Joe Davis was blathering on and on about run differential all day during the Dodger’s 12-1 bopping over the Mariners in their series finale at Safeco Field in Seattle. Sure the Dodgers have the best run differential in the National League yet only have the eighth best record in the senior circuit. Before you start jumping up and down celebrating the Dodger’s run differential championship, you should understand why the Dodgers have a middle of the pack record in a very competitive National League playoff race.
Look no further than their record in one-run games. That unreliable turd-like bullpen is a big reason why the Dodgers have a 17-21 record in one-run games. Now take the Mariners as an example. The Mariners have a negative run differential, yet have a five game advantage on the Dodgers. Seattle has a 31-16 record in the close games. If the Dodgers didn’t have such a putrid bullpen they would probably be several games ahead of the rest of the NL West pack.
Forget about run differentials and one-run games for now, the real story should be the fact that the Dodgers actually won a series. Something they haven’t done since July 26-29 in Atlanta. For the record this is just the third series win since the all-star break.
Dodgers 12 17 1
Mariners 1 5 1
The Dodgers did it on Sunday with just two home runs and only five extra base hits. Twelve of their seventeen hits were for singles. The Dodgers scored five runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. Cody Bellinger’s two-run single, and a two-run single from Yasiel Puig got them on the right track early in the game against opposing starter Roenis Elias. The 30-year old left hander allowed five earned runs on seven hits over three innings.
Justin Turner went 4 for 5 with five runs batted in and two runs scored. Turner’s three-run home run in the top of the ninth extended his hitting streak to 13 games in which he’s batting .462 during that stretch. The red-hot Cody Bellinger also had three hits and drove in three runs, and Brian Dozier had three hits. Enrique Hernandez homered in the top of the sixth, his eighteenth of the season. The Dodgers were 9 for 20 with runners in scoring position.
On the pitching side, Clayton Kershaw was fantastic. Kershaw allowed just one earned run on four hits across seven innings while striking out seven. He walked one and made 88 pitches. The Dodger bullpen provided actual relief this time with an eleven run lead, pitching the final two innings without issue.
The Dodgers continued to be aggressive on the base paths as well. The boys in blue swiped five bags today. Chris Taylor stole two, Puig stole two bases and Dozier had a steal as well. The Dodgers have stolen more bases than any other club in the National League over the last month.
Of course when the Dodgers do win, they never gain ground. That’s because when they win, the Dbacks and Rockies win. That happened on Sunday as all three clubs won their respective contests. The Dodgers are still two games back and stuck in third place in the National League West. The Dodgers return home to open a three game series against the red-hot Cardinals. Oddly this is the first time the Dodgers have seen the red birds this season. Left hander Austin Gomber will take the mound for the Cards and the Dodgers will give the ball to Alex Wood. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.