The Dodgers beat the Cardinals in a messy game, 8-4, thanks to Yasiel Puig, the bullpen, and the Cardinals defense. The win moves the Dodgers to 19-17 on the year, hopefully ending their up-and-down affair with .500, and also moves the team to 8-10 at home.
The Dodgers offense came alive against Cardinals starter Michael Wacha for eight runs tonight, the most they’ve scored in any home game this year. People will point out that the Cardinals defense definitely assisted them with four errors leading to five unearned runs, but I’m less concerned with that and more encouraged by 11 hits (two doubles, one homer) and three walks, including many of the timely variety.
All of that was despite the very first batter for the Dodgers, Howie Kendrick, being robbed of a homer.
Fortunately, that wouldn’t be a sign of things to come, and in the second inning, the Dodgers got two runs on a Trayce Thompson single with the bases loaded…
…and then tacked on another after Kendrick singled down the right-field line.
In the next inning, Joc Pederson (who was not demoted to AAA) doubled off the top of the wall in left-center to drive in another run.
The Dodgers added two more in the fourth inning after Justin Turner reached on a throwing error that led to a run, and Puig followed behind him with a single to score another. Turner then did it again (or the Cardinals defense did) in the fifth, as he reached on an error that scored a run.
To cap off the scoring, Puig finally went the other way and blooped a first-pitch fastball over the short fence in right.
Puig went 3-for-5 with a homer after it was suggested earlier that he be sent down to the minors. Welp.
It’s a good thing the Dodgers offense came to play today because starter Ross Stripling had a rough go of it today in his 89 pitches and five-plus innings of work. Stripling surrendered four runs on eight hits and three walks, while striking out just two batters. His stuff looked alright, but the command today was either just off the edge or missing in the middle of the plate, and that led to a lot of damage.
His day could’ve been worse if it wasn’t for the bullpen, as Stripling exited with a runner on second and nobody out in the sixth. Adam Liberatore entered in relief and induced two routine outs in the form of a grounder and fly ball before giving way to Louis Coleman. Coleman got his righty to end the frame without damage, and then (barely) got his man to lead off the seventh. That’s when Pedro Baez took over and pitched 1.2 perfect frames before giving way to Joe Blanton. Blanton got the first man, but then walked a batter and gave up a bloop single between A-Gon and Puig to put runners on the corners. Most importantly, it led to a save situation, which meant Kenley Jansen, which meant the game was over. Jansen threw just four pitches to get his save, inducing a double play on the first batter he faced to end the game.
The bullpen has been … good?
The Dodgers play the Cardinals again tomorrow and try to win the series at 6:10 PM PST/9:10 PM EST. Scott Kazmir will look to not be a dumpster fire, but he faces Carlos Martinez in what figures to be a tough matchup.
-Yes, Puig’s homer was nice, but the most important thing was him forgetting how to go back into the dugout.
-Joc apparently uses Nolan Arenado‘s bat.