It was an excellent bounce back performance by the Dodgers Thursday night. After a crushing 9-8 loss Wednesday night, both sides of the baseball contributed.
Emmett Sheehan had a few hiccups early on but managed to have a comeback game for himself as well, going five innings and giving up three earned runs. That is a solid performance to keep the Dodgers close and allow the offense to go to work, and boy did they. Led by the newly named three all star starters, the offense got started early. J.D. Martinez had 2 singles for the first 2 Dodger runs and after a Mookie Betts sacrifice fly and Elias Diaz’s 3 RBI’s, the game was knotted at 3. That is when it unraveled for the Rockies.
Freddie Freeman roped a single, Max Muncy laced a double, and J.D. Martinez crushed an opposite field home run to put the game out of reach 8-3. The very next inning, the Dodgers poured it on again with yet another Freddie Freeman single and Max Muncy base hit. They weren’t done there, as they scored one in the 6th and two in the 7th to make it 14-3 and certify the game as a blowout. The bullpen did their thing after Sheehan came out, and combined for 4 scoreless innings to close out the game.
Here are my three takeaways from the game:
There is a Reason the Dodgers Have 3 All-Star Starters
Shortly before the game it was announced that Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and J.D. Martinez were all headed to the All-Star Game in Seattle as starters. Thursday night they proved why. Mookie Betts went 2-2 with three runs scored, Freddie Freeman went 2-3 with 3 RBIs, and J.D. Martinez went 4-6 with 4 RBIs. There’s a reason the offense has been keeping the Dodgers in games lately, and these three are deservingly going to represent the Dodgers in Seattle on July 11.
Bullpen Bounces Back
I usually say that there is a reason the Dodgers have to score so much. The staff needs the run support. But tonight, all they needed was 4 runs and the Dodgers offense gave them 14. Lights out performances by Yency Almonte, Victor Gonzalez, and newly activated Justin Bruihl were an awesome sight to see for Dodger fans, especially considering last night’s performance. That is now a great stretch of pitching by the Dodgers bullpen arms even with a few slip ups, most notably Wednesday night.
This Team is Climbing Back Up the Standings
The Diamondbacks, Giants, and Padres all lost tonight, which means there is ground to be gained. The Dodgers moved to within two games of first place Arizona after their series loss to the Rays earlier Thursday afternoon. With some disappointing teams around the league in the Padres and Mets, there is a clear path for a wild card spot at this point in the season but that doesn’t solidify anything. As I’ve said previously, there have been three National League teams in recent years to turn their seasons around after the All-Star break so there could be a few more teams in the logjam of a wild card later in the year. It is important for the Dodgers to win against teams with lower winning percentages to build their record and maintain home field advantage in the postseason, whether it be the Wild Card or as a division winner in the playoffs because this year it will be as crucial as ever.
The Dodgers head to Kansas City and will send Bobby Miller to take the mound against Alec Marsh for the Royals Friday. The first pitch is set for 5:10 p.m. PT.