Holy crap, the Dodgers have now won four games in a row, which is like a legit winning streak or something. That streak is thanks in large part to the series sweep over the Reds, which the Dodgers completed with tonight’s 3-1 victory that was thanks in large part to a dominant Scott Kazmir.
The Dodgers are now 25-23 on the year and are finally above .500 at home at 13-12.
Everything today starts with Kazmir, who posted a season-high 12 strikeouts en route to six innings of one-run ball on 91 pitches. Kazmir limited the Reds to only four hits, and after walking seven batters in his last start, he issued only two free passes this time around. Perhaps more importantly, Kazmir didn’t give up a dinger, which was something he hadn’t done yet in May.
In the fourth inning, there was a rare trouble spot for Kazmir, but even that was temporary. After Brandon Phillips came up with a bloop single to right, Jay Bruce drilled a ball to deep center and Joc Pederson couldn’t make the play up against the wall. Phillips scored on the play, and Joc was shaken up after the collision with the wall, so Bruce tried for an inside-the-park homer…
…it didn’t work. It was just that kind of day for Kazmir, who honestly sorta deserved it after it seemed like every mistake he made was hit out of the park for a solid month or so. With the effort, he managed to drop his ERA to 4.84 and and his FIP to 5.10, both of which are still terrible but are at least not as terrible as before.
Louis Coleman took over for Kazmir out of the bullpen and got a perfect seventh, notching one strikeout. Pedro Baez followed as the setup man in the eighth and turned in a similar perfect frame, also tallying a strikeout. That set everything up for Kenley Jansen, who was somehow coming off back-to-back blown saves. Well, thankfully he got back on track tonight, finishing off great work by the bullpen by putting up another scoreless inning for the save.
Of course, the Dodgers still had to score runs to win, and through three innings, the Dodgers had a perfect game thrown against them along with six strikeouts and it certainly looked like ones of those days for the offense. However, after the Reds took the lead in the top of the fourth inning, the Dodgers bounced right back on the opposite side of the frame.
Chase Utley led off the inning with a single, and after a Corey Seager line out, Justin Turner was hit by a pitch and Adrian Gonzalez walked to load the bases. While Trayce Thompson looked at strike three and went down without much happening, Joc came up huge with a two-out two-run single to give the Dodgers the lead.
In the following inning, Yasmani Grandal finally did something offensively and added to the lead with a solo shot to right.
Despite the win, the offense was actually atrocious today, totalling just three hits, a hit by pitch, and a walk, en route to striking out 13 times. Yet one of those hits was a dinger, and the other three positives all came in one inning, which helped lead to the three runs and definitely runs counter to the type of luck the Dodgers have had so far this year.
With the series against the Reds now complete, the Dodgers have their first off day since May 5 tomorrow. The team will be travelling across the country, as their next game is against the Mets at 4:10 PST/7:10 EST. The pitching matchup will be a resurgent Alex Wood against a scuffling-for-him Jacob deGrom.
-In unsurprising news, Barry Bonds was an asshole to Joc.
I enjoyed this Barry Bonds story from Joc Pederson. https://t.co/y47gKgytp3
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) May 25, 2016