Dodgers 5 Diamondbacks 2: Shelled Miller

Sep 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling (68) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a MLB game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 6, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling (68) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during a MLB game at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Dodgers took game two with another solid offensive performance and another very good pitching performance.

The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 5-2. They didn’t rely on the longball today, but they were still able to knock around the Diamondback starter as they won their 78th game of the season.

Dodgers Starter

Ross Stripling threw a full count fastball right down the middle of the plate to A.J. Pollock in the first inning. After half an inning, the Dodgers were down 1-0, as Pollock hit that baseball halfway up the left field bleachers.

The Dodgers offense had left Stripling out to dry of late. They hadn’t scored in Stripling’s last two starts, so when they gave him some run support today, he made it stand.

Stripling breezed through the second and third innings, but the Diamondbacks got back at him in the fourth. Chris Owings doubled to left. A single moved him to third, and a sac fly brought him home. Stripling limited the damage nicely through the heart of the Diamondbacks’ order, as he escaped the inning with a ground out to third.

Stripling was pulled after five innings at only 66 innings. A bit of a confusing decision, but Stripling gave the Dodgers a solid day of work, and the Dodgers responded by finally scoring runs for him. He only allowed three baserunners, as he struck out five and didn’t issue a walk.

Dodgers Offense

Like I said, the Dodgers finally gave Stripling some cushion. It started in the first with a Corey Seager single. He moved to second on a passed ball, and Justin Turner drove him in with a single.

The Dodgers struck again in the second, with Josh Reddick continuing his hot hitting with a leadoff single. Andrew Toles doubled to left center, but Reddick was thrown out trying to score from first on a nice Pollock/Jean Segura relay throw home. That looked like a big out with the pitcher coming up, but Stripling lined a single down the first base line for his first career RBI.

The Dodgers broke it open (for the time being) in the third. Seager led off with a single again, and Turner drilled an unlucky ground rule double. This kept Seager from scoring then, but Yasmani Grandal hit an RBI groundout. With two outs, Reddick, Pederson and Toles each hit singles to plate two more runs and put the Dodgers up 5-1.

Adrian Gonzalez led off the fifth with a double. After a Grandal strikeout, Shelby Miller was pulled from the game. Miller’s terrible season continued today.

That’s not exactly ideal. He allowed 11 hits in 4.1 innings. Eduardo Escobar got Miller out of the inning without any more trouble, so his final line was 11 hits and four earned runs in those 4.1 innings with two strikeouts and no walks.

If there’s anything to be concerned about, it’s that the Dodgers haven’t done much against the DBack bullpen this series. It’s not a good bullpen, but in the final 3.2 innings of this game, the Dodgers had two walks and no hits.

Dodgers Bullpen

Josh Fields was the first reliever out of the bullpen. He needed nine pitches to retire the top of the Diamondback lineup. He wasn’t the sexiest deadline acquisition, but 10 of his 13 outings as a Dodger have been scoreless.

Pedro Baez was recalled from Tulsa today and tossed the seventh inning. He struck out Paul Goldschmidt and Lamb, but gave up a double to Wellington Castillo. Baez worked slowly after that, but got Yasmany Tomas to line out to Toles to end the inning. It was still painful and slow, but when Baez is on his game he can be a great reliever.

Joe Blanton got the eighth. He’s been struggling a bit of late, but after issuing a leadoff walk he struck out two and got a fly out to get out of the eighth. Blanton is probably the most important bullpen piece after Kenley Jansen, and if he can remain a shut down setup guy, the Dodger bullpen will be in great shape.

Jansen did Jansen-y things. Pollock flew out to the warning track, but Jansen struck Goldschmidt and Lamb out to close out the game. That gives Kenley 42 saves and 90 strikeouts on the season. Please pay him.

Other Stuff

The Giants came back against the Rockies today, so the Dodgers remain four games up in the West. With the Dodgers win, the magic number shrinks to 21.

Next: A Look at Andrew Toles

The two teams meet again tomorrow for the last time at Dodger Stadium. Brock Stewart will be recalled for the start, he’ll go against Robbie Ray. Ray throws with his left hand, so that’s not good.