After the Dodger’s one to nill win last night, and the overall lack of offense during the first home stand, we weren’t expecting very much hitting, if any in today’s Dodger game against the Bucs. Especially not after we saw half the Dodger lineup populated with scrubbies. Mark Ellis replaced by Nick Punto. A hitless Luis Cruz benched for Juan Uribe at third, and Jerry Hairston playing right field for the resting Andre Ethier. Tim Federowicz got a start behind the plate as well.
I am so glad we were wrong because it was the scrubbies who helped lead the way for the Dodgers in their 6-2 win, and sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates at home. The Dodgers have now beaten the Bucs at Dodger Stadium something like 17 of their last 19 games.
All of the lovable little scrubs contributed in today’s win. Nick Punto had two hits, and a walk. Justin Sellers hit his first home run of the season (a solo shot off of opposing starter Jeff Locke), and a diving stop from Juan Uribe on a line drive smash from Michael Mckenry squelched a potential Bucs scoring rally in the first frame.
Hyun-jin Ryu overcame First inning problems when he allowed a single to Starling Marte, and a two-run home run to Andrew McCutchen. The left hander only allowed those two early runs through 6.1 solid frames, to earn his first win in Dodger Blue.
The Dodgers took the lead back by scoring two runs in the bottom of the first, when Punto, Kemp and Gonzo had consecutive hits to start the game, The Dodgers would add the go-ahead run in the third, on a Crawford double and stolen base, a sacrifice bunt, and a sacrifice fly from Kemp. The Dodgers would add three more before the day was done, and hold on to win it 6-2.
The game starts out bad for the Dodgers. Starling Marte leads off with a single to left. After Neil Walker pops out, Andrew McCutchen, sir annoying of Pittsburgh slugs a Ryu meatball into the left field pavilion. There is nothing I hate more than first inning scorage. Very irritating. The two-run shot is actually the first home run of the season for the Pirates. They’ve become the last MLB team to homer this season. They also take a 2-0 lead in this game. Ryu then walks Gaby Sanchez. Catcher Michael Mckenry stings a line drive to third, Juan Uribe makes a great diving stop to his right, and gets the force out at second. Great play! A wild pitch from Ryu allows McKenry to advance to second. Big Pedro Alvarez grounds out to end the inning.
The Dodgers would rally back right away in the bottom of the first. Carl Crawford is retired to start the frame, but Nick Punto playing on Scrubby Sunday singles into center field. Matt Kemp Strokes an opposite field double, advancing Punto to third. That’s the Bison we all know and love. Just going the other way. Adrian Gonzalez, who is appearing to finally awaken from his annoying slumber, singles up the middle to score Bison and Punto, and tie the game at 2-2.
Ryu recovers to pitch a 123 scoreless frame in the top of the second. The inning featured a whiff of opposing starter Jeff Locke. Catcher Tim Federowicz also known as Fedex leads off the bottom of the second by flying out to left. This will probably be his final start before he is sent back down to Albuquerque next week. The Dodgers come up empty in the second, and we’re still tied at 2-2.
The Dodgers take the lead in the bottom of the third. Crawford doubles off the wall in right center field. Nick Punto is designated bunter, and successfully sacrifices Crawford to third. Again bunting a runner over when he is ALREADY IN SCORING POSITION is very very retarded, but I digress. Anyways, I won’t complain too much because Matt Kemp smacks a long fly ball into the right field corner. The sacrifice fly scores Crawford to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
The Dodgers threaten to score in the fourth, but don’t. Sending more runners to that island that stranded runners go. Jerry Hairston finally gets a hit, and is erased at second base on Uribe’s fielder’s choice. Fedex walks, but Sellers pops up, and Ryu whiffs.
The Dodgers put another threat together again, in the bottom of the fifth. Consecutive singles form Crawford and Punto put the Dodgers in business. Although Bison grounds into a double play. Crawford ends up at third after that mess. Gonzalez smokes a base hit into the gap, and Crawford easily scores, but Gonzo is thrown out going into second because he is slow as molasses. However the Dodgers extend their lead to 4-2.
Ryu continues to settle in with a 123 inning in the top of the sixth. This frame featured whiffs of Sanchez and Mckenry. Poor Uribe was robbed of a home run in the bottom of the sixth. Uribe drove a Locke pitch deep into the left field corner, but Starling Marte robbed him with a catch against the low wall. Doh!
In the top of the seventh, Ryu begins the frame and whiffs Alvarez. Mattingly then brings the hook, and brings in Ronald Belisario. He also double switches Mark Ellis into the game at second base, and moves Punto over to third. This would effectively balance out the inning with good defense, and bumbling defense at the same time. Jose Tabata reaches on a slow roller to third, that Nick Punto throws away. Punto’s throwing error allows Tabata to reach second. Garrett Jones flies out to left. Travis Snyder is retired on a nice play by Mark Ellis to retire the side.
Ryu’s final pitching line reads 6.1 innings, two runs, three hits, two walks, and six whiffs. Ryu made 101 pitches. Jeff Locke is taken out as well. Locke goes six frames allows four runs on eight hits, walked one, and whiffed three.
Right hander Chris Leroux is brought in to replace Locke for the Pirates. Sellers leads off with a booming solo home run into the left field pavilion. This is not only Sellers first home run of the young season, but it’s also his first hit of the season. The solo shot makes it 5-2 Dodgers! Two outs later, Punto singles, and steals second. Kemp walks. Gonzo’s line drive single to right, scores Punto, the Dodgers lead 6-2. Punto even dove head first into home plate as he scored to entertain us all. Hariston’s grounder ends the Dodger frame.
Belisario pitches a perfect 123 top of the eighth inning for the Boys in Blue. In the bottom of the eighth, Newest Dodger Ramon Hernandez statues in his only at-bat. So we have our first look at the Dodgers new backup backstop.
Move to the bottom of the ninth. Matt Guerrier who has been reduced to a mop-up role is asked to pitch the top of the ninth. Guerrier only pitches to three batters before being pulled. Sanchez grounds out. Mckenry walks. In comes lefty expert J.P. Howell to face a couple of lefties. No problem there. Howell whiffs Alvarez for out number two. Clint Barmes goes down whiffing as well, and the Dodgers win 6-2, and sweep the Bucs!
I seriously love playing the Pirates. Thank you for coming out to Dodger stadium Pirates. Dodger pitchers have only allowed four earned runs this season, which is tops in the majors. Is the offense finally waking up? Tomorrow the Dodgers are off, and then they embark upon their first road trip of the season to San Diego and Arizona. Tuesday afternoon we’ll have some nice late afternoon Dodger Baseball, as the Dodgers begin a three game set in San Diego. Join us then for more Dodger fun! Enjoy the sweep guys! Go Blue.