Three days after castoff Roberto Hernandez was really, really good, castoff Kevin Correia was… really, really good. This sport is so, so dumb sometimes. I love it. I hate it. Baseball!
You really, truly could not have asked for more from Correia, who went six innings allowed only four hits, and actually struck out five. He threw strikes. He was efficient. He avoided any serious damage, running only into trouble in the fourth inning when Justin Upton singled in Emilio Bonifacio, who had singled and advanced on a bunt. That’s it. Really.
I know, obviously, that the Braves have some big holes in their lineup, didn’t have Andrelton Simmons, lost Tommy La Stella to injury tonight, and has been in the midst of a terrible slump lately. That’s all accurate. It doesn’t matter. Correia got his Dodger career off to a great start tonight, and while you should never let one outing overcome years of evidence that he isn’t any good, you imagine Don Mattingly will want to find him another opportunity. That’s probably not great news for Dan Haren. It is great news for anyone who doesn’t really want to see Haren in Los Angeles in 2015.
So good on Correia, but the offense had to chip in here too, and they had to deal with the very impressive Julio Teheran. In seven of the nine innings, the Dodgers failed to score, and 10 of the 11 hits they got on the day were singles, but it was still good enough. In the sixth, down 1-0, Correia led off with a single — one of his two (!) on the day — followed by a Dee Gordon single, and a Yasiel Puig single, and an Adrian Gonzalez RBI single. Then, after Matt Kemp popped out, Carl Crawford singled to drive in another, and Puig scored on a Justin Turner groundout.
That put them up 3-1 headed into the eighth, and Atlanta helped out by making it really ugly. Puig led off with a walk, and after Gonzalez struck out, Kemp chased Teheran with a ground rule double, the only extra base hit the Dodgers had. James Russell allowed Crawford to drive in a run on a — wait for it — single, and then it got hilarious, thanks to the following sequence:
- wild pitch
- throwing error
- strikeout, but safe on passed ball
6-1 Dodgers, and that was basically it. Brian Wilson and Jamey Wright easily got through scoreless innings, and Carlos Frias let in one in the ninth for the 6-2 final. That really just could not have gone better. The Dodgers are now up by five in the NL West, their biggest lead of the season. I don’t want to say it’s over, but…