Don’t look now, but after a 5-0 victory over the Phillies tonight, the Dodgers have run off three wins in a row and seem to be playing better of late. They’ll need to maintain that feeling and their health to keep up with the NL West deficit where it’s at.
The Dodgers struck out seven times in the first four innings against Nola, registering just a single. The Phillies got three singles off Max, but he struck out six. Of course, with one out and a runner on first, Scherzer had his game interrupted by a sudden downpour.
He was effective.
Alex Vesia took over in the 4th, notching back-to-back strikeouts. He also struck out two in the 5th, giving up only an infield single.
On the other side, the Dodgers were thrilled with Nola’s exit. Corey Seager welcomed J.D. Hammer to the game by leading off the 5th with a solo shot, his fifth, to make it 1-0. He also gave up a two-out double and an intentional walk to get Vesia to the plate and get out of the inning.
Matt Moore entered in the 6th, immediately being welcomed by Trea Turner with a double. Will Smith cashed him in with a single to right and a chance for Trea to show off the wheels. After Seager followed by yanking a double down the line in right, Joe Girardi emerged from the dugout.
Enyel De Los Santos relieved but didn’t provide much, immediately allowing a two-run single to AJ Pollock to make it 4-0. He also found trouble in the 7th, surrendering a walk and two singles to load the bases before eventually escaping.
Corey Knebel returned from the IL in the 6th, issuing a walk and infield single to start but bouncing back with two strikeouts and looking healthy. The command seemed a bit rusty, but he was pumping fastballs in there 96-97 mph and touched 98, so that’s a good sign.
Justin Bruihl got the final out of the inning and continued in the 7th, issuing a walk but getting two outs including a K. Continuing the pattern, Brusdar Graterol got the final out of the inning with a strikeout of his own.
Damon Jones made his MLB debut in the 8th and didn’t have a great time, giving up a single and then back-to-back walks with one out. That ended his debut, with Mauricio Llovera entering and frustratingly getting a strikeout and infield pop to strand the runners. Thankfully, Max Muncy didn’t waste any time in the 9th getting insurance, hammering his 23rd homer of the year into the second deck in right for a 5-0 lead.
Despite a four-run lead going into the 8th, Dave Roberts turned to Blake Treinen, and he should because every game is truly going to matter at this juncture. He issued a walk in a scoreless inning to advance things forward.
Due to the lead, the Dodgers were able to go with Conner Greene in the 9th, a guy who I had never heard of before but apparently has already made his debut before. He surrendered a single and wild pitch, but got a scoreless frame that included a strikeout to end it.
Cody Bellinger now has a seven-game hitting streak.
The Dodgers improve to 68-45 on the year and keep pace with the Giants in the NL West, remaining 4 games back.