MLB: Max Muncy and Dodgers’ Grand Slam win their sixth game in a row

The initialist Max muncy will not start at first base of the National League in All-Star Game 2021, so the slugger will have to settle for being a big part of the Dodgers’ success.

Muncy continued his monster season, hitting a tiebreaker grand slam in the top of the fifth inning of the Los Angeles’ victory. Los Angeles Dodgers 6-2 over Washington Nationals, in a rain-shortened five-inning game Thursday at Nationals Park. It was the second regular-season grand slam of his career for Muncy, who leads the club with 18 home runs:

He has homered in four of his last five games. After not hitting or running against the Chicago Cubs last Thursday, the Dodgers have responded with six straight wins and looked good in the process.

The Dodgers certainly used that good mojo to their advantage Thursday. With heavy rain in the forecast, the Dodgers knew there was a sense of urgency in the first two innings. Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin responded by closing the Dodgers’ lineup by three innings. All that changed in the fifth.

AJ Pollock tied the game at 2 with a solo homer vs. Corbin. The Dodgers then continued to put pressure on Corbin, loading the bases for Muncy. And as he has done all season, he delivered, hitting the seventh grand slam of the season for the Dodgers, which tied the Braves for the league lead.

Muncy’s home run was enough running support for a Dodgers pitching plan that changed less than two hours before the first pitch. With the threat of rain on their mind, the Dodgers opted to start with Mexican Victor Gonzalez as the starter, rather than go with Tony Gonsolin, who was the scheduled starter. Gonzalez allowed a run in the first, forcing the Dodgers to go with Phil Bickford, who struck out the only man he faced:

Gonsolin came into the game in the second and held tight as he continues to monitor a pain in his shoulder. The right-hander allowed one run and struck out four in three innings.

Garrett Cleavinger pitched a scoreless fifth, making the game official. Theoretically, the Dodgers were going with a bullpen game Thursday and the rain-shortened game worked in their favor.

The Dodgers are in the middle of their season and sitting in a good spot at 50-31, putting them at a 100-win pace. Los Angeles has garnered outstanding production from its starting pitching staff, which was expected to be a strength this season. Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen have been excellent from the bullpen, but the Dodgers are going to need another reliever to step up, especially with Gonzalez struggling with their command.

Offensively, the Dodgers have one of the deepest lineups in the majors, but they’ll have to be a little more consistent. They’ve shown signs of that lately, with Muncy leading the way. They also expect shortstop Corey Seager to return to the lineup sometime after the All-Star break.

It may interest you: MLB: Injured man at Dodgers! Max Muncy leaves game vs Braves.

The first 81 games of the season haven’t been the smoothest for the Dodgers, but they feel the best is yet to come. Now is the time to prove it in 81 more games.