I will never stop using that picture.
The Dodgers got to four wins in a row tonight thanks to Shelby Miller‘s continued struggles and Ross Stripling turning in a scary but gutty performance. After all the early fireworks, the Diamondbacks fell to the Dodgers, 5-2, as the game quieted down significantly once the bullpens got involved.
Most important was this ballgirl being a champ.
Ross Stripling turned in a surprisingly effective and efficient start tonight, going five innings, striking out five, and throwing just 66 pitches. Stripling allowed two runs on just three hits, but I expected a lot worse because he was sitting 88-90 mph with his fastball, which was definitely down from his usual 90-92 mph.
It didn’t help things when A.J. Pollock hit about an 800-foot homer on an 88 mph fastball.
Extremely surprised this got blasted. pic.twitter.com/mkge26D3Pw
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) September 7, 2016
Somehow, though, he generally managed to avoid major damage despite the velocity drop. Of course, my question is how much longer he should remain in the rotation, because I don’t think him pitching in that range is sustainable. Perhaps with the return of Clayton Kershaw and Scott Kazmir, it’s Stripling who could be shutdown instead of moving Jose De Leon to the bullpen.
While the Dodgers flashed the power yesterday, today they greeted opposing starter Shelby Miller by spraying line drives all over the park. The offense got eight singles and three doubles off Miller in his 4.1 innings of work, getting five runs across the plate, which honestly seemed a bit light. The runs came on a Justin Turner single in the first, a Ross Stripling single in the second, and a Yasmani Grandal ground out, a Josh Reddick single, and an Andrew Toles single in the third.
It’s a good thing they did, because the Dodgers got almost absolutely nothing against the D-Backs bullpen. In 4.2 innings after Miller exited, the Dodgers got no hits and drew just two walks the rest of the night.
Thankfully then, the Dodgers bullpen was equally good.
Josh Fields entered in the sixth and got a perfect inning, presumably in the game because it was the third time through the D-Backs order and Stripling didn’t look 100% either. Then the human rain delay Pedro Baez made his return, taking about an hour to complete a scoreless seventh inning in which he only allowed one hit. It’s amazing how much he slows the game down, really.
Joe Blanton then got the eighth inning, walking one but notching two strikeouts in his scoreless frame. Kenley Jansen finished the game off, looking as dominant as usual, striking out two in his perfect inning for the save.
Victorious, the Dodgers improve to 78-60 overall and 46-27 at Chavez Ravine. Awesome. In the NL West race, the Giants beat the Rockies late, which means the divisional lead for the Dodgers remains at 4 games. Meh.
The series against the Diamondbacks finishes up tomorrow night at 4:10 PM HST/7:10 PM PST/10:10 PM EST. The good guys will recall rookie Brock Stewart (7.94 ERA/6.47 FIP/4.10 DRA) and send him to the hill against Robbie Ray (4.46 ERA/3.54 FIP/2.55 DRA), who is a quality lefty starter and thus disastrous for the Dodgers.