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Vote For Pedro! Slow Reliever Preserves Dodger Win And Our Sanity With Heroic Effort

If you think the title of this recap is misleading I’m here to tell you that it’s the truth. I can understand your skepticism. So for the people who did not watch the Dodgers come from behind to defeat the Pirates 3-1 on Saturday night to take the series at Dodger Stadium, allow me to paint the picture for you. Pedro Baez was indeed the hero of the night coming into the game with the bases loaded nobody out in the top of the eighth and the Dodgers clinging to a 3-1 lead. Baez induced two pop ups and a strikeout and the Dodgers escaped the inning without allowing any runs to score.

Before that decisive frame it’s important to note how the Dodgers got there. The first seven plus innings of the game were a pitching duel between Clayton Kershaw and big strapping right hander Joe Musgrove. Both pitchers were very effective early on and the Dodgers were not able to figure out Musgrove until a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh sent Musgrove to the showers.

Even before that, Kershaw was pitching fantastically, but the Dodgers were losing 1-0. The Pirates squeezed across a run in the top of the third. Pablo Reyes singled, and after Cole Tucker struck out and Musgrove sacrificed Reyes to second, Adam Frazier singled past the overshifted Dodger infield into left field to plate Reyes. Kershaw continued to pitch well. He had retired 12 consecutive Pirates until Bryan Reynolds’ two-out double in the top of the seventh. Overall Kershaw allowed just one earned run on four hits across seven innings while striking out eight. He walked none and made 101 pitches.

Pirates   1 5 0

Dodgers 3 7 0




Embed from Getty Images
Embed from Getty Images

Meanwhile the Dodger hitters rallied in the seventh thanks to consecutive singles from Max Muncy and Alex Verdugo and a Chris Taylor sacrifice fly followed to score Muncy and tie the game at 1-1. The Pirates tried to challenge the call at the plate claiming home plate collision rules were violated because Muncy accidentally brushed Francisco Cervelli on the way into home plate. But I mean come on, he barely touched him. Austin Barnes would single and Joc Pederson triples into the gap to score Verdugo and Barnes and put the Dodgers ahead 3-1. Remember that Joc had seen Musgrove when he was pitching for the Astros in the 2017 World Series homering off of him in game 6. As a matter of fact Joc had hit three home runs and drove in six runs against Musgrove previously. Make that eight runs to date.

In the top of the eighth, Caleb Ferguson entered and gave up two walks and a single to load the bases and potentially cause me to break even more of my furniture. Dave Roberts removed him and went to Pedro Baez to get the Dodgers out of the mess. What followed was something of legends. Melky Cabrera the first hitter against Baez popped out to shallow left field. Far too shallow for the runners to go anywhere. Colin Moran popped out to third with the infield fly rule in full effect. Justin Turner tried to get a double play by dropping the ball but the ball is ruled dead and the batter automatically out. It was a nice try. Finally, Baez whiffs Josh Bell for the third out. He pumps his chest and points while walking off the mound.

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Baez’s work may not show up in the box score, rest assured it was vital to the Dodger win tonight. Kenley Jansen would then come in and give the Dodgers a clean top of the ninth to preserve the win. The heroic efforts from Baez (and Co) helps Kershaw grab his first win of the season. The boys in blue go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon. Rich Hill is slated to make his return in the series finale. If you don’t believe in heroes, Pedro Baez should make you one now.

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

18 thoughts on “Vote For Pedro! Slow Reliever Preserves Dodger Win And Our Sanity With Heroic Effort

  1. Wow. Was that Baez on the mound? Where has he been? What a shockingly clutch performance. Kershaw was on a mission, and pitched a great game…. a quality, 7-inning start. Ferguson almost blew it for Clayton, facing three batters, leaving bases loaded, with no outs. Baez took care of business. I was afraid that DR would bring in Kelly. Was Kelly in the Boys Room, when the phone rang in the pen? Maybe Pedro made a statement that he is ready to take Kelly’s spot as setup man for Jansen. Hand the mop to Kelly.

    Offense a bit shaky (3-9 RISP + GIDP), but timely hits were just enough to manufacture three runs. Just enough to get the win for Clayton. Pederson “swaggered” up to the plate, and hit a clutch 2 out, 2-run triple…. got to love it. That walk to the plate was hilarious! Peddie said, “I got this!” Pederson, Muncy, and Verdugo, the offensive keys to victory. Hummm…the three guys that spend lot of time on the bench.

    Let’s see if Hill is ready to start the season. A sweep would be nice.

  2. Someone has to go down today when they activate Hill. I am of a mind that Fergie is going to be the odd man out. With Urias and Chicken Strip now in the pen, Ferguson can go to OKC to work on another pitch and being a starter again. Garcia has pitched better of late, and no way Kelly is sent down, so Fergie is the victim here. Urias and Alexander will be the lefty’s down there. That was the best I have seen Baez pitch in quite a while.

  3. Michael,

    I think it will be Ferguson, as the pitcher on the bubble. He certainly wrote his own one-way ticket to OKC, with his disappointing performance last night.

    Floro has impressed, Garcia is showing improvement. Alexander has had his ups and downs, but has a bit more experience.

    I am anxious to see the starting rotation get in gear, and the bullpen will be stronger with Urias and Stripling added. If Kelly can get his head screwed on straight, can you imagine? Til then, he should be mopping the clubhouse.

    I think the key will be to limit Kenley to only save situations with the bases clear. With Baez gaining confidence and fan support, the need for 4-5 out save will be minimized.

    1. Well said, although I think Ferguson goes to the IL with some interesting injury.

      Bullpen will surely round into form.

      The rotation is getting into gear. Kershaw and Hill back, tons of starting depth.

  4. Makes me wonder if something is wrong with Ferguson. To face three batters, and give up 2 walks and a base hit, I would not be surprised if he was injured. It’s not like he is being overworked. Certainly, IL would just keep his paychecks flowing…. they make Major League minimum when they are called up, right?

  5. Weird statThe Dodgers are 14-7 against right-handed starting pitchers, 4-4 against left-handed starting pitchers. Weirdly, however, their six-game losing streak earlier in April came entirely against right-handed starting pitchers.

    Also shows the disparity between # of RHSP vs. # of LHSP.

  6. Actually Scott, Gaskanley was not all that clean in the ninth inning. The first two batters he faced, he was hitting his spots, where the catcher put his glove Gaskanley hit it thus two outs. Then he suddenly started overthrowing and couldnt come close to hitting his spots, thus a walk and then a charitable out to close the inning. The last batter just happened to miss hitting the pitch by getting under it a little, it could have easily been deposited in the seats. Gaskanley is a huge problem and he is going to continue to surrender HRs, he just doesn’t have command of pitches anymore and that gets him into big trouble. He was fortunate to get the save, it wasn’t because he was dominant.

    1. Great win and a clutch performance by Baez and Joc. However, I am guessing, unless someone already knows, that Dodgers going to SF will face 3 LHP and we ALL know what that means. Don’t think for a minute that Giants were not paying some attention to the recently concluded Cub’s series….

  7. Just love watching Hill pitch.

    Just love hearing Hill say stuff like this: “In my opinion, I’ve been around for a little bit and a part of many rosters, this is probably the best team I’ve ever been around. It’s exciting. I know the fans are excited, and I think we’re starting to hit our stride.”

  8. Dodgers still atop the Athletic power rankings. With a nice call-out that starts:

    Los Angeles Dodgers (19-11)

    While a great many teams are rebuilding, the Dodgers are trying a novel approach: Why not win and bring up the top prospects….

  9. You are a broken record about loving to watch Hill pitch. He joined the club though giving up 2 dingers in his first outing. Hill is what he is and sometimes he really does a great job. But he is not all that fun to watch at least for me. Ferguson did go on the IL with a strained ab.

  10. Absolutely right, Michael. No fun watching two dingers allowed by Hill. Was Urias incredible though? Talk about toughness. Fighting his way out of trouble to earn a win…. a well deserved win. Urias showed his value in the beleaguered pen. With the Dodger starting pitchers often times not making 5 innings or leaving the game losing, he could possibly be one of the first relievers to win 20 games! Wouldn’t that be “fun to watch”!

    Hill was a bit rusty, but also fell victim to sloppy defense. Even still, serving up “go-fer” balls is not a good thing…. your defense cannot defend that.

  11. Easy to be a broken record with this Dodger team.

    Either you see what is real, or you look through rose colored glasses…. whoops, I sound like a broken record again. My bad.

  12. Per Gurnick:
    “Dodgers outfielder Andrew Toles, on the restricted list while dealing with personal issues, has reported to the club’s Camelback Ranch-Glendale facility . .

    Per reality:
    Puig at a negative WAR, with a .219 OBP and 48 OPS+
    Kemp at a negative WAR with a 210 OBP and a 27 OPS+

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