The Dodgers and Diamondbacks are the two best teams in the National League in 2017, and they played a tight one tonight with a playoff type of feel to it. The offense did, uh, enough for Alex Wood, Pedro Baez, and Kenley Jansen, who led the charge to a 1-0 victory.
Wood was dominating for most of the game, allowing just three hits and two walks, going seven scoreless innings. Wood also struck out 10 batters, as he had everything working again, particularly the slider.
He did get fortunate on some hard contact, but that’s something that you’re probably going to need if it comes to shutting down the powerful Diamondbacks lineup.
Lowest first-half ERAs, L.A. #Dodgers history (min. 60 IP):
1.37 Drysdale (1968)
1.39 Greinke (2015)
1.60 Koufax (1966)
1.67 Wood (2017)
— Jon Weisman (@jonweisman) July 6, 2017
For whatever reason, Wood was removed in the eighth on 85 for Baez, which was rather confusing and still is. Baez made it more confusing by promptly walking the first batter of the inning on four pitches. But because of our complete faith in Baez, he bounced back with a strikeout and a ground out, then got another strikeout against Paul Goldschmidt to end the threat.
That pitching was important because the Dodgers sure as hell weren’t doing anything offensively.
But generally they struggled mightily, managing just four hits and three walks on the night, and failing to capitalize with a runner in scoring position in the first, second, sixth, seventh, and eighth innings.
That left just a one-run lead for the Dodgers in the ninth, but luckily Jansen was ready to hold it. After struggling last night by allowing a homer and a walk, Jansen bounced back by getting a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts to shut the door on the game and on the hopes of the D-backs of getting a series victory.
Chase Utley loves nothing more than getting hit by the baseball.
With the victory, the Dodgers get to 57-29 in 2017 and a stellar 35-11 at Chavez Ravine. Most importantly, the win gets the Dodgers to 4.5 games up in the NL West.
The Dodgers go for the sweep tomorrow against the D-backs at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. The mound matchup should be interesting with a pair of lefties getting after it in Rich Hill (4.00 ERA/4.23 FIP/5.53 DRA) and Robbie Ray (3.06 ERA/3.82 FIP/3.27 DRA). Hill seems to have regained his 2016 form of late, but it’s hard to count on that, while Ray has pitched sorta like an ace.