Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dodger Bats Wake Up in 9-3 Win, One More Sews Up Division Crown

Dodgers celebrate in dugout after scoring 4 runs in the first inning. (AP photo/Matt York)
With the Dodgers playing probably their most pressure packed game in the month, their bats emerged for the first time in a week, scoring eight runs in the first four innings of action tonight.  It was a nine run, 12 hit onslaught by the Dodger offense that has been held in check for a week or so.

Most Dodger fans had to be feeling better watching this 151st matchup of the year as there were some lineup changes that certainly sparked confidence in the club.  For only the 13th time this season, both Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp were written into the starting lineup.  Neither disappointed as they combined to go 5 for 6, with 2 walks, 3 runs scored and 3 RBIs.  Kemp’s 4 for 4 night was particularly gratifying, as he hit the ball hard in each plate appearance, just missing a home run to straight away center in his second at bat of the night, (a blast that traveled 410 feet).

Zack Greinke was effective and worked himself out of two potentially game changing jams.  Initially In his first inning of work, where he left two on base with clutch strikeouts of Chavez and Prado.  Then later in his final inning (the 6th) striking out Nieves with two runners on.  

The bullpen wasn’t as steady as usual, but the job was done, allowing one run over the final three frames.  Kenley Jansen’s rust showed, as his inaction over the last week was apparent as he walked two of his first three hitters faced.  He has been struggling with his command.  A Dodger clinching will do him good as Mattingly can stage his entry into a few games over the final 11 contests of the year in preparation for the playoffs.

Most importantly, the Dodger team emerged from this game as healthy as they were when they entered it.  Kemp and Ramirez each ran the bases with great caution.  In that sense, this game was a real valuable win.  If the heavy horses can maintain their health, the Dodgers will be able to hold their own in post-season play.

Adrian Gonzalez has just hit his 21st homer of the season, a 2 run blast (photo by Matt York/AP)

So the magic number is down to two.  One win in Arizona over the final pair of games will sew things up.  It’ll be Stephen Fife (4-3) against Brandon McCarthy (4-9) tomorrow at 7:10 PM.  Here’s hoping the Dodgers are able to pop the champagne corks tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment