Smith Doubles and Bellinger Homers in a Dodger Loss

Monday, August 3, 2020
Copyrighted by Sarah Morris, 2020

With a rookie home plate umpire, the strike zone was inconsistent Monday. At San Diego, the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the San Diego Padres 5-to-4.

Mookie Betts could not play Monday because of a swollen middle finger. Yesterday, before he hit his second home run as a Dodger, he jammed his middle finger. He still had substantial swelling on his finger. Betts might not be able to play for the entire series against the Padres, hurting the Dodger offense and defense.

Joc Pederson blasted his first home run of the year as he led off the game.

Although in his first start of the year, Walker Bellinger had great control, Monday he had no control. He allowed three solo home runs in his five innings. He was always behind in the control. No starter can be successful when he worked behind to the hitters. The inconsistent strike zone did not help Buehler, who still had good velocity, but he had a bad night.

During this young 2020 season, Brusdar Graterol has been shockingly successful. At 21, he can throw a blazing fastball, regularly 100+-miles-per-hour, effortlessly. He has an outstanding slider. Monday, with two outs, Graterol had bad luck with soft-hit balls that dropped in front of center fielder Cody Bellinger and left fielder A.J. Pollock who juggled the ball, allowing Manny Machado to score. Although Graterol was charged with the loss, he should not have been because he did not pitch that badly.

Caleb Ferguson, Joe Kelly, and Dylan Floro pitched well.

Will Smith has had a rough time in the 2020 season offensively, but he doubled in two runs. On the second consecutive day, Cody Bellinger homered.

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