After a frustrating game to open the series coming off a rare day off while staying at home, the Dodgers came back and beat the Pirates ace Gerrit Cole this afternoon by a score of 8-4. The game certainly didn’t always look like it was going to be an easy one, especially with starter Brandon McCarthy laboring and then exiting early, but the offense was relentless and the bullpen did another amazing job.
Vin Scully is so chill pic.twitter.com/cfkJ1nchlt
— The Cauldron (ICYMI) (@CauldronICYMI) August 13, 2016
A night after only managing one run off Ivan Nova and friends, the Dodgers scored in six consecutive innings to start the game and eventually amassed a lead too difficult for the Pirates to overcome.
In the first, the Dodgers got a run on Corey Seager double-play grounder that plated Chase Utley (double) and erased Josh Reddick (single). In the second, another Utley double plated Rob Segedin (single) from second for a run. So things were going well anyway, but they caught a break in the third, when Howie Kendrick reached on a fielding error and Adrian Gonzalez (single) scored from second after the subsequent throwing error. The picket fence continued in the fourth, after Julio Urias singled to start the inning, Reddick replaced him at first on a ground out and then stole second, and he was later cashed in on a Seager single to center.
Finally, the picket fence was broken in the fifth, because the Dodgers got two runs instead. Back-to-back doubles from Joc Pederson and Kendrick led to Joc scoring a run, and Urias later bunted for a safety squeeze to (barely) score Kendrick from third after review.
Speaking of multiple runs, the Dodgers scored for the six innings in a row after Joc hit an oppo taco after Seager singled for a two-run blast.
Unfortunately, the Dodgers didn’t score in the last two frames, thus ruining EVERYTHING. They again drew no walks (but A.J. Ellis did get hit), but this time the 17 hits (five doubles, one homer) were cashed in for eight runs
Whatever McCarthy has going on right now with his control, it has definitely not yet been fixed. McCarthy lasted just five outs in today’s start, throwing 51 pitches and only 22 for strikes. He struck out three and only allowed two hits, but three runs were scored because he walked five batters and hit one. To add insult to injury, McCarthy was apparently literally injured with a right hip stiffness.
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) August 13, 2016
Josh Fields entered in relief of McCarthy with two outs and the bases loaded. While he gave up one of McCarthy’s runners on a single to left, he otherwise shut the door, giving up no runs of his own in an inning.
Fields was followed by Urias for 2.2 innings and Joe Blanton for 1.2 innings, both of whom didn’t allow a run even if they did combine to surrender eight baserunners in their time. Pedro Baez then got the eighth, but not before he gave up a (signature) dinger.
Josh Ravin attempted to finish the game, but he ended up walking two batters while getting two outs, which meant a save situation, which meant Kenley Jansen entered to get the final out (a strikeout) for his 35th save.
The victory gets the Dodgers to 65-51 overall and 38-23 at home. The Giants play later today, so their lead is currently down to 0.5 games. In the NL Wild Card race, the Cardinals (won) and the Marlins (playing now) are both currently 4.5 games back of home-field advantage and to make the playoffs.
The Dodgers complete the series against the Pirates tomorrow afternoon at 10:10 AM HST/1:10 PM PST/4:10 PM EST, with the pitching matchup being Brett Anderson making his season debut against Chad Kuhl (3.91 ERA/4.03 FIP/5.38 DRA).