Thursday, April 16, 2015

No aces, a banged up outfield... and the Dodgers sweep the Mariners anyway

Sometimes the mark of a good team is how you compete when the chips are down.

The Dodgers came into their three-game Interleague set against the Mariners losers of two of the last three, and did not have Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke on the mound.  They also would have to battle through injuries to two starting outfielders in Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig.  They also found themselves down 4-0 and 3-0 in two straight games.

And you know what?  None of it mattered.  They found ways to stage big comebacks in games one and two, and then turned the tables with a big start of their own to get the sweep.  Who knows where the Mariners will be when the season is over, but they are considered division favorites in the AL West, so it was good to see.

There were a whole bunch of different parts to make this sweep possible, so let's review:

* Howie Kendrick had a game-tying and game-winning RBI in the first two games, proving why he's a clutch bat in the cleanup spot, even without the power.

* Andre Ethier doubled to start the rally in the 10th inning of the first game, hit a solo homer in the second game, and an RBI single in the third game.  Yes, signs of life from Ethier!

* Joe Pederson reached base seven times in the three games with three RBIs.  Plus, he added a fantastic diving catch in center on Wednesday night.

* Adrian Gonzalez continues to rake, collecting a hit in each game, five hits total, and is hitting .528.  He's been simply amazing.

* Alex Guerrero just keeps rolling along, hitting a walk-off single to win the first game, then a pinch-hit RBI single in the next.

* For two straight nights, Yimi Garcia picked up the win with a scoreless inning and two strikeouts.  Fill-in closer?  I wouldn't mind it at all.

Andrew Friedman wanted the Dodgers to be a deeper club this year, and in this series anyway, he certainly got his wish.  There were clutch hits from all over the place, and good pitching at the end of the game to put the club in a position to win.

Wednesday night showed what happened when the Dodgers get a good start by the guy on the mound.  Brett Anderson went five innings giving up two runs (one earned), and struck out three.  The offense put the pressure on right away with three runs in the first, pushed the lead to 5-0 after three, and cruised to a 5-2 victory.  It was especially fitting since it was the Civil Rights Game honoring Jackie Robinson.  It's always fun to win on that night.

The Dodgers will now welcome in the surprising NL West leader, Colorado Rockies.  They're playing great baseball at 7-2, and have given up only 25 runs.  Oh ya, they're 6-0 on the road, so they shouldn't be scared coming into Dodger Stadium for three starting Friday.  Kershaw takes the hill looking to get back to normal.

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