The Dodgers destroyed the D-Backs this afternoon, 14-3, which was a surprising result given that the game started off for the Dodgers with another starting pitcher getting injured and whole shit-ton of stranded runners. Thankfully, the bullpen came up big and it’s harder to strand runners when one hits a bunch of doubles and dingers.
Coming off a great start against the Rays for the Dodgers, Bud Norris lasted only one out, two batters, and 13 pitches today. At this point I’d almost rather that be for performance, but Norris unfortunately injured his back.
#Dodgers say Bud Norris left game in first inning because of "back muscle tightness."
— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) July 31, 2016
That could mean not missing a start or it could end his season, who knows?
Anyway, Ross Stripling entered in relief, and he surrendered two runs (as well as Norris’ lead-off walk) in 3.2 innings on three hits and a walk, giving the desperate Dodgers a much-needed 51 pitches.
After that it was all gravy, though, as Louis Coleman, Luis Avilan, Joe Blanton, Pedro Baez, and J.P. Howell pitched five scoreless frames, giving up just two walks. The bullpen is still being taxed harshly and they thankfully continue to come through.
After the Dodgers stranded the bases loaded in the first inning and stranded a lead-off double in the second inning, today’s game seemed like it was going to be much of the same struggle. Fortunately, those struggles evaporated in the fourth inning thanks to help from the D-Backs.
Yasmani Grandal led the fourth inning off with a single, and Yasiel Puig followed with a hard grounder but right at Jake Lamb for a perfect double play ball. Fortunately, Lamb booted it, and after Enrique Hernandez walked, the Dodgers had the bases loaded with nobody out. Chris Taylor then hit a 50-foot single up the left-field line to score Grandal, and Adrian Gonzalez followed by weakly grounding into a double play to score Puig. Fortunately then, Howie Kendrick followed by singling into right to score Enrique for the Dodgers’ third run.
In the fifth frame, the Dodgers got a lead-off double from Justin Turner, but seemed headed to wasting the opportunity yet again with two outs that had JT stationary. Thankfully, Puig cashed in Turner with a fly ball double that he can partially thank Yasmany Tomas for.
Dodgers posted another crooked number in the sixth. Kendrick got hit with a pitch with one down, Corey Seager singled to left, and JT drove in Kendrick with a single of his own to center. With two down and two on, Grandal stepped up a bombed a hanger over the center-field fence to score three.
I was writing the recap for a second and did a double take when it seemed like Toles was no longer black.
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) July 31, 2016
Anyway, Chase Utley followed with a double to left-center to put runners on second and third. With one down, Corey Seager put three runs on the board with one swing when he drilled a no-doubter into the right-field seats.
In the ninth, the Dodgers put more on the board, as back-to-back doubles by Grandal and Puig to lead off the inning led to a run, and then with one down Joc Pederson absolutely bombed a ball halfway up the pavilion in right for two more.
In total, the Dodgers scored 14 runs on three walks, a hit by pitch, and 17 hits, including six doubles and three homers.
With the win the Dodgers are 59-46 overall and 33-20 at home. The Giants won today as well, so their lead in the NL West is still 2 games. In the NL Wild Card race, the Marlins won and the Cardinals lost today, so the Dodgers are up on the Marlins by 2 games for home-field advantage and 3 games on the Cardinals to make the game.
The Dodgers have the day off tomorrow before flying out to Satan Field to play the Rockies at 2:40 PM HST/5:40 PM PST/8:40 PM EST. The pitching matchup will be Brandon McCarthy (2.39 ERA/2.66 FIP/3.46 DRA) against Jon Gray (3.94/3.82/3.24).