After sweeping the Cincinatti Reds, the boys returned to Chavez Ravine and the hopes of another possible sweep over the hapless New York Mets. Well, as Vin Scully loved to remind us, the Dodgers never do anything easy, and while tonight’s 10-6 score looks impressive in print, it was by no means an easy win.
Clayton Kershaw took the mound tonight, and as I noted in my previous article, Mr. Kershaw has been particularly vulnerable to the home run ball this season. He’s never surrendered more than 16 home runs in a season in his career, but he gave up four tonight (two to Jose Reyes), putting him at a career-high 17 homers allowed, and we’re not even at the halfway mark yet.
Despite all that, Mets home runs aren’t the story tonight – Dodgers home runs are. Cody Bellinger launched two home runs tying, and then breaking, the record for fastest man to 20 and 21 home runs in major league history. What can we say about that? The man is on fire now. The only thing missing is him hitting a home run into the stadium lights a la The Natural.
The Dodgers also got home runs from Justin Turner and Chris Taylor. Turner ended the night batting .399 and had 7 total bases. Joc Pederson and Bellinger had 9 total bases each. The offense is running on all cylinders now, and the team has become a real joy to watch in action.
However, the night wasn’t all blue cherries. The Dodgers spotted Kershaw a 7-0 lead after just 2 innings, but the Mets didn’t roll over. Despite recording 10 strike outs, Kershaw kept on serving up home run pitches that the Mets were more than happy to capitalize on. He gave up HRs in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th, allowing the Mets to climb back into the game and he left in the 7th inning with a slim 8-6 lead.
The Dodgers extended their lead to 10-6 in the bottom of the seventh on a Chris Taylor solo home run and a Chase Utley RBI. Things looked good for the boys until Chris Hatcher came in and let the Mets get a taste of coming back once again. The Mets loaded the bases on a single and two walks. There were two outs and Jose “I’ve already hit two home runs tonight” Reyes stepped to the plate as the tying run. The Dodger Stadium crowd groaned and gnashed their teeth as the skipper kept Kenley Jansen in the pen and left Hatcher out there to show us all what he’s got.
Hatcher got Reyes to strike out and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. Then we all got to hold our collective breath once again as Hatcher returned for the ninth. He gave up a single and everyone puckered up. Hatcher then got a fly out and a strike out. One more to go. T.J. Rivera fired of a curving fly ball to right-center field that Chris Taylor ran down and caught on the slide for the final out. Whew!
Dodgers Win 10-6! Four in a row and five in a row at home.
Don’t miss tomorrow night’s ride on the big blue roller coaster!