Bud Norris started the homestand off right with a brilliant performance last night. This game brought Scott Kazmir to the mound for the Dodgers. At the beginning of the season, Kazmir was an iffy pitcher, who tended to either be very good or pretty bad. He’s thrown considerably better in his last couple of starts, so let’s see if that positive trend continued.
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After singles by Corey Seager and Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez came through with an RBI base hit. 1-0
Yasiel Puig made it four singles (and another RBI) in a row. 2-0
2nd inning. 2-0
Justin Turner doubled to left field. Adrian Gonzalez walked.
Trayce Thompson came up with two out and hit a double to left center field. Both runners scored, making it 4-0.
6th inning Dodgers 4-0
10 strikeouts for Scott Kazmir after six. Wow!
7th inning Dodgers 4-0
Kazmir out. Casey Fien in. Job done.
After going 0 for 3, Howie Kendrick got his first hit of the night with a double into the left-field corner.
With Kendrick, Seager, and Turner loading the bases, Adrian Gonzalez came up.
Sac fly RBI. The throw home hit Kendrick as he crossed the plate, so the runners advanced an extra base. 5-0
A wild pitch brought Seager home and advanced Turner to third. 6-0
8th inning Dodgers 6-0
J.P. Howell in. (Gulp!)
Howell got two out, but he gave up a single, and was clearly struggling to find the strike zone on his final batter. He caught a lucky break when the batter was called out on strikes on a check swing. Whew.
9th inning Dodgers 6-0
Chris Hatcher in.
With a six run lead, pitching Hatcher wasn’t exactly playing with fire, but still. (<– I wasn’t even finished writing this note, when Hatcher served one up)
Yup. First batter – home run. There went the shut out.
Next batter, a walk.
Kenley Jansen got up in the bullpen, and the phones started ringing at other GM’s offices, trying to see if the Dodgers could get a bag of apples for this bum.
He finally got the job done on a couple of “Let’s all go home” strike three calls from the umpire.
Dodgers Win! 6-1
As I mentioned in the preamble, Scott Kazmir has steadily been improving as a starter. Tonight was one of his best outings of the season. He pitched six shutout innings and struck out ten. Bravo!
Last night Bud Norris went six scoreless as well, with eight strikeouts. Both pitchers combined to give the Dodgers a solid start to the homestand. That was exactly what the team needed, after the bad news about Kershaw.
In other good news, the Dodgers bats remained hot. They put together four straight singles in the first inning, and were leading 4-0 at the end of the second. They didn’t stop after that, as they scored two more in the seventh. On top of all that, Corey Seager kept his hitting streak alive. At 15 games, it’s the longest hitting streak in the majors!
Gonzo watch: In his last six PA with RISP, AGone has collected RBIs in five of them, and a walk. Mas bravo!
Tomorrow Brandon McCarthy goes to the hill for the Dodgers. I know he hasn’t pitched in forever, but I think he would go a long way toward bonding with his teammates with some payback for Yasiel Puig before the Rockies leave town.
Scott Kazmir (W 7-3) went 6 innings with 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 10 K’s ERA 4.37
Doubles: Turner, Thompson, Kendrick
Team with RISP: 4 for 14
Bonus Video: From tonight’s first pitch, some of my all-time favorite Dodgers