Before the 2021 season, virtually everyone expected the National League West Division it was a dog fight between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Almost 100 games in the regular season, it’s safe to say we were all wrong.
The Dodgers and San Francisco Giants rivalry is alive and well and that was evident again Tuesday night when Will Smith smashed a three-run walk-off homer to lead the Dodgers to an 8-6 slate victory over the Giants. Los Angeles is now just one game behind SF in the National League West rankings:
Aside from Smith’s Walk Off HR, the Dodgers also looked at the pitching prospect well. Josiah Gray, who made his major league debut.
Gray entered the game in the third inning when the Dodgers went with left-hander Darien Nunez as the starter to try to combat the Giants’ game-fueled offense. Once he got into the game, Gray showed a solid 96 mph and a couple of breaking balls that certainly seemed to play at the Major League level.
The 23-year-old, 1.85-meter tall right-hander allowed four runs and four hits (three home runs) and fanned seven in four innings of work. He struck out all three in the fourth and recorded 15 whiffs on 38 swings:
Eight of those 15 puffs (fanned) came with the slider and four with the curve ball. Gray’s seven strikeouts were the most by a Dodgers pitcher to make his debut since José De León had nine in 2016.