Tuesday night marked the third consecutive night that the Dodgers have gotten a quality start from their starter, which included said starter pitching into the seventh inning or later. As I have decried on this blog for literally years that when your starters go deep into games good things happen. You use less relievers, taking strain off the bullpen. The less pitching changes in a game means a higher chance of winning and it means less overall innings on the staff as a whole. Good starting pitching and healthy innings are the name of the game. It’s no surprise to me that when the Dodgers get that, they win. And the Dodgers got just that on Tuesday night as Kenta Maeda provided a quality start in the Dodger’s 6-1 win over the Reds in the second game of this three game series.
Maeda saw some traffic on the bases, but was able to pitch out of trouble. Maeda tossed 6.2 innings allowing one earned run on four hits, walking three and striking out five. The big trouble came in the top of the fourth when the Reds loaded the bases. That was perhaps Cincinnati’s best chance at getting a look at this game, but fortunately Maeda dodged the bullet. Matt Kemp doubled and walks to Tucker Barnhart and Derek Dietrich loaded the bases. But Maeda got Jose Peraza to fly out and opposing pitcher Tyler Mahle to strike out.
Reds 1 4 0
Dodgers 6 13
Speaking of Mahle, he didn’t fare as well as Maeda. The Dodger bats made him pay. Mahle tossed six frames and allowed four earned runs on eleven hits and struck out three. The Dodgers overall scored six runs on thirteen hits and were 4 for 9 with runners in scoring position. The boys in blue scored one run in the bottom of the first, three more in the second and added two in the seventh.
Alex Verdugo’s ground ball single to second base that Dietrich couldn’t handle brought home the first run. The following inning saw Joc Pederson smash his eighth home run of the season with Rocky Gale aboard to put the Dodgers up 3-0. Enrique Hernandez’s RBI single later in the frame extended the lead to 4-0. Verdugo added a two-run double in the seventh inning to cap his 3 for 4 night. Verdugo also drove in three of the six Dodger runs. The offensive attack was well balanced as Corey Seager had three hits and Hernandez and Max Muncy each contributed with two base knocks as well. This was even more impressive considering Cody Bellinger, and Justin Turner were both out of the lineup nursing respective injuries. A.J. Pollack did not play either.
The Dodger bullpen was fine. Three relievers (Scott Alexander, Joe Kelly, and Yimi Garcia) combined to throw two and a third scoreless innings. For Kelly it was specifically pleasing as he threw his first 123 inning of the season. Old friends Yasiel Puig, and Matt Kemp did not factor into this one. Puig was 0 for 4, and Kemp finished with a 1 for 4 night. Joc’s home run means the Dodgers have hit a home run in 31 consecutive home games. One more home run in Wednesday’s series finale ties the major league record. Speaking of which, Wednesday’s game is an afternoon delight with first pitch scheduled for 12:10 PM PST. Sonny Gray will counter Walker Buehler as the Dodgers look for a sweep.