There are moments in a season that define a team. This series against the Colorado Rockies is one of those moments. The Dodgers have gone from a win some, lose some team, to looking like a break away division leader. They took the first two games of the series, and sent Walker Buehler to the mound with orders to finish the job, cement the Dodger’ lead atop the NL West, and further bury Colorado’s hopes.
Buehler and the Dodgers were quickly in trouble in the top of the first. A walk, an error, and a couple of base hits gave the Rockies a quick 2-0 lead.
Matt Kemp got the boys on the board in the bottom of the second with a solo homer that was so big, left fielder Parra didn’t even get out of “ready” position as the ball soared out. That HR gave the Dodgers a franchise-high seven players with 20+ home runs.
Buehler flirted with trouble again in the fourth, but remained in control of the Rockies with 10 Ks after five, but a high pitch count (83; 36 in the first).
He ended his night after six innings with a career-best dozen strike outs.
Brian Dozier, who barely missed hitting one out his first time up, got a hold of another Anderson pitch and bounced it off the CF wall for a double. It scored Enrique Hernandez from first and tied the ballgame at deuces.
Pedro Baez took over for Buehler in the seventh. He got one batter and Doc went to Caleb Ferguson, who finished the inning with a DP.
In the seventh, Max Muncy walked and Yasmani Grandal doubled into the RF corner to drive Muncy to third. And then Puig happened…
Genius manager Roberts pinch hit Puig, and boy, it paid off! The Wild Horse blasted a monstrous 3-run bomb followed up by a mile high bat flip.
The ever-improving Kenley Jansen took over in the ninth and pitched 1,2,3 inning to seal the deal. The Dodgers won 5-2, and took a solid 2 1/2 games lead in the NL West. The Dodgers are finding their 2018 identity, and believe it or not, it’s looking stronger than the 2017 model.
13 thoughts on “Puig Gets Curtain Call, and it’s Curtains for the Rockies”
Great win. I feel great.
The Rockies blogs were all over their manager for choosing to pitch to Puig. I thought pitching to Puig was a bad call too, but if you look at the at bat, the pitch Oberg made was low and off the plate outside, and Puig hit it out. This kid (yes still a kid) is red hot.
The other kid that I’m very impressed with. Buehler. Is this kid a fighter or what? I like out chances with him and Ryu in the postseason. These two do not give in and they don’t gamble on easy outs to (seemingly) weaker hitters. That’s been a major fault, in my humble opinion, of our catchers and our SABRtastic game plans and leads to stupid homers off the likes of Kershaw and Jansen in the worst spots. Ryu and Buehler don’t buy it – they tough it out and don’t give away freebies even to supppsedly poorer hitters.
Big sweep of the Rocks. Every game is huge.
Dodgers sputtered out of the gate, giving up 2 quick unearned runs. Buehler kept his cool, and the rookie proceeded to shut down the Rockies, tallying 12 KO’s in just 6 innings.
Bullpen lights out again, led by Samurai Warrior Kenta Maeda. If he keeps this up, he may never leave the pen. Seems to be filling that roll of “The Bridge” to Jansen. Kenley still not as sharp as I would like to see him.
Only thing that worries me is that DR will not have all these bullets, come playoff time. It will be interesting who will make the playoff roster.
“The Smirk” was no help today, but Puiggy made up for that, real quick. Kemp continues to swing the bat well.
A bit worried abuot JT’s streak of errors. Very uncharacteristic.
Was this a real test of the Rocks, seeing how Story is out, and Aranado is struggling, while playing hurt? Do or die time, so kick ‘um when they’re down.
One game at a time!
Ryu and Buehler is the biggest difference this year, and YF is right, they don’t give in to hitters.
Although I thought Buehler had a little let down, after he got those first two really big outs, in the first inning.
But Buehler has already learned from that, because he never looked back, and continued to dominate.
What Puig did last night, just proved almost everyone’s point, that Puig should have started that game.
The players they replace both Puig and Cody with, when they do this right hand line ups are not able to get hits, when runners are in scoring position, more often then not!
Although Dozier did get a big hit last night, but after Puig hit that one out, that run Dozier hit in was not that big, and what would Puig would have done, with three more at bats?
Oscar your name and email address just came up under my post.
I think you ask the right question.
Are the Rockies really tough competition at this point, and I have sensed since the first game, that the Rockies are not all that, right now.
But we are pretty much ahead in this division, but nothing is for sure yet.
The pitch to Puig was a great pitch, outside corner off the plate, sharp break/rotation, he just hit a great pitch. As for the Dodger management, now is not the time to get cheap, Puig is coming into his own. In the beginning, Puig was immature, but as he ages he is getting more and more mature. The guy has always been the Dominican version of “Bo Jackson”. He has a rifle arm, makes great plays in the outfield, hits tape measure homers. The Dodgers have made bad moves in the past, Adrian Beltre, Paul Konerko, Steve Garvey. Please keep Puig!!
I have about had it with this “Lefty Lineup” thing. More often then not, the theory does not work, and they have lost a lot of games this year because of it.
With this FO, I do not see this philosophy changing any time soon. Puig is a streak hitter, and he should be playing every day, when he is hot. Same holds true with Kemp. This platooning disrupts their mojo.
I was worried that Matt was not going to get a real shot at hitting his 20th this year because DR has played him so sparingly in the last 2 weeks that to me, when he did hit, he looked out of sync. Granted, Pederson went off and hit some homers, but Kemp is hitting RHP a lot better than Joc is. DR said before the game that he was trying to get Kemp going. He has a very funny way of doing that in my mind. In reality, you cannot sit a guy for 5 games giving him nothing but PH chances and expect him to produce when you all of a sudden stick him in the lineup back to back days. To Matts credit, he did get an RBI single on his bobblehead day and then at least get the Dodgers close with his HR last night. On a more somber note, the first 4 hitters in the lineup went 0-15 with a walk. That is not going to cut it. Taylor struck out 3 more times to pad his NL lead and he will undoubtedly lead the NL in that category. The Smirk, as Bluefan calls him, had some really terrible at bats. Not sure at this point that he was worth Yusinel Diaz, who is considered one of the top prospects after the year he had. When Turner walked, Machado immediately, he hit the first pitch, grounded into a double play. He did not make solid contact all night. They have kept hoping that Machado would morph back into the Manny of Baltimore. Obviously, Dodger Stadium has played a role in his lower numbers. But he is hitting 50 points lower, and striking out more. He is hitting .275 at Dodger Stadium with 5 homers. Before he was traded, he had struck out 51 times in 365 at bats. Since he joined the Dodgers he has struck out 49 times in 227 at bats. So he goes from 1 in every 7 at bats, to 1 in every 4.2 AB’s. Over the last 15 days, he is hitting .236 with 2 HR’s and 7 ribbies. Hardly superstar production. 6 homers on the road and 18 ribbies, but since he is hitting .275 at Dodger Stadium and .264 as a Dodger, that means his BA on the road is close to .260. He, as I said in a post the other day, has still not had that signature Dodger moment. And he has 3 days left in the season to do it for the home town crowd. Question, how many think the Dodgers make an effort to sign him in the offseason? Personally, I think they will have some discussions to see what he wants, but I think with Seager coming back, Kershaw having the opportunity to opt out, and a lot of other positions that will need strengthening, that Machado is not all that big a priority. Buehler was a bulldog last night when they needed it the most. I loved Kenta-sans passion when he came into pitch. Caleb ( the Vulture ) swoops in to grab another win. Post script…….Taylor has an outside chance at getting to 20 homers thus setting a Dodger record with 8 guys hitting 20 dingers.
All of those HRs records, won’t mean a thing, if they don’t win it all!
And your right, what would Kemp had did, that entire week?
He has already hit in two important runs, in these last two games.
And everyone in that game against Gray, hit Gray.
This is depth. In the lineup and in the rotation.
Not all depth is equal, that is probably the issue.
25 man roster
Hyun Jin Ryu
I tend to agree with that bunch. I am sure Utley will not be on the roster for the first round. Oscar, there is no way this team is better than the 2017 team. They are peaking at a great time, but I think not having Seager and a true bridge to Jansen that they are not nearly as close to being a champ as last years team was. Too many K’s. Too much reliance on the long ball, defense is worse, and their RISP is lousy. And even if they were to get to the Series, no way they beat Boston….