Close games, even against the Padres, are at least useful for testing out October bullpen roles, and the Dodgers thrived once again this afternoon by holding down a 1-0 victory.
Clayton Kershaw was undoubtedly the star of the day, going six shutout innings on 90 pitches, allowing just a single, a double, and a walk while striking out seven batters. However, we already knew he would start in the playoffs and we already knew he would be ready for what lies ahead.
The pen is a different matter entirely and they would be tested today. The bats didn’t provide much help, as they managed just four hits and two walks, with a run scoring in the 6th after a Chris Taylor walk was cashed in by a Max Muncy single into the gap (should be a double, probably) to make it 1-0.
That brought on Dustin May in the 7th, testing himself in a back-to-back outing after yesterday’s impressive showing. Well, May acquitted himself once again, getting a 1-2-3 frame on 12 pitches including two strikeouts.
Pedro Baez then got the 8th, issuing a lead-off walk but getting the next three for a nice scoreless outing.
Adam Kolarek then started the 9th to get a lefty but a righty pinch-hit in Wil Myers, which is something they have to avoid in the playoffs. Anyway, he singled and Kenta Maeda entered. Kenta struck out Manny Machado after a battle, though Travis Jankowski stole second with Hunter Renfroe at the plate. Maeda then rebounded by getting a strikeout on another fastball and then induced an infield pop to end it.