The Dodgers got the offense they needed tonight in a 5-2 victory over the Cubs, but even today it was more about timely hits and the dingers than a real offensive onslaught. The team combined for just eight baserunners, but came through when it mattered most in this game.
Adrian Gonzalez had been absolutely terrible recently, coming into today’s game with a .448 OPS in his last 17 contests. Not coincidentally, the Dodgers offense has struggled recently, but he got the Dodgers on the board first today by launching a solo shot in the second.
The team added an insurance run in the eighth on a Pederson RBI single (!!!), and the rest was on the Bolsinger and the bullpen.
Bolsinger coasted through four innings, allowing no runs, three singles, and a walk, while striking out six. As has been the trend recently though, the fifth inning and third time through the order proved problematic for him. Bolsinger allowed two singles, a double, and a walk in the frame before being relieved, and only escaped more than two runs of damage thanks to inducing a double play from Anthony Rizzo.
The move was notable for several reasons: 1) it showed a lack of regard for pitcher wins to remove his starter one out short from five innings and with the lead 2) it acknowledged that Bolsinger tends to struggle a lot the third time through 3) and that he also struggles deeper in his pitch count (which is likely related).
Joel Peralta, Adam Liberatore, and Juan Nicasio combined to get through the seventh and eighth frames, though some contributing more than others. Peralta got his two men out, but Liberatore walked his only batter on four pitches and left the rest of the work to Nicasio, who went 1 1/3 scoreless.
That left Kenley Jansen with a three-run lead in the ninth, but he only struck out one and it took a Scott Van Slyke throw and a replay review for him to get the 1-2-3 inning, so he needs to be waived, IMO.
Bonus Clayton Kershaw doing whatever the hell this is: