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TopicWalker Buehler

  • Thu 17th Sep 2020 - 7:08am

    The relentless Dodgers marked the two-thirds point of the season Friday night by launching five home runs in a 10-6 comeback win over their favorite opponent, the Rockies, at Dodger Stadium. The first team in MLB to reach 30 wins, Los Angeles matched its best 40-game start in franchise history while extending its win streak to six. Home runs by AJ Pollock Andre Ethier Jersey, Joc Pederson and Mookie Betts in a five-run eighth inning turned the game around after the Dodgers had fallen behind in the top of the frame on a Kevin Pillar grand slam. Will Smith homered in a three-run seventh and Max Muncy slugged a solo shot in the first. “Just an explosion,” said Pollock, who also had a pinch-hit homer Thursday night. “We always feel like we're in it. Up and down the lineup, we've got guys that can do damage and put pressure on the other team. It's fun. You show up at the ballpark and even when you're down, you expect to win.” The Dodgers are 30-10, matching their starts in 1888, 1955 and 1977. They have an 11-game home win streak, are 4-0 against Colorado this year, have won 24 of their past 28 games against the Rockies and have won 17 of the past 18 meetings between the two teams in L.A. Considering their loaded roster -- with Betts bearing down on another MVP Award and A-list supporting co-stars everywhere -- no wonder the Dodgers have won 30 of 40. It's a wonder how they've lost 10. “I'd be hard-pressed to find a team that was better equipped to do what we do,” manager Dave Roberts said. Rookie starter Dustin May kept Los Angeles in the game early while locked in a duel with Colorado right-hander Antonio Senzatela. In 5 2/3 innings, May allowed two runs, coming on solo home runs to Raimel Tapia, who went deep to lead off the game, and Sam Hilliard Chris Taylor Dodgers Jersey, who also homered off May two weeks ago. Pairing his 100-mph fastball with a slurve instead of a cutter, May struck out five with a walk.The Dodgers, who currently own the No. 1 seed in the National League, will use September for postseason roster tryouts. That includes determining who will be the third starter in a best-of-three Wild Card Series, joining Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler. May, who is competing with Julio Urías and Tony Gonsolin, has the raw tools, and on Friday, he flashed pitchability. “I'm very excited about his ability to make adjustments during the middle of a big league season. It's tough,” Roberts said. “To tighten that breaking ball and not make it so loopy, he's done that. Today, he showed he could get it to swing and miss, to get it over for a strike. I think he even threw it to get back into a count when down, 2-1. Really fun to watch.” May, who turns 23 on Sunday Clayton Kershaw Dodgers Jersey, has not allowed more than two runs in any of his eight starts this season, and he hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in any of his first 12 career starts. According to STATS, LLC, that is the second-longest streak to begin a career in Dodgers history, trailing only Pedro Astacio, who allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his first 13 starts from 1992-93. Dodgers second baseman Gavin Lux was every expert's pick to be the National League Rookie of the Year Award winner in 2020, but with the season nearly two-thirds over he's hitting .118. What happened? What didn't? He was late to Summer Camp, arrived with complicated hitting mechanics and didn't make the Opening Day roster cut. He worked for a month at the alternate training site and was recalled last week, but instead of a promotional reward, it's a runway for Lux to show he deserves to make the postseason roster cut. Expectations are through the roof for the No. 2 prospect in the game, according to MLB Pipeline. But Lux downplays that as a reason for his struggles. “Sure, whenever you're expected to do good when you come up, you're expected to perform and everybody's held to that standard,” Lux said on Friday. “I saw that last year, so, coming into this year, I knew what to expect. I don't think there's any added pressure. It's just getting comfortable, going and playing and baseball is baseball at the end of the day.” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Lux has looked passive at the plate, taking too many strikes and leading to seven strikeouts in 17 at-bats. “I don't think it's physical,” Roberts said. “I think there's still an adjustment as far as the late ramp-up for him. He comes in and guys are already in the season, so he's catching up to speed, certainly not easy. I just want him to be himself and everything will take care of itself.” Roberts said the expectations Lux faced “plays into it a lot.” “Gavin might say 'No' to the question Corey Seager Jersey, but it's got to impact it to some point,” Roberts said. “I can't imagine the expectations that have been placed on him. All he can do is be himself and help us win games.” Lux said he heard Roberts and is already changing his mental approach. “My swing feels like it's in a lot better place. Maybe the results aren't showing up right now, but been putting in a lot of work and try to stay locked in,” Lux said. “When I'm good, I'm aggressive in the zone and I trust my eyes to tell me if it's a ball or a strike. When I'm rolling, I'm in the batter's box saying ‘Yes, yes, yes, no,' instead of ‘No, no, no, yes.'” Lux is a native of Kenosha, Wis., where the police shooting of Jacob Blake and resulting protests have brought continued attention to social injustice. Lux said he's planning to hold a fundraiser and intends to get involved in the community during the offseason. “I'm going to be down in the community,” Lux said. “If you live in Kenosha, you're affected by it. The uptown area, the downtown area, everybody was affected.” Lux on fellow prospects While at the USC alternate training site, Lux said he was most impressed with the club's first-round Draft picks of the past two years: Third baseman Kody Hoese -- ranked as the Dodgers No. 5 prospect -- and right-handed pitcher Bobby Miller (No. 9). “Kody Hoese can really, really, really hit,” Lux said. “I felt like every day he was hitting a ball off the wall or shooting a double the other way. Bobby Miller came in, he was like 95 [mph], 98, hard slider, changeup. Pretty much all the new drafted pitchers were 95, 96 with good breaking balls Fernando Valenzuela Dodgers Jersey. Shout-out to our scouting staff. Those guys were impressive coming right out of the Draft.” There's little doubt the Hall of Fame will come calling for Clayton Kershaw. As is customary, the game's chroniclers in Cooperstown reach out to a player for a game-used jersey or hat or cleats when history is made. On Thursday night, Kershaw added to his growing collection at the New York museum in a 5-1 victory over the D-backs when he struck out Nick Ahmed for the first out of the 2nd inning to become the third-youngest pitcher in MLB history to strike out 2,500 batters. Only Hall of Famers Nolan Ryan (31 years, 101 days) and Walter Johnson (31 years, 197 days) accomplished the feat at a younger age. Kershaw (32 years, 168 days) passed Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, who did it at 32 years, 221 days. He is the fifth pitcher to reach 2,500 career strikeouts by his age-32 season behind Ryan, Johnson, Martinez and Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, who did it at 32 years, 287 days. “I don't ever want to discredit any of the stuff that's happening because it is cool. It really is,” Kershaw said. “It's just hard for me to think about it, honestly, or wrap my head around being associated with names like that and getting to see your name on different types of leaderboards. It's just hard to grasp really.”

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