Yu Darvish made his second start for the Dodgers on Thursday evening as the boys in blue wrapped up their three game set with the Snakes. Darvish certainly didn’t have his best stuff yet still managed to rack up 10 strikeouts which now gives him 20 punch-outs in just 12 innings.
While Darvish’s command was off, his talent was still on. Darvish tossed five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits and walked two and picked up his second win as a Dodger. Darvish made 106 pitches which was the result of way too many three ball counts. Darvish constantly fell behind in counts and rarely did we see him break out that wicked curveball until the fifth inning.
Of course the moneyball new age guys will tell you that when a pitcher faces the order the third time through the numbers go down. That’s possible because the pitcher is tired, or the opposing club starts to figure out his pitches or release point. Yet I think it should be determined based on the individual pitcher and the situation. Some starting pitchers actually get tougher as the game goes on. It depends.
Dodgers 8 9 0
Dbacks 6 10 2
I still believe whole heartily that a well rested bullpen is better than using 7 middle relievers every night for five innings of baseball. The more pitchers you use in a game, the more likely one or more of them will give up runs. Thems the odds and break. So when Darvish was unable to get past the fifth inning it was almost as if he had contracted the Kenta Maeda/Rich Hill/Brandon McCarthy disease. That’s the inability to pitch past the fifth inning. Hopefully those guys haven’t infected him because the Dodgers had to use a bunch of their middle relievers for four innings again and it nearly cost them the game. The Dodgers still managed to hang on for the 8-6 win.
The Dodger bats came out slugging in the first inning against rookie left hander Anthony Banda, who was making just his third MLB start. The Dodgers scored three runs in the first inning and then plated three more in the fifth and two in the sixth.
The first inning was capped off by Kike Hernandez’s three-run bases clearing double. The Dodgers had loaded the bases on two singles and a walk. The Snakes scored single runs in the third and fourth frames. A Ketel Marte walk, a sacrifice from Banda, and a wild pitch put Marte at third base in the third inning. David Peralta’s ground ball single scored him to make the score 3-1 Dodgers. J.D. Martinez’s solo shot in the next inning cut the lead to 3-2.
Chris Taylor led off the fifth inning with his sixteenth home run of the season. The Dodgers followed with some small ball to score two more in that inning. Corey Seager walked and after a Justin Turner grounder, Cody Bellinger’s little nubber in front of the plate scored Seager on a throwing error from Chris Iannetta. A couple more infield singles from Logan Forsythe and Austin Barnes plated another run for the Dodgers. The Forsythe line drive single was challenged when the call was originally out. The Dodgers won the challenge with Forsythe’s slide into first being quite memorable. Justin Tuner’s two-run double in the top of the sixth gave the Dodgers an 8-2 lead.
Brock Stewart pitched the bottom of the sixth and immediately gave up runs and we all started to get a little annoyed. Daniel Descalso singled and Iannetta homered to cut the lead to 8-4. Stewart started the seventh inning and proceeded to do his best to blow the lead. After a fly out to Peralta, A.J Pollack doubled.
The Dodgers removed Stewart and called in left hander Tony Watson. Dave Roberts wanted to show some confidence in Watson because guess who was up? That’s right, Jake Lamb. The young slugger took Watson deep for a grand slam in the first game and tonight Watson would get a second chance for redemption. Lamb would hit a sharp grounder up the middle that deflected off of Watson’s foot and towards first base. Bellinger fielded the ball and dives on his stomach to tough the bag just in time for the out. Great play!
Watson comes out and Brandon Morrow takes over. He gets Goldschmidt to ground out to end the inning. Morrow starts the eighth and the dbacks continued to claw their way back into the game. A walk, single and stolen base put runners at second and third with none out. Things appeared irritating. Then Iannetta chops one to third and Turner throws home. Martinez is thrown out at the plate and the Dbacks get screwed out of a run. Ah the running on contact play, gotta love it.
Not surprisingly Marte immediately singles into center to score two, and the score is now 8-6 Dodgers. Left hander Tony Cingrani is then called in and he pitches beautifully by whiffing Gregor Blanco and Peralta to get out of the inning. Magnifico!
Kenley Jansen enters in the bottom of the ninth to close the door. He pitches a 1-2-3 inning getting Paul Goldschmidt to ground out to end the game. Kenley records his 30 save of the season. Dodgers win!
The Dodgers have not lost a series in nearly two months. They improve to 81-33 and finish the road trip with a 7-3 record. They’ll come home to face the Padres over the weekend. Rich Hill will face Clayton Richard in the home stand opener on Friday night.