Dodgers Way Quick Hits: Bullpen Passes the Test in Game One
The Dodgers eeked out a 4-2 victory last night to pull to within a half-game of the Colorado Rockies. The Dodgers will look to regain sole possession of first place with a win this afternoon.
The Dodgers last trip to Colorado ended in disappointment. Three late blown leads cost the Dodgers three games in the standings. The Dodgers are once again without Kenley Jansen who stayed back in LA as his cardiologist recommended. On Friday night the Dodgers bullpen was put to the test.
After Clayton Kershaw pitched six solid innings the Dodger bullpen was tasked with holding a two-run lead over the last three innings. All the Dodgers’ bullpen did was combine for three scoreless innings using five different relievers; Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Ross Stripling, Scott Alexander, and Kenta Maeda.
Ferguson pitched the seventh inning but left two runners on for Dylan Floro. Floro came in and walked a batter but then got out of the seventh inning unscathed. The eighth inning was started by Ross Stripling and finished by Scott Alexander. Alexander began the ninth inning and parted for Kenta Maeda with one out in the ninth inning.
Kenta Maeda came in after Scott Alexander walked a batter and allowed a runner on in the ninth. Maeda got DJ LeMahieu to fly out to left field and then struck out Nolan Arenado to nail down the save and put the Dodgers half a game back of the Rockies. The Dodgers will need their bullpen to follow a similar blueprint these next two games in order to reclaim first place.
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- The Dodgers brought back Ross Stripling on Friday and they also juggled their starting rotation. Rich Hill is now scheduled to start tomorrow instead of Alex Wood. Dave Roberts felt that Rich Hill against the Rockies is a better matchup than Wood. Hill allowed three runs in his last start against the Rockies.
- For the third straight start, Clayton Kershaw pitched at least six innings and allowed two earned runs. Despite his fastball losing a few ticks, Kershaw has been as reliable as ever this season. In fact, Kershaw has allowed more than three earned runs only once all season when he allowed four runs to the Nationals in April.
- Dennis Santana made his first rehab appearance last night as he started a playoff game for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes and pitched one shutout inning. Santana allowed two walks and struck out one batter. It’s unlikely that Santana makes it back up to the big leagues this season since the Dodgers are going to be cautious with his prized shoulder.
- The Tulsa Drillers and OKC Dodgers each lost their playoff games last night to go down 2-1 in their series. The Quakes won 1-0 on a home run by Omar Estevez to put them up 2-1 in their best of five series. All three teams are scheduled to play today.