The Dodgers had the day off yesterday, so they sat in second place, unable to help themselves. They returned tonight to open a weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now they would be in control of their own destiny. Would anything change?
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Ross Stripling was in trouble quickly. The first two Bucs got on, and Andrew McCutchen recorded the third straight hit for the first RBI of the night. 1-0
2-0 after a high bouncer to Corey Seager.
Another bouncer made it 3-0 before the seats were warm.
Nothing really hard hit. It was little grounders packing big trouble.
2nd inning Bucs 3-0
After a Joc Pederson double, the Bucs could have walked Howie Kendrick. After all, Ross Stripling was on deck. They chose to pitch to Howie. He stroked a double to score Pederson, who came in on a close play at the plate. 1-3
3rd inning Bucs 3-1
McCutchen hit a solo homer to reclaim the three-run lead. 4-1
4th inning Bucs 4-1
Pederson and Kendrick were on the corners with two out. Stripling didn’t help himself and struck out to end the threat.
5th inning Bucs 4-1
Josh Reddick saved a run by making a running catch at the RF line just inside the foul pole. Looked like a sure stolen home run.
7th inning Bucs 4-1
Stripling stayed in to be the first Dodgers’ starting pitcher to begin the seventh inning since Eisenhower was president. To underscore and repay his manager’s faith in him, Stripling immediately gave up another solo homer. 5-1
The Dodgers slept walked through the next two innings. Many of us at home just slept.
9th inning Pirates 5-1
The Dodgers’ last chance train was at the station.
Howie Kendrick got his third hit of the night.
Chris Taylor got a base hit and sent Kendrick to third. The Dodgers left him there.
Dodgers lose 5-1
Ross Stripling was the victim of some bad luck in that 3-run first inning. The Pirates weren’t hammering the ball, and two hits went right into Seager’s glove. On one he double-clutched, so the runner was safe. On the other, he had no easy play, and again, everyone was safe.
Both hits were semi-harmless bouncers right to the shortstop. There were no errors, but no one was out, and both plays resulted in runs.
The Dodgers had their chances. They got 9 hits off the Pirates’ starter, but couldn’t string together enough for a legit rally. Even when they managed to get a runner to third, there was never a feeling like they were going to score that run and tack more on. There was just no spark to the offense tonight. Having a great, big hole in the clean-up spot didn’t help things. It never will.
Bright spot: Howie Kendrick had three hits.
Ross Stripling (L 3-4) went 7 innings with 6 hits, 5 runs, 2 HRs, 0 walks, 4 Ks. ERA 4.07
Team with RISP: 2 for 8 But we knew that.