Dodgers Finally Reach the .500 Mark With 5-0 Shutout Over Bucs

There was a 53-minute rain delay that pushed the start of the Dodgers/Pirates series opener back about an hour. When the game got underway the Dodgers certainly rained on the Pittsburgh faithful with a commanding 5-0 victory. The Dodgers have now won 14 of their last 18 games and more importantly have finally reached the .500 mark. If the Dodgers win tomorrow they will actually be a winning baseball club. Technically speaking of course.

Ross Stripling continued his masterful pitching with five shutout innings. Stripling was in complete control but unfortunately his pitch count was rung up to 89 pitches over his five dominant frames. Chicken strip allowed just four hits and struck out seven to pick up his fourth win of the season. His ERA is now at 1.52. The Dodgers were able to jump all over opposing starter Joe Musgrove. If you remember the Dodgers last saw him in the World Series when he was with the Houston Astros. Joc Pederson slugged two home runs against him in the fall classic and greeted him again with another home run in tonight’s contest. The Dodgers hit three home runs against the Pittsburgh staff, two against Musgrove.

Dodgers 5 7 1

Pirates    0 7 1

WP-Stripling-4-1

LP-Musgrove-2-1

HR-Pederson-4-Puig-7-Bellinger-9

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The Dodgers scored two runs in the top of the second and one in the third and fourth innings respectively. In the top of the second, Matt Kemp singled and Joc blasted a two-run home run to put the Dodgers ahead 2-0. Some poor Pirate’s defense in the top of the third led to another Dodger run. Chris Taylor and Max Muncy both singled and then advanced to second and third on an errant pick-off throw. Kemp’s sacrifice fly to left scored Taylor to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Yasiel Puig crushed his seventh home run of the season to put the Dodgers up by a 4-0 score. Cody Bellinger bashed one over the center field wall and into the shrubbery in the top of the sixth. For Bellinger that’s his ninth home run of the season and the Dodgers were up by 5-0. Manager Dave Roberts was super excited about Bellinger’s home run. Anything to get the kid going works for me. Maybe a little good old fashion enthusiasm can help him.

(Injury noteJustin Turner was not in the lineup today after experiencing some soreness in his left wrist. The Dodgers stated that he’s ok and is expected to be back in the lineup on Wednesday. Muncy took over at third base today and Bellinger was back at his natural first base position.)

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The Dodger bullpen took things the rest of the way. In case you didn’t know, they’ve been pitching quite well over this recent hot stretch. Dodger relievers Pedro Baez, Scott Alexander, Josh Fields and Daniel Hudson combined to limit the Pirates to just three hits and a walk over the final four frames.

The Dodgers are now 30-30 and currently sit 1.5 games behind in the National League West. If the Giants beat the Dbacks the Dodgers would be one game back. Oddly the Pirates also have the same record as the Dodgers. They remain 6.5 games behind Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Dodgers and Pirates will go at it again on Wednesday evening. Rookie Caleb Ferguson is slated to make his MLB debut for the Dodgers as Pittsburgh will counter with right hander Trevor Williams.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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43 thoughts on “Dodgers Finally Reach the .500 Mark With 5-0 Shutout Over Bucs

  1. High fives all around! 5-0 win to get back to .500!

    I was hoping Stripling would more than 5 innings, since we have a rookie going tomorrow, but he had just escaped a based loaded jam in the 5th so it was probably for the best that he was pulled.

    Let’s see what Ferguson’s got.

  2. Best news today, for me, was Rich Hill coming out and saying he’s ok pitching out of the bullpen.

    I’ve said many times last year we need at least 2 long relievers and Hill has always been a good candidate for me in that role. 2 innings of stress on his hand, instead of 4-5 innings, should lead to less blisters and better velocity on his rising fastball. I think he’s going to retire anyways after his current contract and be a great coach. I think it would be a great thing to keep Stripling in the rotation until he cools off, and he will be the second long reliever once Ryu comes back.

    People forgot that before Ryu went on the DL, he was the one holding us above water. Our multiple 4th and 5th starters have done a great job keeping us in the race.

    1. YF

      Your right about Hill, because not only will he take Stripling’s place as our long reliever this might be his answer to avoiding blisters, throughout the season.

      Ryu was pitching better then even Kershaw before he went out.

    2. If Stripling continues to pitch like he has been, do you think the Dodgers can afford to send him back to the bullpen? Not a chance.

      Hill in the bullpen is fine with me. Stewart can be long man #2 to see if he can be effective.

      I see Ferguson slated as the starter tomorrow. But, he is not listed on the 40 man roster.

  3. Agree, YF, on all points.

    Just wanted to jump in and leave a thought on an early
    trade by FO.

    Andrew Heaney for Howie K. I liked Howie then, and still do.
    But I thought he was not worth the possibilities of that young
    southpaw.
    Remains to be seen if Heaney can consistently author games
    like yesterday’s, but if he does, it was a poor trade. Consistent
    with the FO’s track record on that front….almost as bad as their
    work in Havana:-).

    1. Yeah that was a bad one and Friedman said a few months ago he has regretted that trade. (And quite a few bloggers here hated that trade from the get go, mainly because we had such a weak rotation in those days, and we still have a brittle rotation ….)

    2. Yeah, the HEaney deal sucked.

      Every front office is going to have some duds. If anyone cares, I like the win-win trades best.

  4. Dodgers starters currently 6th in ERA, 11th in BAA, 23rd in IP. Relievers are 15th, 13th and 4th respectively. None of those numbers should be surprising to anybody. If the bullpen doesn’t impress going forward, neither will the Dodgers. The West still looks very winnable to me.

    Bartolo Colon anyone?

  5. It is definitely nice to have some young pitchers, pitching in our rotation now.

    Stripling having to be a reliever before he got into the pitching rotation, has made him even better, in those type of situations, like he got out of last night.

    He pitched another good game, and his era is still under 2.

    Those band aid starters the front office signed previously, was the biggest waste of money and hopefully they have learned, that sometimes you pay, for what you get.

    And I think eventually these team will go back to having horses in the pitching rotation, at least the teams that go to the post season, every year.

    Because that is still the best way to have balance between the starting rotation, and the bullpen.

    Like YF has said, almost every team’s bullpens are tired already from over use.

    And if you look at the better teams, they do have pretty good starting pitchers in their rotation still, like the Astros, the Nats, and the Yankees, as well, as Cleveland.

  6. Heaney is 10-11 as an Angel over the last 4 seasons. He is currently 3-4 with a ERA of 3.12 in 10 starts. He is averaging a little under a strikeout and inning and has walked 19. He has given up 4 HR’s. To me his biggest weakness is his fragility. He has been on the DL every year he has been with the Angels and all of his injury’s have been related to his left arm. Elbow, Flexor muscle, to me, not a good sign. It was not a great trade, but every year we would be waiting on an injury. He has a large upside, but I for one am not too keen on the injury history. A younger Rich Hill…

      1. There is that P word again Bluto. Potential my friend means nothing unless it translates to success in the major leagues. I can give you a list of players longer than both of my arms who had potential. We got production from Kendrick for most of his time as a Dodger. We did not get much in return when he was traded to the Phillies, Ruf and Sweeney, but they got 2 solid years out of the guy. Heaney on the other hand spent most of 2015 on the DL.

  7. FAZ at it again, they put Conlon on waivers and he was re-claimed by the Mets as the Dodgers cleared a roster spot for Ferguson, who by the way is wearing Ethier’s #16.

  8. hallelujah! Baez finally sent down to AAA and Ferguson called up in his place…..well they could have sent Hudson out too and I would also be happy. Muncy back on 1st, Bellinger in CF, but hitting 5th..I would hit him lower in the order..

  9. Last bobble head this year will be Matt Kemp. It was announced yesterday. Matt has been featured in a Dodger bobble head before, I have one, and they also used to sell what they call a stadium version, I have that too. He also had a small statue type figure that was given out. I also have that. But I will definitely get the new one after it is released. Vindication for a player who was not supposed to even be on the roster when spring training started. Matt has been nothing short of an outstanding player and upstanding citizen since rejoining the team. I give him credit for re-inventing himself and rejuvenating his career. Well done Matt Kemp!!!

      1. Badger
        Sorry, Dummy gets no credit for Matt Kemp’s performance. He does not finish any more than 49% of games started but we don’t know what he would do if he stayed in the whole time. You people are obsessed with giving the Dodger Management credit for everything good that happens to the team but no credit for when they ass up. Damn!

    1. Your right Michael, and he has the highest War on this team too.

      Because he is playing more then adequate defense this year, like we all said he would.

      Ferguson is wearing 64 today, because his number in the minors was 22.

      Kemp acted like he did, because he was merely hurt when he was traded away.

      He had finally got healthy, and he had one of the best offensive numbers in the National League, in the second half of the year before he was traded.

        1. Michael

          Maybe he was 22 in AAA, this year.

          I think he made two starts there.

          That is what they said on the pregame show.

      1. Since May 25, Kemp is slashing .462/.465/.949. That’s a 1.414 OPS. In those 12 games, he has hits in all 10 starts. I mean…

    1. Badger

      I thought he looked like Kershaw too.

      I would give him another start.

      You could tell he had late life on his fastball, because the hitters were behind on his fastball, even though his fastball was only at 92.

    2. Needs more than 2 pitches (FB/Curve) heard he has a change, but evidently didn’t throw a single one tonight.

      Love this recap of the Dodgers draft:
      MLB draft is over. To recap the 3rd day — the Dodgers took a catcher who broke both hands this year, pitchers who had Tommy John surgery and Dave Roberts’ godson.

        1. Not sure who told you that, Package, but they lied.

          Roberts’ godson is Jordan Myrow, a LF from San Jacinto College (Tx.)

          1. Bluto
            My mistake, I stand corrected, I picked up the information incorrectly but they still selected Dummys God Son.

          2. It’s of minimal import, Package.

            As for nepotism, they did it. They’re not alone, I think it’s a staple of the draft. From Piazza to a relative of Logan White last year.

        2. All teams do it. The Dodgers drafted Wallach’s kid and have done so with other players. They drafted Mattingly’s kid who was also a first baseman. The Astros drafted Correa and Bregman’s brothers. Happens all the time. Mr. Marlin’s kid was even drafted….you know, the guy who runs around with the huge fish head on during Marlin games…..I would expect the Phillie Phanatic to have his kid drafted if he has one!

  10. RIP Hall of famer Red Shoendienst. Died today at the age of 95. I saw Red play at the end of his career with the Braves. He managed the Cardinals from 1965 to 1976.

    1. Kemp’s OPS is at 985 now.

      And we are three for four, when runners are in scoring position tonight.

      Two of those three hits are from Kemp, along with the five runs Kemp has hit in, and of course, Cody knocked in the other two runs.

  11. Weird game.

    Ferguson looked ok to me. He got himself in trouble right away, hitting the leadoff hitter on an 0-2 count. 3 of his 5 outs were strikeouts. Only threw 57 pitches, 32 were strikes. If it’s me I leave him in there. Go out, calm him down, remind him of the strikeouts, then tell him he’s in for 75 pitches so throw strikes and have fun kid.

    What I don’t do is bring Hudson in. Stewart is the long man, so line him up and tell him to go long.

    1. No one ever went out to calm the kid down, not once…I have had this beef with Dodger catchers and the coaching staff for a few years now…..

  12. Early game tomorrow. 9:35 in the morning in LA. They drop below .500 again, and the kid Santana is starting tomorrow. Lets hope he is better this time out and gives them at least 5 innings. Looks like Cingrani is hurt again. Will be nigh on impossible to get someone there in time for tomorrows game, best bet is they recall Chargois, or Venditte. Golden State beats Cleveland again! Now up 3-0. Cavaliers and James are toast.

    1. 9 am? Why?

      Bullpen has to be weary. 3 of the guys who pitched today pitched yesterday. Throwing really green rookies back to back is risky. Kiké may pitch tomorrow.

      1. Actually it is a 9:35 game in LA. That’s a 12:35 game in the steel city. Get away day and the Dodgers have to fly all the way across the country and they play Friday. Given the time difference they are going to have a really long day. And Cingrani is not going to be available. He hurt his shoulder, not good. Liberatore will probably be recalled Friday, or maybe Venditte.

  13. Kemp hitting .353. The last time a Dodger finished the season with that kind of BA, 1962 when Tommy Davis won the first of his two consecutive and to this point the only batting titles in LA Dodger history.

    1. Just checked the splits for that year. First half – exactly .353.

      Will Kemp hit .350 for the first half of this year? Hope so. Highly unlikely.

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