After last night’s frustrating loss, the Dodgers could have used a laugher. Thankfully, that’s exactly what they got today as they pummeled the Brewers by a score of 11-2.
At first, the Dodgers looked stymied by the 86 mph fastball of Brent Suter, but that changed in the second inning as the Dodgers exploded for five runs. They tacked on another against Suter in the third before he left the game with a forearm injury after making a play on a comebacker. The person most responsible for that early damage was Matt Kemp, who hit his 16th and 17th home runs of the season:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 22, 2018
Manny Machado also contributed to the offensive outburst against Suter, crushing his first double as a Dodger. Justin Turner followed with a double of his own, though it may have proven costly. Turner was removed from the game one inning later with recurring tightness in his groin.
It’s not great that Turner’s first start in more than a week ended so quickly, and it yet again raises the question of why he was not placed on the disabled list last week. At this point, the Dodgers have lost the ability to back-date any disabled list assignment, and if they insist on playing Machado at short, then they’re short on other options to play third (neither Enrique Hernandez nor Chris Taylor have played there much this year or in their careers). After Turner’s exit, Max Muncy moved to third, and immediately made another error. He looks nearly unplayable there at this point.
After Suter’s premature exit, the Dodger offense continued to pile on, scoring another five runs in the fifth against Taylor Williams. By the top of the seventh inning, position player Hernan Perez was on the mound. It provided decent entertainment value, at least:
Machado’s worst plate appearance as a Dodger came against Perez, because of course it did. Embarrassingly, Perez held the Dodgers scoreless over two innings. Catcher Erik Kratz pitched the ninth, and he apparently has a knuckleball. He faced the minimum in his inning, striking out Austin Barnes in the process. The Dodgers scored 11 runs in the first six innings against pitchers, then 0 in the last three against position players pitching. Go figure.
On the other side of the ball, Alex Wood‘s afternoon started in a very unconvincing way. Wood allowed two runs and five of the first six Brewer batters reached base against him, though he bailed himself out with a 1-6-3 double play. Wood’s second inning was also full of trouble, but he escaped the inning with the bases loaded and no further runs scored. He only allowed one other hit over the course of the afternoon.
Wood settled down after that, and made it through six innings with just the two runs allowed, while allowing five hits, three walks, and striking out four. Wood’s velocity has held pretty steady this season, though today his fastball was in the 88-90 range. The Dodgers have six healthy starting pitchers, and Wood could potentially be the odd man out once the Dodgers shift from a six-man rotation down to five. Despite settling down late, this outing did not really inspire a lot of confidence even though his overall 2018 numbers are fine.
After Wood’s departure and with the game basically over, Caleb Ferguson pitched three scoreless innings for the save, continuing to look solid in a long relief role.
I think Manny Machado might not be a true-talent -19 DRS shortstop:
Cody Bellinger‘s contact-oriented swing has a surprising amount of power:
Line drive off the wall, somehow pic.twitter.com/wQf8xRgXTy
— Daniel Brim (@DanielBrim) July 22, 2018
After the series win, the Dodgers will travel to Philadelphia to face the surprising Phillies in a three game Chase Utley retirement tour. Kenta Maeda will face technically-former Dodger Zach Eflin tomorrow afternoon at 4:10 PDT.