LOS ANGELES — Leading up to the 2021 season, virtually everyone expected the National League West to be a dogfight between the Dodgers and Padres. Nearly 100 games into the regular season, it’s safe to say we were all wrong.
The Dodgers and Giants rivalry is alive and well and that was evident again on Tuesday as Will Smith crushed a walk-off three-run homer to lead the Dodgers to an 8-6 win over the Giants. Los Angeles is now just one game behind the Giants in the NL West standings.
Aside from Smith’s walk-off shot, the Dodgers also got a good look at top pitching prospect Josiah Gray, who made his Major League debut on Tuesday.
Gray entered the game in the third inning as the Dodgers went with left-hander Darien Núñez as the opener in order to try to combat the Giants’ matchup-driven offense. Once he got into the game, Gray showed off a solid 96 mph and a pair of breaking balls that certainly appeared to play at the big league level.
The young right-hander allowed four runs on four hits and struck out seven over four innings of work. He struck out the side in the fourth and recorded 15 whiffs on 38 swings. Eight of those whiffs came on the slider and four with the curveball. Gray’s seven strikeouts were the most by a Dodgers pitcher making his debut since José De León had nine in 2016.