Magic Number is now 2.
The Dodgers blasted the Padres 11-2, with the LAD bats and arms continuing to serve notice that they are a total team to be reckoned with. They become the first team in MLB to clinch a playoff spot. Come on. Be honest. How many felt confident of a LAD win when seeing it was Andrew Heaney vs Joe Musgrove? I was hoping that Heaney’s HR pitch would find its way into hibernation. With the unknowing return of Tony Gonsolin, the Dodgers are going to need all the starting pitching they can get. None of us know how Gonsolin is faring with his arm issues, so getting the early season Heaney would be fantastic.
There were certainly things to be positive about. Going into the game, Heaney had 78 strikeouts in 52.0 IP. That is an impressive 13.5 K/9. On the flip side, in his last four games he has allowed 22 hits. Unfortunately 10 of those hits left the yard. For all practical purposes, Heaney is a 2 pitch pitcher…4-seam fastball and slider. They are both good pitches, when his command is good. He did throw 7 changeups, that produced 5 swings with 3 swings and misses. Only ball in play on his change was a 103.5 MPH ground out by Manny Machado.
In the 2nd inning, Heaney had 2 K’s but Jake Cronenworth crushed a 94.2 MPH 4-seamer into the RF stands Cronenworth hit it 104.5. A rare fielding error by Freddie Freeman led to an unearned run in the 3rd, but for the most part through 5.0 IP Heaney was proficient and effective. He allowed only 3 hits, but got 6 strikeouts. He had 16 swings and misses, many of those chased. In reality, this was a very encouraging outing for Andrew Heaney. Is he back to the beginning of the season Andrew Heaney? I have no idea. He is going to need to be more consistent with his next 4 (probably) starts. Best pitch of the day.
Andrew Heaney makes Manny Machado take a knee to end the threat. pic.twitter.com/Gn0uA37BQi
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 11, 2022
I love it when the best pitch of the day comes against Machado.
In the meantime, Joe Musgrove was breezing through the 1st 4 innings. He allowed 2 hits, both Freddie Freeman singles. Musgrove struck out Max Muncy for the first out of the 5th inning. Next up, Justin Turner slugs a solo HR. Hey Musgrove. Are you impressed with JT yet?
CT3 followed with a solo HR of his own, and the game is now tied.
After the Dodgers tied it up after 5.0, it was time for them to unleash the bats. Mookie Betts led off with a double, and with 1 out, Freddie was IBB. Will Smith was followed and was HBP that Musgrove complained the Smith stuck out his arm to get hit. Muncy realizing that Musgrove fanned Max twice with breaking balls, with 2 strikes, Max was sitting on a breaking ball that he roped into RF for a 2 run single. With the Max Muncy 2-run single, the Dodgers chased Musgrove in the 6th.
The Dodgers chased 2 relievers in the 7th. With runners on 2nd and 3rd, 2 outs, and Will Smith coming up, the pitching coach came out and the decision was made for Smith to get the IBB and have the left handed Tim Hill go after LHH Max Muncy. Unfortunately for Hill, he walked Max on 4 pitches to force in a run, and Bob Melvin came out and took Hill out of the game. Muncy chased 2 pitchers: Joe Musgrove with a two run single, and Tim Hill with a run scoring BB.
Craig Stammen was the new pitcher for the Padres, and on his first pitch, JT slugged his 2nd HR of the game, this one a grand slam. Dodgers now up 10-2.
- LAD has an 81-5 record with a lead after 7. Today would make it 82-5.
- Sunday marked the 2022 debut for Andre Jackson who pitched two very good innings. He allowed two singles, one of the infield variety. He also recorded 2 strikeouts.
- In 17 games and16.2 innings pitched for LAD, Chris Martin has 20 strikeouts and has issued 0 walks.
- With the win, the Dodgers were the 1st team in MLB to clinch a playoff spot. This was their 10th consecutive season of reaching the playoffs, and I do not see them slowing down any time soon.
- I wonder if Joe Musgrove considers JT a threat yet. He now has 3 HRs against Musgrove this season. I guess we can ask Musgrove the same question regarding CT3.
- Chris Taylor showing signs of coming out of his slump. With two hits on Saturday and a 409 foot HR on Sunday, CT3 is now 4-12 in the series.
- Tony Gonsolin did throw a bullpen session before the game. We will need to see how he fares on Monday to see if he is any closer to getting back on the bump.
- Yency Almonte also supposedly pitched a bullpen session, and a decision is forthcoming as to when he will head out on a rehab assignment.
- Finally, it was reported that both Danny Duffy and Victor Gonzalez have been sent to Arizona for their final push to get activated.
- Finally, with their Division magic number down to 2, the Dodgers will be visiting a somewhat resurgent Arizona DBack team in the desert for three. First game will pit Tyler Anderson vs. RHSP Ryne Nelson who pitched 7.0 4-hit scoreless innings, in his MLB debut against San Diego on September 5.