Despite dropping the series against the Cubs on the road, the Dodgers still enter tonight’s game against the Pirates going for another series win and victorious in nine of their last 12.
While the Boys In Blue struggled for most of the game today, they came through late and when it mattered most in a 3-1 victory to make it three wins in a row.
Clayton Kershaw‘s velocity is down, but he looked like his vintage self tonight. He was outstanding over seven innings, allowing just a single run on no walks and just four singles, striking out a whopping eight batters.
Even more importantly than that, the slider depth that we’ve spent years talking about looked better than ever.
And of course the curve was as advertised.
He also did something I never want to see him do, which audition for the defensive line of the USMNT, it seemed.
Unfortunately, there was nothing doing for the Dodgers against Joe Musgrove for the first six innings. He dominated with weak contact, allowing just three singles while cruising through the powerful lineup.
Fortunately, things quickly unraveled for him in the 7th. Max Muncy started things with what should’ve been a double, but the first-base umpire got in the way and took away a base. He had a hell of a day.
Alex Verdugo then got a ground-ball single to right, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. The game found Chris Taylor, who is struggling in a mighty way, but he actually managed to come through by hitting a medium-deep fly and tying the game at one.
Austin Barnes followed with an infield single to short, which put runners on the corners again thanks to Verdugo taking second on the previous sac fly.
A strikeout to make it two outs seemed to set things up perfectly for Clint Hurdle to dig into his pen and at least force Dave Roberts to pinch-hit for Joc Pederson so he wouldn’t get to face a pitcher he has mauled over the years. For whatever reason, Hurdle elected to let Musgrove face Joc, who victimized him again with a first-pitch, two-run triple into the right-center field gap to make it 3-1.
Now protecting a lead, Caleb Ferguson was summoned to get the 8th and a slew of lefties, but he struggled something mighty. He loaded the bases with nobody out, surrendering a single and walking two batters.
That brought in Pedro Baez, who was remarkable. He induced two infield pop-ups and struck out Josh Bell, their best hitter, to escape without any damage in a dominating performance as he left to an ovation.
Kenley Jansen then rebounded from a rough stretch himself and locked things down with a drama-free 1-2-3 frame in the 9th.
An entertaining game for a Saturday night.
The win gets the Dodgers to 18-11 and a stellar 11-4 at home. They’ll go for a sweep of the Pirates tomorrow at 10:10 AM HST/1:10 PM PST/4:10 PM EST with Rich Hill facing Trevor Williams.