Dodgers 8, Phillies 0: A sweep powered by Hill, Freese, and a 7-run 8th inning

An 8-0 victory in the day game conclusion of the series with the Phillies means the Dodgers have swept the second-best team in the National League, have won five in a row, and nine of their last 10 games.

This is good.

——

Rich Hill and Nick Pivetta ended up in a day game pitchers’ duel, which wasn’t as much a surprise entering this game for the former (2.73 ERA) as the latter (7.71 ERA).

Hill cruised through four innings, and the first Phillies runner to reach second happened in the 5th after a single that was advanced on a ground out, but after an intentional walk Hill got a strikeout to escape. In the 6th, an infield single and a sacrifice bunt got another runner to second, but Hill stranded them there as well. Hill gave up a double in the 7th and issued an intentional walk, but escaped that jam with another strikeout.

All told, Hill struck out nine over seven scoreless innings and surrendered just three hits and three walks with two of those free passes being intentional, and he lowered his ERA to 2.25.

On the flip side of things, scoring chances were even rarer for the Dodgers against Pivetta. In the 3rd, Chris Taylor led off with a double but was stranded there. Corey Seager doubled with one out in the 4th and was also stranded there. Pivetta gave up just one single other than that over six shutout, striking out nine and notching his first good (much less dominant) start of the season and dropped his ERA to 6.14.

Thankfully, Pivetta exited after six because David Freese took advantage by hammering his sixth dinger of the year to right for the game’s first run.

That was followed by three walks in a row to load the bases, but the Dodgers were unable to blow the game open there.

Pedro Baez served as the setup man and is definitely their best option at this point, getting a 1-2-3 inning on 10 pitches. Hopefully he doesn’t need to be overworked, but with the way the pen is now it seems like he’ll be needed every game.

The Dodgers then absolutely blew the game open in the 8th with a seven-run inning. It all started with Bryce Harper butchering a Max Muncy liner for a double, which was followed by a Seager walk, and Cody Bellinger just missing a dinger to advance Muncy, putting runners at the corners and drawing the infield in. That actually proved important, as both Alex Verdugo and Freese hit ground-ball singles that probably would’ve been fielded at normal depth to plate two runs and make it 3-0.

Then the floodgates opened as Taylor laid down a safety squeeze that ended up scoring both runners after the ball was thrown into right field. Russell Martin followed with a single to put runners on the corners again, and Enrique Hernandez plated a run with a sacrifice fly.

Joc Pederson then capped the massive rally with his 18th dong of the year, making it 8-0.

That made it safe enough for Joe Kelly time in the 9th.

Shockingly he got a 1-2-3 frame that included two strikeouts.

Boy things really are going well.

The Dodgers are now 41-19, a 111-win pace, and a whole 9 games up on the Rockies in the NL West.

The team now hits the road for the next eight games (six, really), starting in Arizona against the Diamondbacks at 3:40 PM HST/6:40 PM PST/9:40 PM EST. Walker Buehler (RHP/4.03 ERA/3.40 FIP/3.25 DRA) will look to bounce back after having his string of quality performances broken last time out and he’ll face off against Robbie Ray (LHP/3.59 ERA/3.31 FIP/3.93 DRA), who has been in a thorn in the side of Dodgers hitters in recent years (except in the playoffs).

About Chad Moriyama

Chad Moriyama
"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times