The Dodgers shutout the Rockies tonight to take the series opener, 5-0, as they continue to attempt to bounce back from the recent Clayton Kershaw injury news and the massive run of injuries on the team in general.
Bud Norris threw 88 pitches over six shutout innings, which is a thing that happened. It’s sort of hard to figure, but Norris was actually dominant, allowing just two hits, a walk, and a hit by pitch while striking out eight. Both of the hits and the walk he surrendered came against lefties, so Norris does still seem to have a tougher go against them, but the new cutter over the inner half is definitely a weapon that helps neutralize them.
Clayton Kershaw warged into Bud Norris. MVP.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 2, 2016
Adam Liberatore entered in the seventh, I’m assuming mainly to prevent Carlos Gonzalez from getting a third look at Norris, and got both lefties out but issued a walk to Mark Reynolds. Liberatore was replaced Louis Coleman, who got his man and got the Dodgers out of the seventh.
Joe Blanton, setup man, entered in the eighth to try to keep the lead, and that he did with a scoreless frame and only a single allowed. Fortunately, while Kenley Jansen was warming, the offense exploded and that allowed Pedro Baez to enter against the heart of the Rockies order. Baez walked one but managed to get a scoreless inning and seal the game off.
On the other side of the ball, the offense struggled for most of the game but came on late to eventually give the Dodgers a comfortable win. They finished with nine hits, including two doubles, and four walks on the night, which isn’t great but is a lot better than they were on pace for early.
After being no-hit for the first three innings by Jorge De La Rosa, who entered the game with a 6.47 ERA, Chase Utley led off the fourth inning with a walk and Corey Seager followed with a single back up the box to put runners on the corners with nobody out. Justin Turner then looked like he was pressing in striking out, but Adrian Gonzalez thankfully cashed in a run with a single to right to put the Dodgers up 1-0. After a Howie Kendrick ground out advanced runners to second and third, Yasiel Puig followed with a four-pitch walk to load the bases. Trayce Thompson then seemed to beat out an infield single up the middle, but it was overturned (correctly) on replay to keep the score at 1-0.
It took until the seventh for the Dodgers to get on the board again, with Kendrick leading off the frame with a single and Puig following with one of his own. They then moved to second and third with nobody out after a passed ball, and then both moved up one base again after a balk was called on De La Rosa for not coming to a set.
Kendrick scored to make it 2-0 and there was still nobody out with a runner on third. However, Thompson flew out to left and Brandon Barnes came up with a wonderful throw to peg Puig at the plate for a double play, which ended the threat.
After the bullpen for the Rockies entered, the Dodgers started teeing off. In the eighth, after Utley grounded into the shift for an out, Seager followed with a sharp single into right-center and Turner then turned on one for a double that one-hopped the wall in left to put runners on second and third. A-Gon joined the hit parade with a single to right of his own to score Seager and make the score 3-0. After a reliever change, Kendrick greeted the new pitcher with a double to right to score Turner and make it 4-0.
Scott Van Slyke then capped the inning off with a deep sacrifice fly to the wall to score A-Gon and give us the final score of 5-0.
That was nice.
The Dodgers improve to 45-37 overall and 24-15 at home. They remain 6 games back of the Giants in the NL West, and are leading the NL Wild Card race by 1.5 games.