LOS ANGELES — After a horrible loss Tuesday night, the Dodgers did exactly what they needed and won in their own comeback fashion the next game. It did not look good to start, even after Bobby Miller took the mound, who at this point seems like the Dodgers’ ace now that Clayton Kershaw is on the IL. He gave up 4 earned runs in 5 ⅔ innings.
The Pirates came out swinging, and took a four run lead after three innings on a Bryan Reynolds homer in the 1st and a Jack Suwinski 3-run bomb to right in the 4th. Much like the game Tuesday night, the Dodgers immediately retaliated with 2 of their own runs to cut the deficit to 4-2 on a Jason Heyward sacrifice fly and Miguel Rojas RBI single. Then they ambushed the Pirates in the 5th inning with a J.D. Martinez 3-run home run to left to give the Dodgers their first lead of the game and a David Peralta bomb to left to make it back-to-back and 6-4.
After Bobby Miller came the bullpen to preserve the lead as the offense went dormant after that 5th inning and it was not easy at all. Phil Bickford came on to load the bases with nobody out, so Ryan Brasier had to relieve him and try and save the lead, and that he did. He kept the ball in the infield and got out of a bases loaded jam to preserve that 6-4 lead and save Phil Bickford from tallying any earned runs. After an excellent Caleb Ferguson outing, recently activated Daniel Hudson was on for the save and once again it was not easy. He loaded the bases with nobody out after an erratic start to the inning and like Brasier, navigated his way out of it without letting any Pirates score to win the game for the Dodgers. Whew…
Here are my three takeaways from the game:
Martinez and Peralta Are a Great 5-6 Punch
I know that’s not the saying, but so far these two have been so good. J.D. Martinez is heading to the All-Star Game as we all know, but his power numbers have returned, if not exceeded his prime at this point in the season. David Peralta still continues to rake and add to his surprising power numbers, hitting another home run right after J.D. Martinez’s eventual game winning home run. Martinez provides the power and Peralta supplies the consistent contact, which is a perfect duo in the middle of the lineup.
Bullpen Saves Themselves Twice
You usually don’t see teams get away with loading the bases twice with nobody out in the same game. Well, that happened tonight and it is actually a testament to the grit this bullpen has shown at times. Sure they have had a few really bad slip ups as of late, but if we look at the bigger picture, the bullpen has been one of the best in all of baseball over the last 30 games. A couple more additions via trade and demotions from underperformers will make this bullpen as solid as it needs to be for the homestretch.
Jason Heyward Has Exceeded Expectations
You hear this from me a lot, but mostly about guys like J.D. Martinez and David Peralta. Jason Heyward has been insanely better than what I thought he would be and certainly carved himself a prominent role on the team. He is hitting an excellent .263 with a .355 OBP which is a statline you would see from somebody on the fringe of an All-Star selection. The power numbers aren’t quite as good as prime “J-Hey” but they certainly are the best he has had in a while. After the Cubs let him go, he had trouble finding a major league opportunity let alone a solid role in a good lineup on a top team. It makes me very happy to see guys come to the Dodgers and find a home, be embraced and revitalize their careers.
Julio Urias looks to return to form as he takes the ball for the Dodgers against Johan Oviedo for the Pirates Thursday. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.