After a frustrating game that looked like the Dodgers were on the verge of having a disastrous one-run loss, they rebounded late against the Pirates to take it 2-1.
That’s four wins in a row and eight of the last nine.
Today’s game was less a pen day and more of an opener ahead of a rookie’s MLB debut. Justin Bruihl got the start for the game, giving up a single but also getting two ground outs and a fly out for a scoreless frame to start.
The bulk guy was prospect Andre Jackson, making his MLB debut. He didn’t exactly have everything working, but he showed flashes of why the Dodgers like him so much, showcasing a double-plus change and riding fastball along with a cutter/slider that he couldn’t locate today.
Giving up a walk and a single in the 2nd and then balking both runners up a base, he worked around it with back-to-back strikeouts. In the 3rd he walked a batter and gave up a single as well, but Billy McKinney made a great throw that allowed him to work out of that trouble.
He finally got a clean inning in the 4th, but walked two in the 5th and had to work out of trouble yet again to end his night. Overall, he didn’t quite have his best, so it was impressive how he remained calm and worked through it anyway.
A memorable MLB debut for @DreDayXIII. pic.twitter.com/4e97apdqK1— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 17, 2021
On the other side of things, Steven Brault was carving for the Pirates. He faced the minimum through three innings, with a single erased thanks to a double play, and then gave up just a walk in the 4th and a single in the 5th.
Things hit a rocky patch in the 6th, as he got lucky with a Cody Bellinger lineout to start, then gave up a double to Trea Turner and hit Max Muncy. Brault got behind Albert Pujols with three balls, but got absolutely bailed out on ball four with a pop up.
That was the end of his night, as Nick Mears relieved him and promptly walked Justin Turner on four pitches. But AJ Pollock continued his sudden slump with a ground out to end the rally.
In relief of Jackson, Alex Vesia continued to emerge as a relief ace, getting a clean 11-pitch frame in the 6th that included a strikeout.
The 7th with Brusdar Graterol was unfortunately a mess by contrast, and mostly not due to his fault. He did hit the lead-off batter, but then induced a grounder that Turner probably should’ve gloved but couldn’t for an infield single. Then disaster struck as Bellinger fielded a sac bunt from Wilmer Difo and threw it into right for an error to make it 1-0, though it did look like he was running inside the baseline.
Brusdar then got a lineout to left that didn’t score a run thanks to poor baserunning, and followed with a strikeout. Blake Treinen then entered and got out of the jam with one pitch for a groundout.
Anthony Banda took over in the 7th looking to make the Dodgers miserable, instead giving up a McKinney’s first homer as a Dodger (9th in 2021) to tie the game at 1-1.
Treinen continued on in the 8th, absolutely cruising through the frame on seven pitches, including two strikeouts.
The Pirates went with Chasen Shreve in the 8th, and this time it was legitimate MVP candidate (as Dustin mentioned) Muncy absolutely bombing one to deep right to make it 2-1. It was his 26th of the year.
That left Kenley Jansen in to close things out, and after a three-pitch strikeout, he then gave up an 0-2 double the opposite way to old friend Yoshi Tsutsugo. Fortunately, he rebounded with back-to-back ground outs to first to end it.
The Dodgers improve to 73-46 and keep pace with the Giants to remain 4 back in the NL West.
The series continues tomorrow at 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET with David Price (3.60 ERA/4.16 FIP/3.96 xERA) taking the mound against Wil Crowe (5.27/5.87/5.48).