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The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly In LA Tonight

Mookie Betts and Daulton Varsho meet at second base in Blue Jays vs. Dodgers - Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Dodgers return to LA after a successful nine-game road trip over ten days. They won all three series against the Mets, Baltimore, and Texas. Winning two of three in each city, allowing them to take a four-game lead in the NL West over the Diamondbacks and the Giants. When we include the All-Star game break, the Dodgers have been away from Los Angeles for seventeen days.

The Toronto Blue Jays roll into town for a three-game set with a 55-45 record, fifth best in the AL, and are 5-4 after the All-Star break. They are led on offense by All-Star, Home Run Derby champion, and 2021 Latino Sports AL MVP Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He spent his early childhood in the Dominican Republic. Still, you can be sure he grew up in major-league ballparks.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in Blue Jays-Dodgers at Dodger Stadium – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

Equally important to this club is the offensive play and hitting (.308) of Bo Bichette, of Brazilian heritage and son of former big leaguer Dante Bichette. So he also grew up on the fields of big league ballparks.

Bo Bichette, Toronto’s shortstop taking mid-inning ground balls – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

Toronto’s starter today, twenty-nine-year-old José Berríos, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, nicknamed “La Makina,” has thrown 18,434 pitches over 1143 innings in his eight years in the Big Leagues. He has struck out 1,120 batters, and walked only 345 in that span. Berríos also won the AL LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher award in 2019.

José Berríos, a recipient of 2019 AL LatinoMVP Starting Pitcher Award – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

In contrast, Dodgers’ 26-year-old starter Michael Grove has thrown 1353 pitches over eighty-one innings. He has seventy-one strikeouts and twenty-seven walks in his brief Major League career. Tonight he was un-touchable for the first four innings. His first five outs came via strikeouts. His sliders and cutters were nasty, and he showed excellent command and control on all his pitches.

But then, in the fifth inning, it was the same old story in baseball today, as Grove looked like he ran out of gas. Giving up four hits and two runs to tie the score at 2-2.

Michael Grove in Blue Jays vs. Dodgers at Dodger Stadium – Image Credit: Emma Sharon/Latino Sports

When your starters can’t give you more than four innings, the chances are that you will lose, which is what happened to the Dodgers tonight. 6-3 in eleven innings to a Blue Jays team whose three best hitters, George Springer, Guerrero Jr., and Matt Chapman, went one for 16 with six strikeouts. Just awful!

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