With as abused as the bullpen has been recently, the absolute last thing the Dodgers needed was to get into a slugfest, so of course that’s exactly what happened tonight. Fortunately, the Dodgers offense beat the Padres offense, 10-6, which ended a three-game skid. However, it came at the cost of six bullpen innings, a mess of a game, and a whole lot of time.
The story of the game was undoubtedly the offense, and thus it was also about Yasmani Grandal. Grandal had an absolutely massive day, slugging three homers and a registering a bunt single for good measure.
Grandal finished 5-for-5 on the night (he ended the night with a single), which upped his OPS from .672 to .752, but he’ll always be wondering what if he didn’t bunt for a single (as nice as it was) and chose to swing for the downs again.
"What if I didn't bunt?" Grandal thinks somewhere on his latest HR trot between second and third base.
— Doug Padilla (@DougPadilla) July 9, 2016
But Grandal wasn’t alone in the offensive fireworks, as Justin Turner also had a homer of his own en route to a 2-for-3 night with two walks and a double.
Yasiel Puig also went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk, and Howie Kendrick had a homer of his own on the night. Even recent call-up Andrew Toles got in on the act, hitting the first pitch he saw in the majors for a double to the left-center gap.
The offense totaled 10 runs on eight walks and 14 hits, including five homers and four doubles. It was a nice change of pace after the last few games, and the Dodgers needed every bit of it.
Scott Kazmir was coming off one of his ‘well maybe he’s figured it out’ starts, and once again he immediately showed us that he has not figured it out.
"Oh you're worried about velo and my inability to finish batters?" *Sits 93-94 MPH* *Strikes Out 10 Per 9* *Decides To Never Throw Strikes*
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 9, 2016
Kazmir struck out five and gave up only three runs on six hits and three walks, but he lasted only three innings and threw a whopping 85 pitches. It was basically the antithesis of what the Dodgers needed out of him today.
The bullpen must be exhausted by now, but nevertheless, they turned in another admirable effort. Louis Coleman did struggle, however, giving up three runs on four hits, though part of that was J.P. Howell surrendering two of his inherited runners in his appearance. Howell only managed to record one out while giving up three hits, but Pedro Baez came in and saved his bacon by inducing a double play with the bases loaded.
Baez was the hero for the staff, pitching 2.2 innings of scoreless ball on 30 pitches and not giving up Howell’s runners. Joe Blanton and Kenley Jansen then followed with scoreless innings of their own to close out the game.
The win puts the Dodgers at 49-40 overall and 28-18 at home. The Giants won, so the Dodgers still trail them in the NL West by 6.5 games. However, the Dodgers have now taken back the lead for home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card race from the Mets by a half game, and are 2.5 games clear from the Marlins for making the game in general.