If the Dodgers are going to go anywhere this season, they need Hanley to start hitting. When Hanley is hitting hot there is nobody better in the game. Getting him going is of the utmost importance for the Dodgers. Hanley has an MVP caliber bat when hot. Right now Hanley is red-hot. Our favorite goofy fro-haired talented shortstop led the way for the Dodgers in a 12-2 route of the Bucs.
The Dodgers scored a season high 12 runs on 14 hits behind a strong effort from Hanley. The shortstop went 4 for 4 with two home runs, five runs driven in, and two runs scored. Hanley connected for a two-run home run in the fourth inning. Then smacked a solo shot in the sixth. This is the fourth multi-home run game for Hanley since joining the Dodgers. (8-2012 at Atlanta, 9-2013 at Arizona, 4-6-2014 vs. San Francisco, and today). Hanley is now six for his last six. Is Hanley finally coming out of his season long malaise?
The rest of the Dodgers followed right along behind him. The Dodgers torched Pittsburgh’s starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton for ten earned runs on eleven hits in 3.2 innings.
Kemp and Turner each had two hits and two runs driven in, and Adrian Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with two runs scored. The Dodgers scored twice in the first, four runs in the third, and five more in the fourth. They added one more in the sixth on Hanley’s second home run for good measure.
Hanley and Kemp each had run scoring singles in the first. Hanley added a second run scoring single in the third, preceding a Gonzo RBI double. Kemp added a sacrifice fly, and Turner knocked one home as well.
Turner added a second RBI single in the fourth, and Butera had a two-run triple that bounced off the top of the left field wall. Gordon had a triple too, and I’m loving all these triples this year.
The Dodgers won a challenge call in the first that seemed important as the Pirates were unable to challenge a play later in the game. That play was very challenge worthy, but that’s what happens when you lose your challenge too early in the game.
As for the Dodger’s starter Hyun-jin Ryu, he wasn’t great today, but didn’t have to be with a ten run lead. He was still pretty solid. Ryu allowed two earned runs on ten hits through six frames. He whiffed four and walked none to pick up his sixth win. Jamey Wright pitched the last three frames to record the rarest of the rare, a three inning save.
The Dodgers finally get their 30th win of the season, improving to 30-27. The Giants finally lost so the Dodgers pick up a game and are now 6.5 back. The Dodgers also avoided losing their fourth consecutive game for the first time this season.
This was quite enjoyable, and a much-needed diversion from the typical mediocrity we’ve had to suffer through all season. Let’s just hope they save some runs for tomorrow. Here’s how this one went down at the Ravine……Pirates 2 11 1 Dodgers 12 14 0 WP-Ryu-6-2 LP-Cumpton-0-2 SV-Wright-1 HR-Hanley-8-9
The game immediately starts out with a challenge review in the top of the first. Josh Harrison singles to left. Then Neil walker’s grounder to short should have been a double play, but Gordon drops the ball during transfer from glove to hand. The umpires originally rule it a force, but the Pirates contend otherwise. Hurdle comes out to make a challenge, which the Bucs end up losing. This becomes important later on as the Pirates are unable to challenge another questionable call later on.
But Ryu gets out of the inning. McCutchen flies out to center, and Sanchez lines out to center.
The Dodgers jump all over Brandon Cumpton in the bottom of the first. Andre Ethier draws a one-out walk. Yasiel Puig’s grounder to third moves Ethier to second. Hanley’s RBI single up the middle scores Dre, and the Dodgers lead 1-0. Hanley steals second, and Gonzo walks. Kemp flares a single to left to score Hanley. That puts the Dodgers ahead 2-0.
Ryu retires theBucs in order in the third, with a whiff of Harrison. Walker flies to center, andMcCutchen sendsPuig into the right field corner to snag his line drive.
Things get wild in the bottom of the third, as the Dodgers plate four unanswered runs off of a flustery Buc’s defense. Andre Ethier’s deep drive to left sends Sterling Marte to the wall. He leaps and appears to make a good catch, but as he comes down the ball pops out of his glove. The replay shows Marte making the catch and the ball just coming out of the glove on the way down from his leap. The umpires rule it an error, and Ethier end up at second on the two-base error.
The Pirates are livid, but they can’t challenge because they already used their challenge in the first inning. That really opened up the flood gates. Puig rolls a soft grounder to short. Mercer charges in but can’t make the bare handed play. Hanley singles to left to score Ethier. The Dodgers lead 3-0.
Gonzo lines a double to left, Puig scores and Hanley goes to third. Dodgers now lead 4-0. Then Kemp’s sacrifice fly to right scores Hanley, and Gonzo goes to third on the throw. And Turner’s RBI singe into center scores Gonzo, which puts the Dodgers up by a score of 6-0. Turner actually stole second, but Butera and Ryu make out to end the frame.
The Pirates get one back it the fourth. After Ryu whiffs sanchez and gets Marte, Tabata singles. Mercer doubles him in to make the score 6-1 Dodgers.
The Dodgers score five more runs in the bottom of the fourth to knock Cumpton out of the box. Gordon’s triple goes past Tabata’s glove (he lost sight of the ball in the sun), and down the right field line. Puig lines one to third, but Harrison snags it and catches Gordon off the base at third. Then Hanley bombs one to center for his eight home run of the season. 8-1 Dodgers! Gonzalez and Kemp single. Turner singles to right to score another run. Finally the Bucs hook Cumpton and bring in right handr Jeanmar Gomez.Buterathen triples off the top of the wall in left. The two-runthree-bagger puts the Dodgers up by a score of 11-1. This is a season high for the Dodgers in runs.
Gomez the reliever bats for himself and singles to right leading off the fifth. The red-hot Harrison doubles Gomez to third. Hanley goes up the ladder to catch Walker’s looper. McCutchen grounds one to third and Turner decides to cut down the run at the plate, throwing out Gomez for the second out. Sanchez flies out to left ending the frame. The Dodgers go down 123 in their half of the fifth.
Ryu seems to run out of steam in the top of the sixth. He whiffs Marte. Tabata singles. Mercer hits into a force at second. Stewart singles Mercer to second. Pinch-hitter Travis Snider singles in Mercer. Dodgers lead 11-2. Harrison’s pop-out ends the inning.
Hanley hits his second home run of the game against Bryan Morris in the bottom of the sixth. Hanley is fired up! 12-2 Dodgers.
The rest of the game went smoothly, as the Dodgers went on to win 12-2. Wright pitched the final three innings, allowing just one hit and whiffing two.
I’m calling it an early night guys. I hope everyone enjoyed the route today. We really needed it. Sunday evening the four game series concludes as the Dodgers go for a series split. Zack Greinke will try for his ninth win of the season. He’ll counter old friend Edinson Volquez. The game starts at 5:07 PM and will be televised on ESPN.