After scoring 19 runs over the first two games, the Dodgers’ task at hand in the finale was a little more challenging.
Joan Adon and Josiah Gray struggled badly against the LA lineup, but whether it was the getaway game or the absence of the red-hot Mookie Betts, Wednesday starter Erick Fedde had his way for six scoreless frames in a 1-0 Nationals win.
Those six innings didn’t come without traffic for Fedde. The Dodgers managed to get the leadoff runner on in three separate innings, including doubles from Chris Taylor and Hansel Alberto to open up the second and fifth respectively.
However, the struggles of Max Muncy in particular reared their head and proved costly. The Dodgers’ lefty slugger came up to the plate with a runner on in three separate occasions and failed not only to get a hit but even move the runner over in each of those appearances.
Fedde’s spray chart shows he had success continuously locating his pitches, particularly with cutters up and glove side, meaning in on lefties and away from righties.
On the other side of the pitching matchup, Julio Urías had a productive outing but was still not near the level at which he was operating in 2021.
Urias went six-strong frames allowing only a single run, and with the first Nationals hit coming in the bottom of the fourth, but at one point in his outing, Urias had 21 balls and fewer than 30 strikes, a far from ideal ratio. Ultimately he ended his day with 54 strikes and 33 balls.
The Dodgers left-hander couldn’t find his changeup all afternoon long, and only generated 6 total whiffs in 42 swings from Nationals. That amounts to a rather poor 14-percent whiff rate.
To fully grasp the lack of effectiveness from Urias during this outing, look no further than his nine total called strikes in 87 pitches. That’s not something you see.
The glass-half-full view is that the velocity ticked up to 93.7 mph on his heater, the best mark this season for Urias. However, he needs to be more effective moving forward. A better lineup will punish an outing like this.
Cesar Hernández drove in the only run off a starter in this game with an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.
The damage could’ve been a lot worse as Juan Soto was up with a couple of runners on and only one out, but Urias battled to strike him out looking with a beautiful curve, and then Alcides Escobar was caught between third and home in an infield single by Nelson Cruz.
The game remained 1-0 through the seventh inning as Carl Edwards and Yency Almonte matched scoreless innings.
In the top of the eighth inning, Dave Roberts sent out Mookie Betts to pinch-hit, and he was caught looking at a questionable strike three. Trea Turner singled and stole second. The Nationals then chose to intentionally walk Freddie Freeman.
Justin Turner and Edwin Ríos failed to capitalize on the opportunity to tie the game with a pop-out and strikeout respectively.
Almonte continued his strong run with two scoreless in today’s outing. He pitched around a second-and-third, nobody-out situation in the seventh and followed that up with a clean eighth inning.
In the top of the ninth inning, the Dodgers had one last opportunity to get on the board, but Cody Bellinger flew out to center with a couple of runners on, and Will Smith ran into one as a pinch-hitter only to have Soto catch it at the right field warning track.
The Dodgers were 1-for-19 with runners on base and there’s virtually no way to overcome that and win a baseball game.
Home runs: none
WP — Erick Fedde (3-3): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP — Julio Urías (3-4): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv — Tanner Rainey (4): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk
The Dodgers head to Phoenix for a four-game series against the Diamondbacks. Mitch White starts the opener (6:40 p.m., SportsNet LA), facing Humberto Castellanos.