Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 1: Bullpen, Verdugo lead Dodgers to a win

The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 2-1 behind a very strong showing by most of the bullpen. The offense did just enough, and they managed to snap their four-game losing streak. With a win tomorrow, the Dodgers can be the first team to not lose a series to Arizona.

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For the first time in the series, the Dodgers scored the first run of the game. They struck in the first off Zack Godley, starting with a one-out double by Alex Verdugo. He took third on a wild pitch, Yasmani Grandal drew a walk and Cody Bellinger ripped a single past Paul Goldschmidt to score the run. The rally was killed by a Matt Kemp double play, but the Dodgers weren’t getting fooled early.

Verdugo’s call up was extended with the injury to Yasiel Puig, but he’s been impressive so far.

Enrique Hernandez drew a walk and went first to third on a Max Muncy single to start the fifth. Chris Taylor pinch hit and struck out, but Joc Pederson drew a walk to load the bases. Verdugo came up and made solid contact, but hit into a double play to end the threat.

Kemp hit into another double play in the sixth. While it seems like the Dodgers hit into multiple double plays in every game, they’ve now hit into 23, which is pretty middle-of-the-road. The 2018 Dodgers: Things Could Be Worse.

Verdugo got things going in the eighth as well, as he hit his second double of the game with one out. He took third aggressively on a pitch in the dirt. Grandal cashed in the aggressiveness with a sac fly to make it 2-0.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu started off the game a little shaky, as he walked David Peralta and fell behind Nick Ahmed before getting a hard lineout. He rebounded to strike out Goldschmidt before A.J. Pollock laced a two-out single, but Ryu struck out Chris Owings to end the threat.

Ryu got the first out of the second inning, but was pulled from the game with a groin strain after his second pitch to Deven Marrero. Ryu was throwing the ball as well as he has in years and was probably the best Dodger starter so far this season, so it’s really a shame to see an injury creep up on him. To look semi-positively, the injury wasn’t arm-related, so it isn’t related to the shoulder injury that cost him nearly two seasons.

The Dodgers needed a win, so 7+ innings of relief pitching didn’t seem like a great path to take. Pedro Baez came in for Ryu and struck out both of the batters he faced in the second. He hit for himself in the bottom of the inning and remained on the mound in the third to retire the side in order. After five quick outs, Baez fell into some trouble with one out in the fourth. Pollock laced a double to left-center and Owings smashed a single off Max Muncy’s shoulder to put runners on the corners.

Baez walked Ketel Marte to load the bases, but got a strikeout and a pop out to end the threat. Baez gets a lot of crap (rightfully) from Dodger fans, but a 2 2/3 scoreless inning performance saving the Dodgers after an injury should be praised. At least for now.

Another struggling reliever, Daniel Hudson, was tasked with the fifth and sixth innings. He retired all six batters he faced on 24 pitches, including strikeouts of Goldschmidt and Pollock. After Ryu’s injury, Baez and Hudson gave the Dodgers some much-needed length with an afternoon game tomorrow.

Tony Cingrani got the seventh and his velocity looked much better. He struck out the first two batters before allowing a ground-rule double to John Ryan Murphy. Christian Walker pinch hit for the pitcher’s spot, but took a called strike three to end the seventh.

Josh Fields was tasked with the eighth inning. Peralta hit his first pitch to right field for a leadoff double and moved to third on a fly ball. Fields walked Goldschmidt to bring up Pollock. Pollock drilled the first pitch, but Hernandez made a great pick at short to start an inning-ending double play. WAS NEVER WORRIED.

Kenley Jansen had a 2-0 lead to work with in the ninth. His velocity was up above 94 MPH as he got two quick outs, but he walked Daniel Descalso to bring the tying run to the plate. Descalso took second on defensive indifference and scored on a Murphy single to left. Jarrod Dyson pinch ran and stole second without a throw, but he got Alex Avila to fly out to end the game.

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It wasn’t an ideal game, but the bullpen was fantastic tonight. Jansen ran into some struggles despite his velocity being back, but the rest of the bullpen picked up Ryu following his injury.

The Dodgers look to split the series tomorrow with a getaway game before their trip to Mexico. First pitch is scheduled for 12:40 and the game will be broadcast exclusively on Facebook for some reason.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.