Dodgers Smash Five Home Runs To Beat Colorado, Move back into First Place

When Pedro Baez giving up a three-run home run to a .213 hitter and blowing a two-run lead in the bottom of the seventh inning is not the primary storyline in the Dodger’s 8-5 win over Colorado in the series opener on Thursday evening at Coors Field, then you know there was a lot going on. There definitely was a lot going on despite Baez’s incompetence. The Dodgers started the game with questionable bullpen depth because closer Kenley Jansen was under the weather (we later learned due to his irregular heartbeat issue) and a couple of other guys were unavailable. This is never a good thing due to the Denver Park eating pitchers alive like a pacman on steroids. We all know firsthand how dastardly Coors Field can be. Thankfully Baez’s bad pitching ended up being just an annoying footnote.

It seemed like the Dodgers almost pushed their luck a bit too far. Things turned out alright because the Dodgers rallied to overcome a two-run deficit with two outs in the top of the eighth inning. The Dodgers would hit five home runs (Joc Pederson, Max Muncy, Cody Bellinger, Chris Taylor, Brian Dozier) scoring two in the seventh and eighth frames. The boys in blue piled on three more in the ninth plating seven runs over the final three innings.

The bullpen may still be frustrating but the rotation continues to be quite solid. Right hander Ross Stripling was activated from the disabled list and was very effective. Strip tossed six innings of one-run ball, allowing just four hits and striking out two. Stripling and the Dodgers were aided by turning three double plays, (two from Stripling) and the good bullpen of Caleb Ferguson, Scott Alexander did the job.

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Dodgers 8 13 0

Rockies  5 10 1

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The Dodgers plated a run in the top of the second inning when Enrique Hernandez doubled, stole third and scored on a Chris Taylor sacrifice fly. Colorado would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth with a Carlos Gonzalez walk and an RBI double from Nolan Arenado. The Dodgers couldn’t get Arenado out. The all-star third baseman was 3 for 4.

Moving along to the top of the seventh. Opposing starter Tyler Anderson was tough limiting the Dodgers to just the one run on four hits across six innings. Anderson struck out six and walked one but the Rockies removed him from the game in the seventh. If you think the Dodger’s bullpen is bad then you haven’t seen the Rockie pen. Colorado’s bullpen is one of the worst in baseball.

It was no surprise when Dave Roberts pinch-hit for Stripling with Max Muncy. Remember him? Surely you do because he hit an opposite field solo home run off of Scott Oberg to put the Dodgers up 3-1. Two batters earlier Joc Pederson pinch-hitting for Hernandez smoked an oppo boppo to break the 1-1 tie. This was the first time in 43 years that the Dodgers got two pinch-hit home runs in the same inning. Or so we were told.

Everything was looking on the up and up for the Dodgers until Pedro Baez was brought in to pitch the bottom of the seventh. The Rockies would score four unanswered runs much to the chagrin of Dodger land. In that inning, Arenado singled. Baez struck out Trevor Story but walked David Dahl. Then Ian Desmond’s single to center and a passed ball advanced the runners to second and third. Colorado catcher Chris Iannetta swatted a home run over the left field wall to put the Rockies ahead 5-3.

We’ll never know the rainbow of Robert’s reasoning for using Baez in such an important spot. But I like you have had enough of Baez’s awful pitching to last a lifetime. Caleb Ferguson who has been very effective in relief had to come in and clean up Baez’s mess. That should tell you something.

The Dodgers rallied in the eighth inning. With two outs Matt Kemp doubled off the wall and Cody Bellinger absolutely murdered a baseball to tie the game at 5-5. That beautiful majestic monster of a blast from Bellinger tied the score and Chris Taylor’s solo shot (off of a dreadful Wade Davis) in the top of the ninth put the Dodgers ahead for good. Brian Dozier would homer later in the inning to give the Dodgers a three-run lead.

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Scott Alexander would pitch an uneventful bottom of the ninth inning to secure the 8-5 Dodger win. With the win the Dodgers (64-52) move into a first place tie with the idle Dbacks. The loss drops the Rockies 3.5 games back. Game two on Friday evening will feature Kenta Maeda versus Jon Gray with first pitch scheduled for 5:40 PM PST.

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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16 thoughts on “Dodgers Smash Five Home Runs To Beat Colorado, Move back into First Place

  1. I always ask myself why Roberts would use Baez in such a close game situation knowing full well the pitcher’s history of giving up runs. I can’t come up with any good answer! It’s like a brain fart.

    Aside from this, I love our bullpen as long as Roberts uses the proven arms and Baez is not one of them. Ferguson is coming along nicely and so is Floro and Alexander. I give Stripling a lot of credit and he looks good, once again. Too bad Baez blew the win for him. Stripling deserved it.

    So good to see those clutch HR’s by Muncy and the men. The bats are coming around slowly. Machado continuing to get on base, but no rbi’s. Turner hitting as usual. Bellinger blasting that HR. Loved it.

    Too bad about Kenley. I have a couple of friends who suffer from arrythmia. It’s not fun and could turn your life topsy turvy. Wish you well, Kenley.

      1. Hey Jimbo

        It is good to see a post from you!

        So far, Dozier has already done more this year, then Forsythe did, in the last couple years.

        Don’t be a stranger.

  2. Talk of sending Maeda to the bullpen and that he and Boras will object because it’ll cost them money. An easy fix to that problem is to simply add some incentives to his contract that will pay him for relief appearances instead of starts. Now if I could just figure out a way to eliminate the Dodgers’ biggest problem, FAZ/Roberts…..

  3. Yeah, I have to admit something isn’t right with Pedro. His K/9 is good but his H/9, WHIP and ERA are all higher than any year in his 5 year career. He needs to be examined. I’d start at the top.

    Squirrels woke up.

  4. Baez should only be pitched in a blowout, either way. He can pitch 2-3 innings in those situations and not give up any runs or any walks. Putting him in with a 2 run lead, that late in the game, is the definition of insanity. He’s like heaven’s gift to Vegas. He gives you enough time to bet against him and he fails most of the time in those situations.

    1. I think upon closer examination you may find some of what you just implied is not exactly true Yueh.

      He’s had a bad second half so far, but overall he has 2 BS and 5 Holds. He’s given up 3 home runs in 37 IP.

      Take a look at his splits, including batting order positions, then examine his game logs. Something is going on with him and it may be as simple as concentration or it may be something else.

      https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.fcgi?id=baezpe01&year=2018&t=p

      His last 6 outings his ERA is over 8 and his OPS against is .938. Gulp. I think he may be a RDL candidate.

    2. Badger

      Your pitcher says it all!

      Like I have been saying, if one of our hitters hits, they all do!

      Once the Rockies took out their starting
      pitcher, our squirrels came alive!

      Of course three of those five HRs, would not be a HR, at another stadium in baseball.

      Cody not only hit a HR with a runner on base, he also got a couple more hits, it looks like Cody might be, heating up.

      And Muncy’s HR was legit too.

      Baez is a mental case, and he needs a good sport’s psychologist.

      I thought the Dodgers were top at looking at innovative ways, to improve the team.

      Please send Baez to a good sport’s psychologist, because us Dodger fans, will need help, if Baez is sent out there again, and again, like every year!

      I am glad we won, but I hope our hitters won’t be trying to jump every pitch out, after last night’s game.

      Because that gives the edge to the pitcher!

  5. Jansen has been declared out indefinitely with irregular heart beat. FAZ not upgrading BP at the break is now an issue. I like Alexander and Floro. Chargois has had his moments. The good thing is that Fields is on his way back. A’s got Rodney to bolster their pen. Dodgers might do something similar. You notice of course that Axford did not even take his wind breaker off. Floro was warming up until Taylor hit his homer, then Alexander got up. Will be interesting to see who is now the closer. Baez should be gone….PERIOD! Everything he throws is straight…….and then crushed.

  6. Hatcher DFA’d by the A’s. What are the chances that ol FAZ takes another shot at Hatch? Delarosa signed by Cubbies…….Darvish to 60 day DL. FAZ looks like a genius for not re-signing the biggest post season el flopo in Dodger history next to Mickey Owens. Knee is buckling big time and hurts like a bastardo when I walk…Guess it is time to visit the Doc……

  7. Of the contenders in the NL West, the Dodgers have the easiest remaining schedule. The winning percentage of their remaining opponents is .492. Both the Rockies and D-Backs face over .500 teams the rest of the way as do the Giants. I know this means nothing, but it actually could come into play in a close race.

  8. There is a good article in the Athletic about Alex Cora, the Red Sox’s manager, that came over from the Astros.

    In the little preview I saw, some of his thoughts not only make sense, they should be used by the Dodgers.

    And the Red Sox do use saber metrics like every team in baseball, but they don’t only use saber metrics, as their bible.

    They use other things that have been in baseball from the start.

    Not only are the Red Sox successful, they are probably more fun to watch too.

  9. Grandmal really can’t catch a ball thrown to him, it really is quite amazing, I’m not talking about pitches either. Last night he just flat out dropped or barely grazed at least two throws to him last night. How in the hell can someone make it to MLB and not be able to play a game of catch [unless you mash like jose conseco of course]

  10. Well, now Kemp has company, Manny. Say what you want but if you want the team to hit, don’t you play the best hitters. I think so. So much for a Dummy!!

    1. Package

      That game yesterday fooled Roberts, because he forgot that some of these guys he has started tonight, didn’t do anything against the Rockies starter, and that will probably happen again tonight, too.

      We have way to many players on this team, that can’t hit good pitching, or a pitcher, having a very good day.

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