing lasting at least six frames. The left-hander with a hitch his delivery struck out a season-high eight.
Perhaps most importantly, Anderson walked none for the fifth time in his eight games this season. He didn’t even have a three-ball count until the sixth inning, and finished with only two of those.
Things were going so well for Anderson that he allowed two singles with a runner in scoring position, and neither scored a run.
Anderson lasted at least eight innings for the fifth time in his career. He ran his scoreless streak to 14 consecutive innings.
On offense, the usual suspects got things going right away. Mookie Betts singled and Freddie Freeman doubled to open the first inning. Both runners in scoring position were cashed in.
They faced a pitcher in Joan Adon who led the majors in walks entering the game, and he issued four more free passes Monday. Adon was not helped by his defense, specifically Juan Soto in right field botching a flyball, presumably because of the lights, that was scored a double for Betts. But it wasn’t all bad luck for Adon, who allowed nine hard-hit balls (defined by Statcast as batted balls with an exit velocity of 95 mph or higher). Adon allowed six runs and very much earned his eighth loss in nine starts.
Betts scored twice and leads the majors with 42 runs scored. The Dodgers have played only 41 games.
Freeman had three hits, including two doubles, pulling him into a tie for the major league lead with 16 doubles. He drove in two and scored twice. Freeman also helped keep Anderson’s pitching line spotless with this grab to end the seventh.
Freddie Freeman is good at baseball. pic.twitter.com/jbxom3ZXtM— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 24, 2022
Trea Turner in his return to Washington D.C. drove in three runs, first with a groundout then later with a two-run single.
Gavin Lux had two hits, walked, and scored three times. Every starter except Edwin Ríos had at least one hit.
Home runs: none
WP — Tyler Anderson (5-0): 8 IP, 5 hits, 8 strikeouts
LP — Joan Adon (1-8): 4⅔ IP, 7 hits, 6 runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
Walker Buehler started last season with 16 consecutive starts lasting at least six innings, but this year has done so only twice in eight starts. He starts the middle game of the series on Tuesday (4:05 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA), with old friend Josiah Gray on the mound for Washington.