Although some players attempted to downplay the rematch of the 2017 World Series, others openly acknowledged there was added excitement for a regular-season series in August being that it was the Houston Astros.
Among them was Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. He declined to say the three-game set at Dodger Stadium was a barometer of sorts, but ever the competitor, did embrace the challenge of facing such a formidable club.
Matters didn’t begin on a positive note for the Dodgers, as Justin Verlander matched a career high with 14 strikeouts to help Houston edge out a 2-1 victory in the series opener. They returned the following night and put a 14-0 thumping on the Dodgers.
Los Angeles avoided a series sweep by hanging on for a 3-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Roberts considered his club salvaging the series as significant, via SportsNet LA:
“It was a big win. That’s a team over there, very good ballclub, good arm in Gerrit Cole. … I thought we pitched really well. I thought Walker came out and was really good.”
Although he issued two walks and hit a pair of batters, Walker Buehler matched a career high with eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings. The two runs allowed came on solo shots, including George Springer beginning the game with a drive to straightaway center field on the first pitch.
The Dodgers now have an off day before embarking on a six-game road trip that is comprised of series with the Oakland Athletics and Colorado Rockies. They finished 9-8 in a stretch of 17 consecutive days with a game.
As for losing two of three to the Astros, Roberts said he wasn’t putting much stock in the head-to-head meeting and how it might impact a potential rematch in the 2018 World Series.
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