LOS ANGELES ― The Dodgers will finish their regular season on Wednesday afternoon with a franchise record for wins and an unwelcome reminder about the fickle nature of a best-of-five playoff series: any team can win or lose three games in a row.
The last three nights have seen the Dodgers (110-51) lose to the Colorado Rockies (68-93), the last-place team in the National League West. Randal Grichuk’s two-run home run in the seventh inning against Andrew Heaney was the turning point in Tuesday’s 5-2 loss before an announced crowd of 51,833 at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers will have five days off following the conclusion of Wednesday’s game. They will then host the winner of a best-of-three wild card series between the New York Mets and San Diego Padres in the best-of-five National League Division Series.
The Dodgers’ last three-game losing streak before this week came as August turned to September – coincidentally, with two losses against the Mets and one against the Padres.
Heaney (4-4) inherited a 2-2 game from Julio Urías in the sixth inning but could not hold the Rockies at bay.
In the seventh inning, the left-hander got ahead of light-hitting infielder Elehuris Montero 0-and-2 before allowing a single on a changeup in the strike zone. Later that inning, Heaney got ahead of Grichuk 0-and-2 before allowing a two-run blast to left field on a slider down the middle of the plate.
It was the 14th home run Heaney has allowed this season in 16 appearances.
“Just got to put guys away and make a couple better pitches,” he said.
With Tony Gonsolin returning from the injured list in time to join the Dodgers’ postseason rotation, Heaney expects to shift to the bullpen for at least the NLDS. Manager Dave Roberts hasn’t determined exactly what role Heaney will occupy, but it could be a piggyback situation like Tuesday’s.
“Having him out of the ’pen for the third time today just kind of lets us feel good about him doing that,” Roberts said. “It gives us the option to … start (Heaney) in one particular game or have him out of the ’pen.”
Heaney approached Roberts prior to the Dodgers’ last series in San Diego with the idea of pitching in relief. The 31-year-old left-hander relieved only sparingly in eight major league seasons, but he felt his command, velocity and secondary pitch – a slider – have improved enough since he relieved for the Yankees a year ago that he could perform the job well.
“Obviously we’re really strong at the top of the rotation,” Heaney said. “I know where I’m at. I wanted to make it clear (shifting to the bullpen) was not an issue.”
Urías allowed two runs in five innings. The left-hander finished the 2022 season with a career-low 2.16 ERA – best in the NL – in 175 innings.
Baseball’s only 20-game winner a year ago, Urías solidified his position as the Dodgers’ No. 1 starter. His next start is expected to be in Game 1 of the NLDS, though Roberts left open the possibility of shifting Urías to Game 2.
“We’ve got time to think about that,” Roberts said. “There’s some things to debate, 1 versus 2, not only that start in particular but you factor how guys can be deployed later on (in the series) too.”
The Dodgers fell behind 2-0 on solo home runs by Brendan Rodgers in the first inning and Sean Bouchard in the third.
Tony Gonsolin returns in Dodgers’ loss to Rockies
Dodgers’ Chris Taylor could miss playoff games with neck injury
Dodgers’ win streak ends as bats go quiet vs. Rockies
Dodgers’ Trayce Thompson isn’t focused on possible first playoff run
Dodgers come from behind to beat Rockies for 110th win of season
In the third inning, the Dodgers got their first run and their first hit against Rockies starter Ryan Feltner. They could have had more.
Gavin Lux led off with a double to right field, then scored on a Cody Bellinger single. The next batter, Austin Barnes, drew a walk to put runners on first and second with no outs and the top of the order due up.
Feltner retired Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman in order. The Dodgers trailed 2-1.
Joey Gallo took over for Mookie Betts in the fourth inning and promptly tied the score in the fifth. He hunted a first-pitch fastball from Peltner and pummeled it 396 feet over the fence in right-center field, his 19th homer this season.
But the highest-scoring team in the National League only mustered seven runners against Feltner and two relievers. They batted only four times with runners in scoring position, collecting one hit.