The Dodgers took game two behind dominant pitching.
The Dodgers scored a run off a lefty. This is newsworthy as they’ve been awful against lefties and demoted a talented right-handed outfielder, forcing them to start a lefty with terrible platoon splits. Despite that, they scored a run!
Adrian Gonzalez got the party started with a leadoff single off Eduardo Rodriguez in the second. Enrique Hernandez followed that up with a single, but after a Josh Reddick lineout and Scott Van Slyke strikeout, A.J. Ellis came up with a key RBI single to score Gonzalez.
Meanwhile, Ross Stripling pitched a lot better than he had any business pitching. He was immediately in trouble in the first inning, but wiggled out of a bases loaded jam. He scattered a few hits, but gave the Dodgers five shutout innings. Obviously, some more length would have been nice, but he kept the Red Sox potent offense off the board and put the Dodgers in a position where one run had them ahead. He finished at 75 pitches, so maybe in an AL park he would have gotten another inning or two. He tossed a 1-2-3 fifth and was scheduled to lead off the fifth, so he was lifted for a pinch hitter. He was mostly doing fine, but he would have faced the heart of the order for the third time in the sixth inning, so pulling him was probably the right call.
Chris Taylor pinch-hit for Stripling and singled, which was followed by a Howie Kendrick walk. Corey Seager cashed in Taylor with an RBI double, his Dodger rookie record 31st double of the season. Keep in mind how good he is when you’re wishing the Dodgers would have traded top prospects for an impact piece.
Gonzalez followed that up with a bloop single to make it 3-0 and chase Rodriguez from the game. The Dodgers having some semblance of offense against a lefty was promising, but the fact that Gonzalez and Seager, two lefties, did damage makes it that much better. Josh Reddick had a chance for his first hit as a Dodger and roped a ball, but David Ortiz flashed some leather and robbed him. Reddick has had some good plate appearances and drilled some pitches, but he just can’t buy a break. He did break his 0-for with a well-deserved single in the eighth, so hopefully that’s the first of many
Grant Dayton was called on to relieve Stripling. Dayton faced seven batters and got two fly outs, four strikeouts and one walk. He struck out 91 batters in 52 innings in the minors this season, so while many want the Dodgers to pay a premium for relief help, if they can find some home grown talent like Dayton, they’ll be much better off.
This game was the polar opposite of last night’s game, and just a reminder that baseball is illogical and we should never try to pretend there’s any rhyme or reason to anything.
The Giants take on Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals tonight, so the Dodgers could get back to one game out in the division.