Things did not go as planned Friday night for the Los Angeles Dodgers, however, their adjusted plan has been just what the Dodgers offense needed. After his top-10 finish in Cy Young voting last year and a good start this year, Dylan Bundy took the hill for the Los Angeles Angels. Coming into the game Saturday evening, Bundy had struck out 40 batters in 36 innings. He carried a decent 4.00 ERA and a respectable WHIP of 1.083. He also looked good through three innings on Saturday–facing the minimum number of batters without a hit.
The Dodgers offense woke up in the fourth. They put up eight runs in the inning–all manufactured. Clayton Kershaw gave up his first two hits of the game in the bottom of the fourth, on weak hits, but still, no runs were scored. The Dodgers manufactured five more runs in the next inning. Everyone was hitting. Kershaw responded in typical Kershaw fashion with another zero on the scoreboard. The Dodgers offense had put up 13 unanswered runs. This is exactly what the proverbial doctor ordered for the Dodgers.
Spread the Love Around
Dave Roberts did the right thing in the sixth. He pulled Kershaw, who only pitched one inning in his last start on May fourth. So, he was technically on three days rest, but also, Dave Roberts wanted to let his bullpen work through some of the struggles that they have been going through, with such a healthy lead. Roberts then started resting batters that were breaking out of their slumps and getting bench players in on some of the action.
Rookie D.J. Peters got his first MLB hit and run when he took over for Mookie Betts. Betts was 2-3 with a walk and four RBI at the time. Also, Corey Seager got some rest after going 3-4 with an RBI of his own. Justin Turner was replaced while he was 1-4 with an RBI, though he has been the most productive batter all year. Out of the 12 different Dodgers that came to the plate Saturday, 11 of them got hits. This is the Dodgers offense that fans are used to.
Dennis Santana came in for Kershaw to pitch the sixth and had a rough outing. He only got only one out and was charged with four earned after giving up three hits and walking two. Mitch White had to come in and get the last two outs, but not before giving up a run on a sac-fly. White came out for the seventh and got two quick outs. Shohei Ohtani reached on an error after that, rendering all runs scored after that point as unearned. That is good because the Angels put up seven of those unearned runs in the inning between White and Garrett Cleavinger, whose home run on the first pitch that he threw was earned for his stats only, but not for the team (based on rule 9.16i), and brought the score to 14-11.
Victor Gonzalez threw six pitches in a perfect eighth inning, and Blake Treinen slammed the door in the ninth with two strikeouts and an 0-2 groundout to record his first save of the season on nine pitches–eight of which were strikes.
The Dodgers have a long way to go, but several players seemingly broke out of slumps that they have been mired in, and the bullpen got some work in. The Dodgers offense broke out in a big way Saturday. They finished with 14 runs on 17 hits, and all with no home runs. This is a very positive sign that the reigning World Champions are back on track. We will see how Mother’s Day treats them.
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