LOS ANGELES – When the 2021 season was new just under six months ago, the Dodgers and San Diego Padres seemed like two teams heading in the same direction.
This year the teams will play against each other twice more, but nothing will change the facts revealed on a chilly Tuesday evening at Dodger Stadium: Only one team plays the frayed end of what was once a thick string.
The Dodgers defeated the Padres 2-1 in front of 52,128 spectators at Dodger Stadium – their seventh win in a row against San Diego. Walker Buehler delivered seven shutout innings and didn’t allow a hit until Eric Hosmer led the fifth with an infield single. Trea Turner went 3 for 5 and raised his MLB leading batting average to 0.325.
Doubles from Mookie Betts and Turner in the first inning allowed the Dodgers to score against former teammate Yu Darvish (8-11). Turner also led the third inning with a single, then scored when AJ Pollock tied the outfield gap with his own two-strike single.
The win did not help the Dodgers overall as the San Francisco Giants defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks to maintain their two-game leadership position in the National League West. Your magic number to win the division is four.
The Giants (103-54) and Dodgers (101-56) each have five regular season games.
« You can’t help but have the best record in the National League in your league, » said Bühler. « We’re almost there. Win a few games, see what happens, and if not, we’re ready to roll. »
Bühler this time two runs were enough. The right-handed man went two punches and punched five. He only got into trouble once, in the sixth inning, when a single and a walk brought bunners to first and second with an out. Buehler came back to instigate a double play groundout from MVP candidate Fernando Tatís Jr. that ended the threat.
« Winning a ball game is always good, but if Walker throws the baseball like he did tonight, it makes the future much more exciting, » said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
Buehler halted a series of five starts in which his ERA climbed from an MLB low of 2.02 on August 25 to 2.49 on September 22. His 3⅔-inning start that day in Denver was his shortest of the season.
« For me it’s trying to be myself and to do what I’m good at, » said Bühler. “For me it’s the four-seam fastball. I came back to that a little tonight. Sometimes you come to a strange place where you are trying to do too much, to do too many things at once instead of trying to be really good at one thing. It felt good to throw a lot of heaters, do some good counts, and get the guys to the places I wanted. »
Buehler became the fourth pitcher of the season to hit the 200-inning mark, which has not been a regular season Dodger starter since Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in 2015.
Joe Kelly threw a goalless eighth inning before handing the ball over to Blake Treinen in the ninth. A phenomenal homerun by Jake Cronenworth in the right field pavilion gave San Diego its only run; a walk to Hosmer put the connecting run on a pedestal.
Ha-Seong Kim pinch ran for Hosmer and stole second base, but Treinen came back to beat Tommy Pham to end the game. He has implemented seven parades this season.
The Padres made two defensive mistakes on the way to their fourth straight defeat. At 78-79, they’re below 0.500 for the first time in the entire season.
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They also made a mental mistake in the first inning that allowed Turner to get in and out of a rundown between second and third base. Turner was credited with a stolen base, his 32nd of the season.
« I’m trying to forget about them, » he said with a smile. “I try to be on the safe side and make good decisions. That’s what will happen when you steal bases. You are expected to steal and be safe. »
Turner, dodger at the Washington Nationals in July, has the chance to become the team’s first batting master since Tommy Davis in 1963. His closest pursuer is former teammate Juan Soto, who averaged 0.318 as of Tuesday.
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