After being shutdown in the series opener against the Reds, the Dodgers bounced back with an easy win yesterday, and today the offense miraculously managed to put one together against Wade Miley, knocking him out early in a 8-5 victory.
Just as important is Clayton Kershaw continuing to look sharp after coming off the IL.
Kershaw’s return was of some concern as he’s rarely had an arm injury in his career, but he bounced back well in his first start after missing time this year.
That continued this afternoon as he was quite dominant throughout. Kershaw faced just one over the minimum in four of the five innings he threw, and gave up his only run in the 4th after a double, wild pitch, and ground out got the Reds on the board at 6-1.
Other than that, though, he was never really threatened. Kershaw’s velocity ticked up to 90-91 mph and he looked in control of all his pitches: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 8 K, 74 Pitches.
Dominant outing from 22. pic.twitter.com/9xwoxCsgpc— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 19, 2021
The reason he could cruise and the reason the run only made it 6-1 was thanks to the offense, who shockingly lit up old nemesis Miley.
The major damage came in the 2nd and could’ve been worse had Corey Seager‘s single not been erased by him getting picked off. Will Smith immediately followed that with his 25th homer, Chris Taylor singled, and then Gavin Lux continued his tear with his 7th homer to make it 3-0.
The damage continued to roll in during the 3rd, as Albert Pujols drew a walk and Seager drilled his 10th homer for a 5-0 lead.
Later in the inning, with two already down, Taylor doubled and Lux again got a hit, singling up the middle to make it 6-0.
Miley was done after three, and boy did the Reds pen do a number on the lineup. Tony Santillan got the next two, then Justin Wilson, Art Warren, and Amir Garrett all cruised through scoreless innings of their own.
Meanwhile, Tony Gonsolin relieved TJ Friedl, giving up a homer on the first pitch he saw for Friedl’s first hit and first homer. A nice story unfolded from that at least, with Mookie Betts securing the ball for the rookie.
He did get through the 6th and got the 7th as well, but ran into trouble in the 8th. A one-out single from Friedl (again) was followed by a Jonathan India double to make it 6-3, leading to Gonsolin being removed.
Blake Treinen entered and avoided disaster but did give up another run. After a strikeout, Nick Castellanos singled to make it 6-4, before another strikeout ended the frame.
Fortunately, the Dodgers got insurance against Jeff Hoffman in the 9th. Mookie walked, Trea Turner extended his hitting streak with a single, and then Justin Turner grounded a ball to Kyle Farmer, who airmailed it to plate a run. After Max Muncy pinch hit and got hit to load the bases, Seager also walked to force a run in. That’s all they got but it was 8-4.
Kenley Jansen entered in the 9th despite the four-run lead, and after getting a quick out, he gave up a homer to Joey Votto for the final score of 8-5. But he retired the next two to wrap up the game.
The Dodgers improve to 96-54 on the season, and again cut the Giants lead in the NL West to 1.5 games. For now.
A day off to travel to Satan Field in Colorado will lead to a three-game series against the Rockies that starts at 2:40 PM HT/5:40 PM PT/8:40 PM ET. Julio Urias will face Antonio Senzatela in the opener.