After dropping 500 games in a row, with tonight’s 7-0 victory over the Nationals, the Dodgers have now suddenly won three straight contests. It’s almost as if momentum is about as good as your starting pitcher not pooping himself on the mound.
Speaking of starting pitching, Alex Wood was looking to rebound from a three-start stretch in which he surrendered 12 runs in 17 innings, and he did just that. While his velocity sat in the 90-91 mph range for most of the night, he threw six shutout innings on 91 pitches anyway, generally powered by his changeup being on.
Wood was never in major trouble, surrendering just three hits and a walk while striking out eight batters. While the velocity is important, the lack of strikeouts and grounders were the concern, so this is still promising.
Of course, the reason why Dodgers fans got a relaxing game for once was that the offense exploded. Justin Turner started things early, when he crushed his 20th homer of the year in the first, a solo shot.
The explosion came in the second, however, and Yasiel Puig got it started by somehow hitting this ball out to right for a solo dinger, his 26th dong of the year.
When you realize you forgot to take your clothes out of the washer pic.twitter.com/SuJIcaFU0n
— The Blue Ravine (@TheBlueRavine) September 15, 2017
The offense then got a bit of a manufactured insurance run of sorts, with Cody Bellinger leading off the third with a walk and promptly stealing second. Puig followed with a single to left to put runners at the corners, and Utley drove in a run with a ground out.
Of course, the Dodgers didn’t score the rest of the way, but that’s not a problem when you get seven runs on nine hits and three walks, including three homers and three doubles.
From there, the pen took over with a seven-run lead and it probably says a lot that Pedro Baez was the first man out in the seventh. Baez walked two batters (got squeezed on one that should’ve been a strikeout, honestly), but did strikeout a batter and got out of the jam with a scoreless frame intact. Brock Stewart then took over in the eighth tasked with getting two innings, and he did exactly that, allowing an infield single and a walk but no runs after striking out four.
Now 95-52 on the year and 43-29 away from home. The Diamondbacks play later today, so the NL West lead is at 10 games and the magic number is down to six.
“Are you worried about losing the NL West now, huh? HUH? HUH?!?!?!”
The 22-game winning streak of the Indians has finally come to an end, putting them 4.5 games back for the best record in baseball now.
The Dodgers and Nationals do this again tomorrow afternoon at 7:05 AM HST/10:05 AM PST/1:05 PM EST, which I would definitely not be awake for if it wasn’t for a Liverpool game just before. Rich Hill (3.67 ERA/4.01 FIP/4.85 DRA) takes the mound looking to stay sharp, and he’ll face A.J. Cole (4.30 ERA/5.31 FIP/4.64).