Just when you think the Dodgers are about to push themselves out of the 2018 playoff picture, they surprise you—like winning two out of three in a volatile setting like Denver. Yet on the other hand, right when you think the Boys in Blue have established momentum and might make a run at another division title, they lose two at home to the lowly Mets, then another two on the road to the cellar-dwelling Reds.
Nevertheless, after the dust settled on the first leg of the current road trip, Los Angeles still finds itself within striking distance of Colorado. Depending on what happens when the Rockies host the Diamondbacks later on Wednesday night, the Dodgers could conceivably find themselves just a half game out of first place.
In Monday’s opener, the pitching for the Dodgers was dreadful, especially the effort from starting southpaw Alex Wood. On Tuesday, however, starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was decent, but the bats never got themselves going—a frequent occurrence this season, especially against second-rate pitchers who have yet to make names for themselves. Fortunately, the squad was able to put everything together an salvage an 8-1 victory in the finale in an early matchup on Wednesday morning.
Left fielder Joc Pederson and third baseman Justin Turner spearheaded the Los Angeles attack on offense, as the Dodgers knocked around righty starter Anthony DeSclafani early. Pederson went 2-for-3 with a double and a solo home run, which came at a very timely moment off DeSclafani in the fourth inning. Turner went 2-for-5 with a double of his own, while adding three huge RBI. Catcher Yasmani Grandal and right fielder Yasiel Puig also added three hits apiece. Grandal, hittng in the five-hole, drove in three runs, and Puig, batting in his normal eight-spot, scored two runs.
Ross Stripling was impressive, giving the team 3-1/3 very valuable innings of work, starting on short notice and allowing staff ace Clayton Kershaw to be saved for the upcoming series in St. Louis. Stripling struck out four Cincinnati batters with the only run resulting from a long ball off the bat of former Dodger prospect Jose Peraza in the bottom of the first inning. Zac Rosscup, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Pat Venditte, Josh Fields and Kenley Jansen threw the final 5-2/3 frames, surrendering no runs while allowing just two hits combined.
Ferguson was credited with the win—his sixth of the season.
Stay tuned tomorrow morning, as we’ll be putting a concise preview together for the four-game set against the Cardinals while also outlining all the playoff implications.