Ross Stripling turned in another quality outing and the Dodger bats did their thing as the boys in blue took the rubber game and series from the Atlanta Braves with a 7-2 thumping at Dodger Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Dodgers have now won 17 of their last 22 and have six series wins in their last seven. The Dodgers are back above .500 again and I am at a loss for words because I still have no idea how they’re winning games right now.
The Dodgers don’t have a pitching staff. The Dodgers don’t have Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers don’t have Kenta Maeda. The Dodgers don’t have Rich Hill. The Dodgers don’t have Hyun-jin Ryu. The Dodgers don’t have Julio Urias. The Dodgers don’t even have Tony Cingrani. All of those guys are currently on the disabled list. The Dodgers only have a half of Alex Wood. The Dodgers may not even have rookie sensation Walker Buehler after he suffered a rib injury after getting hit by a line drive. Right now the Dodger pitching staff consists of Stripling, half of Alex Wood, Buehler (if he doesn’t go on the disabled list), Kenley Jansen and a bunch of castoff journeymen middle relievers. It’s unbelievable. When 8 of the 12 pitchers on your staff are all minor league castoffs and random middle relievers then it’s a wonder how you win any games. Yet the Dodgers are winning series. So how in the world are the Dodgers winning games?
Braves 2 7 0
Dodgers 7 10 0
Thank god Ross Stripling pitched today. He was superb again tossing 6.2 innings allowing just two earned runs on four hits and striking out six. He issued no walks and made 96 pitches before being removed with two outs in the top of the seventh. Although for the life of me I can’t understand why he wasn’t allowed to just get that last out and finish the inning. Stripling’s only blemishes on the day were a pair of solo home runs from Ozzie Albies and Freddie Freeman in the top of the fourth.
The Dodgers had originally taken a 3-0 lead after scoring three runs in the bottom of the third. The red-hot Dodgers bats pummeled opposing starter southpaw Sean Newcomb, who has been one of the better pitchers in the National league this season. In the bottom of the third, Logan Forsythe led off with a solo shot, (his second of the year) that put the Dodgers on the board. Logie Bear had a good game, going 2 for 4 with a home run and an RBI double later in the game.
Then Austin Barnes singled and was sacrificed to second. Chris Taylor reached on an infield single and Max Muncy walked to load the bases. Then consecutive singles from Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernandez knocked in two runs and the Dodgers were up by a 3-0 score. They could have had more but Yasiel Puig and Cody Bellinger both struck out. Newcomb allowed five earned runs on seven hits and six over 5.1 innings of work. In the bottom of the fifth, Muncy bombed one into the right field pavilions to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead.
The Dodgers got two more in the bottom of the sixth. With one out Cody Bellinger doubled and the Braves remove Newcomb. Former Dodger Peter Moylan (yes that Peter Moylan) comes into the game and gives up a ground-rule double to Forsythe that bounces into the seats. Bellinger scores and it is 5-2 Dodgers. I can’t believe Moylan is still pitching.
One-out later Stripling singles, steals second (!) and Taylor walks. Sam Freeman relieves Moylan and forces in a run by walking Muncy. The Dodgers are now leading 6-2. The Dodgers would get one more in the bottom of the seventh when Hernandez hit a home run over the center field wall. The Dodgers are now leading 7-2.
Erik Goeddel pitched a scoreless top of the eighth and then Adam Liberatore finished off the Braves in the top of the ninth to secure the win. Dodgers win it 7-2! The Dodgers still have no idea who’s pitching from day-to-day, but I’ll take two of three from the Braves and all these series wins, I tell you that. The Dodgers are now 33-32 and at the moment are in sole possession of second place in the National League West. The Dodgers are 2.5 back, the Giants are 3 back and Colorado is 3.5 games back. The Dodgers will be idle on Monday and await the Texas Rangers who will come into town for a two-game series beginning on Tuesday night. Not even god himself knows who’s pitching for the Dodgers (Daniel Corcino?) but Bartolo Colon and Cole Hammels will be toeing the mound for Texas.