LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers dropped their second consecutive game in the midst of an important three game series against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday night at Dodgers stadium. Not only did the Dodgers get shutout against their longtime NL West rival, but they allowed the Giants to score 15 runs in the contest, which marks the largest margin of defeat for the boys in blue since Sept. 14, 2013 when the Giants defeated the Dodgers 19-3. Los Angeles is now 12-17 dating back to May 16 and have lost four of their last five series.
Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s loss against the Giants:
Miller’s scoreless streak snapped
Bobby Miller has been one of the brightest stars in the Dodgers’ starting rotation since making his Major League debut in May. Coming into Saturday’s game against San Francisco, Miller had a flawless 3-0 record to begin his big league career to go along with a 0.78 ERA. Miller also brought a streak of allowing zero runs over the span of 16 innings into his fifth career start against San Francisco. After the top of the first in which Miller seemed to struggle with command and was bailed out by Jonny Deluca’s run-saving catch in center field, he was able to find his groove on the mound. Miller made it through three innings of work on merely 35 pitches, including a four-pitch inning in the second, keeping the Giants hitters off balance with secondary pitches to supplement his high velocity fastball that reached speeds of up to 101 mph. In the top of fourth Miller managed to survive a leadoff single from Joc Pederson without surrendering a run to the Giants, extending his scoreless streak to a total of 20 innings. That is, until the top of fifth. Miller walked Luis Matos to lead off the inning, which then resulted in Matos successfully stealing second base. Matos then advanced to third via an errant throw from Miller that found its way into center field. Giants veteran shortstop Brandon Crawford was then able to drop a single into right field, just out of the reach of Mookie Betts to score Matos. Crawford’s RBI single ended Miller’s highly impressive scoreless streak which dated back to his start on May 29 against the Washington Nationals. To add insult to injury, Miller allowed Casey Schmitt to reach on a hit-by-pitch before LaMonte Wade launched a three-run homer into the visitor’s bullpen to give the Giants a 4-0 lead.
Bullpen woes continue for LA
After the first game of the series against the Giants on Friday, in which the Dodgers’ bullpen gave up the lead late in the contest, the bullpen’s struggles carried over into Saturday as well. Miller’s night ended in the top of the sixth, not until after another RBI single by Crawford managed to score the fifth run for San Francisco. With San Francisco’s lineup slated to bring up a couple of left handed batters to the plate, the Dodgers called upon Alex Vesia to relieve Miller out of the bullpen. With two runners left on from Miller, Vesia walked Wade to load the bases for the Giants with two outs. Vesia’s first pitch to pinch-hitter J.D. Davis was then launched well beyond the center field fence for a 441 foot grand slam. Davis’s grandslam gave the Giants a 9-0 cushion and put the game out of reach for LA. With Vesia’s appearance on Saturday, he has now allowed at least one run in 11 of his 22 appearances this season and now maintains an ERA of 8.00.
Saturday’s loss puts the Dodgers at four games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who sit atop of the NL West division with a record of 43-28. There are now six teams on the Dodgers tail, all within the reach of four games to threaten LA’s place in the Wild Card spot. A loss against the Giants tomorrow would put them in the third Wild Card slot in the National League, further pushing the Dodgers toward the brink of losing a spot in the playoff picture.
The Dodgers will look to avenge tonight’s devastating loss against the Giants with a win tomorrow at home to cap off the series before heading down the highway to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Tony Gonsolin will get the start on the mound against Logan Webb on Sunday to try and salvage the series for the boys in blue with first pitch set for 1:10 PM PT.