The Dodgers finished up an amazing homestand in explosive fashion, demolishing the Rockies 7-0.
Brandon McCarthy looked a lot more like the McCarthy the front office was expecting when they signed him today. He allowed no home runs and pitched six innings, striking out six and walking two. He looked a bit inefficient, especially at first, but settled in nicely after the first two innings. He induced 12 swinging strikes in his 92 pitches, which is still a very high rate, but not quite as ridiculous as his first two starts. The whiff-inducing McCarthy probably requires more study. He isn’t throwing any harder than last year, but it has been impressive regardless.
Things became a little tense in the sixth, with the Dodgers up 2-0. McCarthy walked Rafael Ynoa and gave up a hit-and-run single to left by Charlie Blackmon, putting runners on the corners with nobody out. However, Carlos Gonzalez popped up to short, then Troy Tulowitzki hit into a 1-6-3 double play to end the threat without damage. Whenever a tying or go-ahead run is batting against McCarthy, there’s a bit more tension than usual due to his home run tendencies. Today, however, McCarthy got the job done about as well as what could be asked.
Of course, the Dodgers offense once again put the game out of reach. Today’s onslaught started in the second inning, with doubles by Scott Van Slyke and Joc Pederson. The bats were quiet until the sixth, when they unloaded against the Rockies’ rookie reliever Scott Oberg. Howie Kendrick led off the inning with his second home run of the year. Andre Ethier (now hitting .259/.364/.484 for the year) walked. Van Slyke hit a foul pop that Justin Morneau dropped, then hit a home run later in the plate appearance. Joc Pederson followed up with a home run of his own. A.J. Ellis (two hits today) and Justin Turner (three doubles and a single today) hit doubles to tack on another run.
After seven doubles and three home runs this afternoon, the Dodgers now lead the national league in both categories. Even more surprising: all of today’s offense was without Adrian Gonzalez, who went 0-for-5.
The Dodger bullpen was great again today, though in low leverage situations. Adam Liberatore struck out two batters (both looking) in two scoreless innings of work. Juan Nicasio, one of the weaker spots of the bullpen so far, walked one batter and struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning. What a week for them, too.
The Dodgers won every game of their homestand, scoring at least five runs every time. This win makes seven in a row, and the Dodger record now stands at 9-3. The team will now get a day off (which is good, as it will get extra rest for Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford). On Tuesday, the team will travel to San Francisco to face the struggling Giants. Brett Anderson will face Tim Lincecum at 7:10 PDT.