The Dodgers lost to the Brewers, 4-0, in a Monday night game in which they squandered some early scoring opportunities and just never could complete a rally. Julio Urias pitched six outstanding innings but takes a tough-luck loss because one of the two hits he allowed went over the wall in left field.
The Dodgers trailed 1-0 when Urias left the game, and the Brewers put up three big insurance runs in the top of the ninth.
Urias falls to 13-7 on the season, losing for first time in his last 11 decisions. He lowered his ERA to 2.36, third-best in the National League.
Dodgers Stymied by Lauer Again
Eric Lauer, Milwaukee’s starter, has been much better against the Dodgers than other teams throughout his career, and he had his second strong start against Los Angeles in the last six days. Last week, Lauer allowed just two solo homers in seven innings, but he took the loss because Tony Gonsolin was even better.
In this game, Lauer was able to work out of trouble a couple times, but he paid the price with a high pitch count that knocked him out of the game after five shutout innings and 98 pitches. Christian Yelich threw out Justin Turner at the plate on a Gavin Lux single to end the bottom of the second inning, and two innings later the Dodgers stranded the bases loaded when Lux flied out to Yelich.
The end result was another successful start for Lauer against the Dodgers, but it left a lot of work for the Milwaukee bullpen to do. Unfortunately for the Dodgers, they were able to get the job done, with Lauer earning the win.
Brusdar returns in style
Brusdar Graterol, who had been sidelined since July 10 with a shoulder injury, returned from the injured list and threw a perfect eighth inning. Graterol threw 14 pitches in the inning, striking out the first two hitters before inducing a two-strike groundout from Andrew McCutchen.
Brusdar threw four different pitches: three four-seam fastballs (topping out at 100.2 MPH), one sinker (100.1), eight cutters, and two sliders. The sinker was particularly impressive, topping 100 MPH with 17 inches of arm-side run. More than half his pitches were cutters in the 96-MPH range, and he consistently landed it for strikes. The slider had almost a changeup-like movement to it, and it got a swing-and-miss for his second strikeout.
It was good to see Graterol back on the mound anyway, but to see him keeping hitters off balance and dominating with his stuff was extra special.
CT3’s Offensive Slump Continues
In 12 games since returning from the injured list coming into tonight, Chris Taylor was hitting .171 with a .627 OPS. Those numbers didn’t get better tonight, as he went 0-for-3 with a walk and three strikeouts. The first two strikeouts came with runners on base, with the third coming in the bottom of the ninth inning.
Taylor did make an excellent defensive play in left field, catching the ball as he tumbled over the short side wall in foul territory. He’s been through offensive slumps before and snapped out of them, and the Dodgers are hoping he can break out again in the next five weeks or so heading into the postseason.
Bickford Waves Goodbye to His Postseason Chances
Phil Bickford had posted five straight scoreless appearances since August 9, lowering his ERA from 5.35 to 4.57 in the process. Unfortunately for him and the Dodgers, the 4.57 version showed up in the ninth inning tonight.
Bickford allowed back-to-back doubles to lead off the inning, followed by two straight productive fly outs and a home run to give the Brewers three crucial insurance runs.
Bickford’s blow-up also helped the Brewers for the rest of the series, as it allowed overworked closer Devin Williams to take the game off.
After an outstanding 2021 season, Bickford has been unreliable for most of this season. With Graterol’s return and at least Blake Treinen coming back soon, Bickford has been pitching to try to earn a spot on the postseason roster. At this point, unless he really picks things up the last five weeks of the season, he’s likely to be on the outside looking in in October. And maybe even September, if any of the other rehabbing relievers make it back.
The Dodgers drop to 84-37, with a tough matchup against Corbin Burnes coming up on Tuesday as the series with the Brewers continues. Burnes will be opposed by his former college teammate Tony Gonsolin.
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