After dropping three-straight games, the Dodgers have now rebounded to win their last two contests, including prevailing over the Padres by a score of 4-3 this afternoon. Neither starter Brandon McCarthy nor the offense had the best of days, but a timely hit by Howie Kendrick and more heroics from the bullpen led to the victory.
McCarthy lasted only five innings, but maybe could’ve gone another as he only threw 77 pitches. The performance wasn’t as impressive as his season debut, but he only gave up three runs on three hits (including a homer) and three walks to go along with six strikeouts. I was curious to see this start, because it’s not necessarily the ability to pitch that’s the problem for guys that undergo surgery, but rather the ability to bounce back after a start. McCarthy’s command wasn’t as sharp, but the stuff itself repeated, so that’s definitely promising going forward.
Offensively, it was an uneven performance with just nine hits (only two for extra bases) and two walks, but they did enough.
In the first inning, Chase Utley reached on an error and Corey Seager followed with a single, but a Justin Turner double play seemed to kill the momentum. Fortunately, Adrian Gonzalez drove one into the gap to score Utley from third.
In the fourth, the Dodgers had a chance for a huge inning, but just got a couple instead. A-Gon singled to start things, then Yasiel Puig walked, and Yasmani Grandal singled to load the bases. Kendrick then came through with a double down the line to score A-Gon and Puig.
The fifth inning turned out to be the deciding one for the Dodgers, as Seager led things off with a single and Turner followed with a single of his own. A-Gon then worked the count to 3-0 and the green light for him resulted in what seemed like a double play ball. However, Alexei Ramirez‘s throw got away at first and Seager scored from third to give the Dodgers the lead.
Ramirez, for his part, did his best flop to try and draw an interference call on Turner at second even though he wasn’t actually touched.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 10, 2016
Again though, the most impressive unit on the team was the bullpen. Casey Fien, Chris Hatcher, Adam Liberatore, Joe Blanton, and Kenley Jansen combined for four perfect innings with eight strikeouts between them.
Puig did help out Hatcher a bit, though.
With the win, the Dodgers move to 50-40 on the year and 29-18 at home. They still trail the Giants in the NL West race by 6.5 games since the Giants won today, they still lead the race for home-field advantage in the NL Wild Card game by 1 game over the Mets and that could extend to 1.5 games as the Mets are currently losing, and they are still 2.5 games in front of the Marlins in the chase just to make the NL Wild Card game.
To close out the first half of the season tomorrow, the Dodgers go for the series win against the Padres at 10:10 AM HST/1:10 PM PST/4:10 PM EST. The pitching matchup will be Kenta Maeda (3.07 ERA/3.56 FIP/3.96 SIERA) against Christian Friedrich (4.42/4.38/4.79).