The sky was falling in Dodger Land after the team had the audacity to lose two games in a row to the Braves after winning their previous 11, so thankfully for the sake of sanity, the Dodgers rebounded today against the Braves in a 6-2 victory.
Rich Hill had it working again today, and at this point we can probably count on him to be his 2016 self, so it’s just a matter of whether injuries are going to be a problem. While he gave up two runs on a string of well-sequenced hits in the fifth, he struck out eight in 6.1 innings.
Hill ended his outing giving up six hits, two walks, and hitting a batter. However, he honestly looked better than even the credit his quality line gives him, and was even entrusted to go out there in the seventh and get the lead-off lefty to save the Dodgers a reliever.
Corey Seager got the party started early for the offense, yanking a monster dong deep into the right-center field bleachers in the first.
Chase Utley got the next run for the Dodgers the same way, pulling a dong down the right-field line in the third.
In a tie game in the sixth, the Dodgers managed to grab the lead on a wild play. With two down and Yasmani Grandal on third, Yasiel Puig hit a swinging bunt down the third-base line. It would’ve been impossible for Julio Teheran to get Puig, so he went home to get Grandal, and it seemed like he did so since Yasmani is the slowest human ever. However, as he slid, Yasmani knocked the ball out of the glove of Tyler Flowers, which led to the go-ahead run.
Given all the dramatics behind getting that run, recently double-switched into the game Chris Taylor bypassed all that nonsense in the seventh and just went yard instead.
It’s a good plan, usually.
Going back to the mound, the bullpen was tasked with protecting the small lead, and Pedro Baez relieved Hill and got the remaining two outs in the seventh. Baez remained in for the eighth and got a 1-2-3 frame, which means he was tasked to get five outs and he got all five in a row.
Kenley Jansen was ready to close out the ninth with a two-run lead, but CT3 made that irrelevant when he bashed a two-run triple in the ninth for two insurance runs to grow the lead to four.
That let Brandon Morrow close out the game, who did so with a strikeout, an infield pop-up, and a fly out to left. Morrow touched 100 mph a few times in the inning, which is awful sexy.
Winning is fun.
The victory puts the Dodgers at 67-31 overall and 40-13 at home, and the losses have dropped their pace off to 111 wins. With the Diamondbacks losing and the Rockies winning, they’re now tied with each other in the NL West at 10.5 games back. The race for HFA throughout the playoffs remains at 1.5 games after the Astros also won tonight.
The Dodgers will try to earn a split in the four-game series tomorrow afternoon at 10:10 AM HST/1:10 PM PST/4:10 PM EST. Clayton Kershaw (2.07 ERA/2.96 FIP/2.51 DRA) will take the mound with the league lead in ERA now back in his hands, and he’ll face talented rookie lefty Sean Newcomb (4.86 ERA/4.22 FIP/5.50 DRA).