Dodgers 2, Marlins 3: Giancarlo Stanton Is Kinda Good

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Apr 25, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) reacts after striking out during a MLB game against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 25, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig (66) reacts after striking out during a MLB game against the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Dodgers returned home and dropped their third consecutive series-opener

Ross Stripling turned in a very inefficient start, but he made it work for the most part. Stripling needed 31 pitches to get out of the first and needed 56 to get through three, but kept the Marlins off the board. His 57th pitch was a hanging changeup to Giancarlo Stanton, and let’s just say it wasn’t scoreless after that pitch.

The Dodgers followed suit with their own leadoff homer in the fourth, as Yasiel Puig went oppo and drilled the first pitch Wei-Yin Chen threw in the inning. The Dodgers took the lead two batters later as Trayce Thompson hit his first home run as a Dodger, but the lead was short lived.

For the first time this season, Adrian Gonzalez didn’t start at first for the Dodgers. With Scott Van Slyke on the DL, Yasmani Grandal started at first base with A.J. Ellis behind the plate.

Ellis’ anti-framing cost the Dodgers and Stripling a load of borderline strikes, including one to Stanton in the fifth that would have ended the frame. That missed call came right after Grandal couldn’t make a catch in foul territory that also would have ended the frame. Stanton is the LAST person on the Marlins you want to make extra pitches to. Stripling did, and Stanton laced an RBI double.

Stripling was around 100 pitches after five and was due up in the fifth, but after a long, reliever-heavy series at Coors, manager Dave Roberts left Stripling in to start the sixth. Stripling gave up a leadoff single and a triple to give the Marlins the lead. No, leaving Stripling in in this game was not the same situation as in his first game. There’s a huge difference between a guy making his first start of the season and a guy making his fourth. The Dodgers also needed every out they could get out of Stripling given their long series at Coors. Stripling was getting hit around pretty hard and THAT was a good reason to pull him, not just looking at the number of pitches.

Either way, Stripling was pulled after giving up the lead, and J.P. Howell inherited a runner at third with no outs. He stranded the runner there to keep the Dodgers within one, but the Dodgers offense was kept off the board by the Marlins’ bullpen. It wasn’t for lack of trying, as they got at least one baserunner in every inning but the first. They just couldn’t bring them home.

In good news, the bullpen was excellent for the Dodgers. After Howell stranded the runner at third, Louis Coleman, Adam Liberatore and Joe Blanton combined to throw three perfect innings. However, the offense couldn’t muster anything outside of the two solo homers, and the Dodgers lost another winnable game.

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