Dodgers drop 5 of 7; Serra’s Pleasant throws down gauntlet

Photo by Joe Snyder Cody Bellinger runs between second and third bases on his way to home after hitting a two-run homer for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets last Friday. The Dodgers won 6-1 and split their fourgame series with the Mets.

A little over a week ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers Major League Baseball team was on a roll with a 33-14 record after sweeping a four-game series from the host Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. The Dodgers, then, hosted what appears to be one of their nemeses; the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates entered the series with a losing record but already won two of three games from the Dodgers a few weeks ago in Pittsburgh but the Dodgers were hoping to turn things around last week at Dodger Stadium. The Pirates were only even better as they swept the Dodgers by 6-5, 5-3, 8-4 scores. The Dodgers started things well in a critical series against the New York Mets in a match-up between teams with the two best records in the National League. Things looked good as the Dodgers won the first two games in the series and had high hopes with key pitcher Walker Bueller on the mound on Saturday. Unfortunately, Bueller pitched one of his worst games of the season, making it only into the third inning as the Mets tagged him for six runs. Behind a bases-clearing triple by Mookie Betts, the Dodgers had a brief 4-1 lead in the bottom of the second inning, only to see the Mets take the lead for good with five third inning runs. New York added a three-run home run in the eighth to put the game out of reach and roll to a 9-4 victory. On Sunday, the Dodgers lost a 10-inning 5-4 game to the Mets. The Dodgers were impressive last Friday in their 6-1 victory. Winning pitcher Tyler Anderson went six innings allowing only three hits and striking out five batters. He walked none. Anderson leads the National League with seven wins and no losses. Their relievers did well, allowing one run on two hits in the fi – nal three innings, one of those a solo home run from Pete Alonso. The Dodgers had three homers in the game; two of those for two runs from Cody Bellinger in the bottom of the second and rookie Zach McKinstry in the fourth for a 4-0 lead. Chris Taylor finished things off with his solo shot for a five run lead in the bottom of the eighth. L.A. is in a similar situation where it was during much of last season; a rash of injuries. The Dodgers reportedly have eight players in the injured list, including key pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Andrew Heaney, a former pitcher for the L.A.-Anaheim Angels and New York Yankees, along with Max Muncy. Hopefully, they can get healthy and back on the winning track. This week, they began an inter-league series against the White Sox in Chicago and at San Francisco against their rival Giants before coming home next Tuesday against their other slumping rival, the Angels. The Angels currently have an 11-game losing streak after getting swept three times in a row by the Toronto Bluejays, Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies. Dodgers • from page 3 Last Sunday, the Angels held leads of 6-2 in the eighth inning before they tied the game on a grand slam, and 7-6 in the top of the ninth before losing on a three-run homer with two out in the bottom of the inning. On top of that, top player Mike Trout is hitless in his last 26 at-bat over seven games. The Angels came home but it will continue to be rigid with a four-game series against the always tough Boston Red Sox that began on Monday and last through today. The Angels are only one loss shy of a franchise record 12 straight they did in 1983 and 1985. The Major League losing streak record is 23 by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1961 and the American League record is 21 by the Baltimore Orioles in 1988. We were hoping that former Serra High standout Dominic Smith would be in the Mets’ uniform against the Dodgers, but due to struggling and injuries, he was optioned to the Mets’ AAA minor league team in Syracuse, N.Y. Before moving down, Smith was only hitting .186 (16-for-86) with no homers, 14 runs batted in, seven runs and no stolen bases. He had an on-base percentage of .287. In his five-year-plus Major League career in New York, he has a .247 (296-for-1,196) with 46 home runs, 176 RBI’s, 143 runs and three stolen bases. He hopes to return to the team soon. Smith keyed the Cavaliers to the CIF-Southern Section Division III championship in 2013. On May 28 at the CIF-State Track and Field Championships at Buchanan High in Clovis, Serra High sprinter Roderick Pleasant made school history by becoming its first sprinter to sweep state in the 100- and 200-meter dashes. Pleasant, a junior, did not quite have his personal best performance of the state and near national record time of 10.14 seconds in the 100 he did at the fast Moorpark High track in the CIF-Southern Section Masters Championships on May 21, but he won the 100 at 10.3 and the 200 clocking 20.56. He is still just .01 shy of the national in-season record of 10.13 set in 2019 by Matthew Boling from Strake Jesuit College Prep of Houston, Texas but has numerous chances of that and maybe even becoming the first high school sprinter to break 10 seconds (non-wind aided) next year. Trentvail Friday from Cherryville High, Va., ran a 10.0 100 at the USA Junior Championships in a summer meet right after gradation from the high school in 2014 in Eugene, Ore. However, Pleasant might be looking over his shoulder at Long Beach Jordan sophomore sensation Jordan Washington. Washington broke Pleasant’s national sophomore record of 10.32 set in last year’s California State Championship Invitational, replacing the canceled CIF-State Championships due to COVID-19, at Arcadia High, with a 10.31 he did at the state prelims on Friday. In the finals, Washington placed second behind Pleasant in 10.44. Both are planning to run several big youth and high school summer track meets, including the World Junior Championships late next month in Bogota, Colombia. Pleasant and Washington also play on their football teams. Washington helped Jordan advance to the CIF-Southern Section Division XI championship game before losing last fall. He is looking to get the Panthers, who struggled during the previous several years, to contend with powerful Long Beach Poly for the Moore League crown this fall. With most players back, Serra will seek to possibly play in the CIF-Southern Section Division I and, if the Cavaliers get to the finals, they will play on Nov. 25 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, which turned 100 years old this Dodgers • from page 6 year. Pleasant is among those key returning players that will help the Cavaliers return as one of the fastest teams in the state. He and Serra will begin its season against Orange Lutheran at a site to be determined in Orange County on Aug. 19. The Cavaliers visit Long Beach Poly at Long Beach Veterans Stadium on Aug. 26.

Photo by Joe Snyder
Mookie Betts swings at a pitch in last Friday’s Major League Baseball game for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the New York Mets
Photo by Joe Snyder
Roderick Pleasant finds himself in front of the pack in the 200-meter dash at the Del Rey League Track and Field Championships on April 27 at Serra. He made Serra High history by becoming the first in the school’s history to win the CIF-State Championship in the 100- and 200-meter dashes on May 28 at Buchanan High in Clovis.
Photo by Joe Snyder
Brazil Neal (left) and Jordan Washington (right) keyed Serra High’s girls’ track and field team to the CIF-State championship on May 28 at Buchanan
High in Clovis.