Saturday, April 19, 2014

Streaky Dodgers wake up just in time

The Dodgers found themselves down 4-0 before they even had a hit on Saturday night, and it looked like a lifeless night in Dodger Stadium.

Then Andre Ethier turned back the clock, the Diamondbacks couldn't field a grounder, Adrian Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 14, Brian Wilson nearly blew a four-run lead, and Kenley Jansen stuck out Paul Goldschmidt to preserve the 8-6 win.

That, in a nutshell, was how the Dodgers bounced back from their first loss to the DBacks on Friday night.

This was not the cleanest game you'll ever see, as both teams committed two errors, the DBacks handed away a 4-0 lead, and the Dodgers looked like they wanted to hand it right back in the eighth.  Thankfully they didn't, and with the Padres beating the Giants, first place in the NL West belongs to LA once again.

Let's give credit to a couple of guys: Dan Haren and Ethier.  Haren got virtually no help in the third, when Hanley Ramirez dropped an easy throw to second, taking away what could have been a double play to end the inning.  Four runs were put on the board, sure enough.

Ethier got the start against the right-handed Mike Bolsinger, who looked really good early, then watched Ethier smack a three-run shot in the fourth to make it 4-3.

The bottom of the fifth pretty much summed up how lousy the DBacks have been this year.  Three straight singles by Haren, Dee Gordon, and Carl Crawford started the inning, then Martin Prado booted an easy grounder from Ramirez.  Yes, one that should've been a double play.  It was on from there, as Gonzalez had a two-run single, and Matt Kemp a two-run double.

This could've been a game where the Dodgers just rolled over and died.  But, with Haren hanging tough, and Ethier's big swing (plus some shoddy DBacks defense), it turned into a good win.  We'll take it.

Other thoughts from the game:

* Wilson's location certainly isn't as sharp as he's used to, as both tying runs were on base before he got Chris Owings grounding out to end the eighth.  His slider isn't that bad, but is just missing off the corner, and hitters are laying off of it.  With a 10.13 ERA and elbow troubles already this year, it's pretty concerning.

* Good decision by Don Mattingly to sit Yasiel Puig, who's whiffing could use a day off.  It turned out to be a good move to play Ethier and Crawford, who each contributed in the big middle innings.

* You think anyone outside of LA (and fantasy players) realize Haren is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA?  Doubtful.

* Jansen needed a big strikeout to regain some swagger, and he got it by K'ing the mighty Goldschmidt to end the game.  How did he do it?  With an 83 mph slider.  I love it!  Finally something other than just a cutter!  You see, it can work!

* Not playing Justin Turner was also a welcome sight.  Gordon went 2-for-4 with a run in the leadoff spot, and is hitting .375.

* Shout-out to Stealing Home for his Ethier love he showed a few days ago after I referred to him as "overpaid."  He definitely showed some of that good situational hitting in this one!  Now keep it going!

The Dodgers will look to take the three-game set by sending Josh Beckett to the mound on Easter Sunday.  Following that game will be four straight at home against the Phillies.


Stealing Home said...

Thanks for the shout out, brother.
We win again today! Yahoo!

Aaron Dodger said...

You got it man. Always fun to talk baseball with fellow bloggers and fans. Why can't they play the DBacks every game?