The Dodgers mercifully put an end to a three-game skid this morning, winning by a score of 4-0 against a Reds team that of course happened to get hot right before this series.
If there was any game the offense was supposed to struggle in this series, it was this one against Anthony DeSclafani, so of course they got off to a fast start today that held up. Most importantly, if you were looking for that Julio Urias start that gives you a glimpse of a potential future, well this was it.
Julio Urias truly is The Chosen One. Yes yes, he threw six shutout innings, striking out six and walking none.
But that is not why he is the best. Rather, it’s the fact that Urias is the first Dodgers pitcher in this series to record an out before the first four batters of the game for the opposition have effectively ended the game.
Oh yeah, did I mention he arguably already has the best pick-off move in the majors?
They’re not even stealing. Runners can’t even get comfortable secondary leads against him, it’s ridiculous.
Julio Urias leads the majors with 5 pickoffs. He has pitched 52 innings
— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) August 21, 2016
Anyway, the game was rather weird because the #Bust flashed a four-pitch mix that all could’ve graded out at plus or above today, and generally looked dominant throughout.
Things were nicer on the flip side of things as well, since the offense got off to a quick start when Chase Utley led the game off with a no doubt about it dinger to right.
Utley also drove in another run on a single in the third, and Corey Seager drove Utley in with a single of his own later in the inning. The Dodgers got another run in the sixth on a Joc Pederson sac fly that at least salvaged a run from a second and third with nobody out situation.
In order to preserve the lead, Joe Blanton entered to get the seventh and worked around a lead-off double, a passed ball, and a walk to strikeout Joey Votto and escape damage. The eighth belonged to Pedro Baez, which I pray to god doesn’t mean he’s gonna be used as the setup man now. Anyway, Baez got a strikeout, allowed a single, and then induced a double play to keep the shutout intact.
Kenley Jansen then entered in the ninth, if for no other reason than he needed the work because he hasn’t pitched since August 13, when he threw five pitches for the one-out save. Today he closed out the game, allowing a single but striking out the side, so it didn’t seem like rust was too big of an issue.
The victory puts the Dodgers at 68-55 on the year, with a 30-31 record away from home. The Giants play later today, so for now the Dodgers are tied for first in the NL West.
The Dodgers complete the four-game set against the Reds tomorrow morning at 6:35 AM HST/9:35 AM PST/12:35 PM EST, with the pitching matchup being Scott Kazmir (4.41 ERA/4.51 FIP/4.58 DRA) against Homer Bailey (3.66/2.32/3.28).