With the miseries that occurred during the sweep via the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Los Angeles Dodgers went back to Chavez Ravine for a three-game set against the Washington Nationals beginning on Monday. The Dodgers were aiming to avoid being the last team in Major League Baseball to lose four games in a row.
Brett Anderson took the hill looking to earn back-to-back victories for the first time since July 1. In order for Anderson to have success against the hopeful playoff team, he needed to incorporate a lot of ground balls and he did. The game started off on a rough note with a base hit to center field by Yunel Escobar, but Anderson did what he does so well and got Anthony Rendon to ground into a double play. Anderson got Bryce Harper to ground out to escape the inning unharmed.
The Dodgers tried to respond in the first inning looking to get Anderson some early run support, but a Jimmy Rollins leadoff single went to waste as the Jose Peraza (making his MLB debut), Yasiel Puig, and Scott Van Slyke recorded outs to end the inning.
Ryan Zimmerman led the second inning off with a full-count double to right-center field. After a Jayson Werth groundout, Ian Desmond hit a two-run home run to left field to give the Nationals an early 2-0 lead.
The Nationals’ starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez recorded two easy outs in the second inning, but surrendered a single to Alex Guerrero on the first pitch. Escobar would then make an outstanding play to rob A.J. Ellis of a hit to end the inning.
Anderson had some control issues in the third inning, as he threw eight straight balls to walk two batters with one out in the second inning. With Harper at the plate, Anderson then induced his second double play of the day to end the threat.
The Dodgers started off quietly in the bottom of the third inning as Anderson and Rollins hit ground ball outs. With Pereza at the plate, he hit a soft liner to right field and Harper misplayed the diving attempt that went past the right fielder. The flare would allow Peraza to get to third base without a throw and Puig at the plate. Puig struck out to end the inning.
Anderson found a groove in the fourth inning and retired the side on ground balls to force the Nationals to go down quietly in the top of the fourth inning. After the first two hitters in the bottom of the fourth inning went down on pop-ups, Alberto Callaspo hit a base hit down the right field line for a single thanks to the strong throw by Harper. With the runner on first, Guerrero grounded out to end the fourth inning.
After another ground out to start the inning, Michael Taylor hit a base hit to center field. With the pitcher up to bat, Gonzalez bunted Taylor over to second. With two outs, Escobar hit a line drive to right field, but Puig made another highlight catch with a leaping dive to rob him of a hit.
CONTINUE READING: Dodgers Offense Scored Late, But Was It Enough?