Coming off three straight series wins, the Dodgers faced a tough task in a four-game series against the NL East leading Phillies. While things looked exceedingly bleak early after getting buried in a 4-0 hole, the Dodgers bullpen starred and the offense fought back (thanks to a bit of luck), and secured a 5-4 win to open the series.
Phillies starter Vince Velasquez was the story of this game early as he allowed two walks through five no-hit innings. However, the Dodgers broke through in the 6th, as Yasiel Puig started with a single and advanced to second on an error. He later scored on a Joc Pederson double that hit the line in left.
Later, with two down in the frame, Justin Turner plated another with a single to left.
Unfortunately, those two runs only cut the lead in half, because Brock Stewart had a bit of a strugglefest. In four innings, he surrendered four runs (three earned) thanks to five hits and two walks in his 81 pitches. All the damage came in the first two innings, highlighted by a three-run shot by Cesar Hernandez.
Fortunately the bullpen was effective and allowed the Dodgers to get back into the game, with Scott Alexander, Erik Goeddel, and Yimi Garcia getting four scoreless innings, with the latter dealing two of them.
That allowed the Dodgers to get to the 8th still down two runs. Puig started the inning with an infield single and Matt Kemp followed with a pinch-hit double roped into the left-center gap to cut the lead to one.
Enrique Hernandez followed with a … um, single of sorts. He skied a pop-up on the second pitch he saw and Cesar at second just could not find it, eventually letting it drop and then kicking it to allow Kemp to advance to third.
Max Muncy followed with a bit of luck as well, grounding back to the pitcher, who bobbled it and allowed a run to score to tie the game as well as Muncy to reach safely.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) May 29, 2018
After Turner barely avoided grounding into a double play for an out, he advanced to second on a wild pitch with Yasmani Grandal at the plate. Yasmani thankfully came through against the drawn-in infield, grounding a single past short for a 5-4 lead.
Unfortunately they wasted a chance for more when Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor followed with strikeouts. Still, there are worse things than going into the 9th with a lead and Kenley Jansen coming in. Thankfully, Kenley continued his recent run of excellence, though not without some drama, notching a strikeout and getting a routine ground out to start. The drama came when Rhys Hoskins managed to foul off a ball that would’ve hit him into his face, which led to him having to exit the game.
Fortunately, Jansen refocused and struck out the last batter to secure the victory and get the series off on a good note.
The win gets the Dodgers to 25-28 overall, which seems as close to .500 as they’ve been in 50 years or something. The Rockies also won today, which moves the Dodgers into third in the division, but still puts them 3.5 games back in the NL West.
The Dodgers and Phillies do it again tomorrow night at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST, with Kenta Maeda looking to continue his scoreless streak against a tough opponent in Jake Arrieta, who always seems to own the Dodgers.