After a 4-3 victory tonight, the Dodgers have taken the series over the Pirates, making it four series wins in a row. That also means they’ve won five straight games and nine of their last 10 games. They are the hottest team in baseball and need every bit of that.
Pirates starter Wil Crowe has had a rough go of things in 2021, with ugly peripherals and results to match. He wasn’t great today either, though the Dodgers weren’t able to take full advantage. They worked him for 58 pitches in the first two frames, including a double, single, and two walks, but weren’t able to push anything across.
The lineup finally got something across the plate in the 3rd, with Corey Seager starting things with a double and Cody Bellinger later doing the same to put two in scoring position. AJ Pollock didn’t exactly scorch his hit, but the single was enough to make it 2-0.
The Dodgers started David Price, who retired the first seven batters he faced before giving up a triple in the 3rd, but he worked around that by getting a ground out and a line out.
The 4th was a rather ugly affair by comparison, starting things ominously with a single and a double from Bryan Reynolds to cut the lead to 2-1. After a deep fly out that advanced the runner, a grounder to third should’ve resulted in Reynolds being thrown out at home, but Gavin Lux‘s throw was wild and the game was tied, 2-2. In the 5th, he retired the first two batters, but Lux made another throwing error and Price issued a walk to end his night.
Corey Knebel entered earlier than usual since the batter was Reynolds, and after a nine-pitch battle he got lucky as Reynolds drilled a hanging curve but right at Chris Taylor in right. Knebel was effective in the 6th, though, cruising through a perfect frame.
Meanwhile, Cody Ponce took over for the Pirates in the 5th, giving up a lead-off double to Seager but was seemingly on the verge of stranding him by getting the next two batters. However, an Pollock walk led to Matt Beaty grounding a ball just inside the bag and into right field, driving in two with a double to make it 4-2.
That was about it, honestly. Ponce retired the side in order in the 6th and Chasen Shreve did the same in the 7th. David Bednar struggled some in the 8th, giving up a lead-off double and later hitting a batter, but the Dodgers couldn’t take advantage.
For the Dodgers, the leverage arms continued their run of quality. Phil Bickford got a perfect 7th, including a strikeout, on just eight pitches. Blake Treinen followed in the 8th by doing even better, getting two strikeouts and a groundout on just seven pitches.
Kenley Jansen then entered for the save in the 9th, though one could argue he’s their fourth-best reliever at the moment. Yoshi Tsutsugo started things with a double, his second against Kenley in as many nights, but he rebounded with a strikeout. However, he then issued a walk and gave up a bloop single to Colin Moran to cut the lead to 4-3. Mercifully, he got an infield pop and ground out to end the game.
74-46 on the season and on pace for 100 wins again. However, they remain 4 back of the Giants in the NL West due to the Mets being the Mets.
The Dodgers will go for the sweep at 4:10 PM HT/7:10 PM PT/10:10 PM ET. JT Brubaker (5.13 ERA/5.15 FIP/4.64 xERA) will start for the Pirates, and the Dodgers will go with a pen game that’ll likely feature Mitch White (3.86/4.36/4.01 | 28 IP) as the bulk guy.