Dodgers 8 Pirates 4: Pirates Leave Everyone On Base

Aug 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) congratulates second baseman Chase Utley (26) after Utley scored during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 13, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez (23) congratulates second baseman Chase Utley (26) after Utley scored during the first inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dodgers made their hits count today as they took game two against the Pirates.

The Dodgers beat the Pirates 8-4. The Pirates left 18 runners on base and have given up 29 hits in two games here in LA.

Dodgers Starter

Brandon McCarthy wasn’t a sure thing to start today’s game earlier this week, as he took extra bullpen sessions to figure out why he was struggling to locate pitches. He had been wild in his last two starts and tried to work through it with extra practice.

McCarthy struggled again with his command in today’s game. He labored through the first inning and didn’t give up a hit, but walked three batters and hit a batter. He had a pair of strikeouts, including one to end the inning with the bases loaded. McCarthy walked in a run but escaped relatively unharmed. In the first inning, quite a few of the balls were borderline strikes. A.J. Ellis is not Yasmani Grandal when it comes to framing, and with Grandal behind the plate maybe McCarthy gets a couple more calls in the inning.

McCarthy came back out for the second and got two quick outs, but struggled again with the top of the order. He gave up a single and a double and then lost command again. This time, he was missing badly and throwing a bunch of non-competitive pitches. He issued another bases loaded walk before being pulled for Josh Fields, who allowed an RBI single before getting out of the inning.

McCarthy’s final line was ugly. 1.2 innings is never a good thing for a starter, nor is five walks. McCarthy walked five batters in his third straight outing, He’s the first Dodger since Kaz Ishii to do so. Before July, McCarthy had never walked five batters in the game in his career. Something’s clearly wrong with him and the Dodgers said he left with hip stiffness. A quick DL stint could do him some good and let him go to the minors and work out his command issues.

Dodgers Offense

Dodgers decided to tee off on Gerrit Cole. They scored a run in the first on a hard-hit/poorly-placed double play ball by Corey Seager.

McCarthy gave up the tie, but the Dodgers bailed him out by scoring in each of the first six innings. Rob Segedin was a late addition to the lineup after Justin Turner was scratched, and he led off the second with an infield single. He took second on a passed ball and scored on a Chase Utley double. 

The Dodgers tied the game in the third with some help from the Pirates. Adrian Gonzalez singled with one out, but was seemingly retired on an inning-ending double play by Joc Pederson. The Dodgers challenged and the double play was overturned as the Pirates’ second baseman caught the ball after taking his foot off the base. Howie Kendrick followed up the challenge with a scorcher to Jung Ho Kang at third, who didn’t field it cleanly and then threw the ball past first to allow Gonzalez to score and tie the game.

Julio Urias worked in long relief today, but really made his presence felt at the plate. Urias led off the fourth with a clean single and was forced out on a Josh Reddick fielders’ choice. Reddick stole second and scored on Seager’s single to center to give the Dodgers the lead.

They added on to the lead in the bottom of the fifth, as Pederson led off with a double and got to third on an error by Gregory Polanco. Kendrick followed that up with a double over Polanco’s head to score Joc. Segedin hit a swinging bunt back to the box to move Kendrick to third, and A.J. Ellis was hit by a pitch. Urias hit for himself and laid down a bunt. Kendrick was called out trying to score, but the Dodgers won another review and Kendrick was called safe. Phil Hughes replaced Cole and got the next two, but the Dodgers had a 6-3 lead.

The Dodger youngsters added on in the sixth, as Seager singled and Pederson hit a dinger. Joc has gone oppo more often than I can remember recently, and he just poked out his bat and hit Hughes’ pitch into the left field bullpen. Howie Kendrick followed it up with a ground rule double

The Dodgers finished with eight runs on 17 hits, which is a bit better than the one run on 12 hits they managed yesterday. Ellis was the only player in the lineup that failed to get a hit, and everyone else had at least two hits. They managed to not draw a walk all game, but that’s sort of a minor complaint.

Dodgers Bullpen

The bullpen was called on for a long day once again. Once again, they were up to the task. Josh Fields gave up an inherited run in the second, but got out of a bases loaded situation. He got two strikeouts in the third and was replaced by Urias, who got the third out with a strikeout. Urias was in a bit of trouble in the fourth and fifth innings, but kept the Pirates from scoring.

Urias got an out, but walked two batters in the sixth and was replaced by Joe Blanton. Blanton walked a batter to load the bases, but got out of the inning unscathed. Blanton almost tossed the games’ first 1-2-3 inning in the seventh, but he allowed a two-out single before retiring the side.

Pedro Baez got the eighth and allowed a very long home run to Kang. Baez is very dinger prone, but I’d rather him get those out of his system with an 8-3 lead than give them up in closer games.

Josh Ravin pitched the ninth and walked a batter, the 10th batter walked by a Dodger. According to Dodgers’ Insider, this is the first time the Dodgers have walked 10 in a game since 2013. They won, so it’s a moot point. Ravin got two outs, but walked another batter and forced Kenley Jansen into the game.

Other Stuff

The Dodgers look to win the series tomorrow with Brett Anderson making his 2016 debut. The Giants and Orioles get underway at 6:05, so an Oriole win would put the Dodgers back in a tie for first.

This is why I formatted this recap differently. This was too important to leave out. Vin Scully is me after my friend’s bachelor party.