The Los Angeles Dodgers went into Colorado to play a four-game series against one of the more formidable hitting teams, particularly when playing at home, but it was much of the same for the Dodgers’ starting pitchers.
Zack Greinke set the tone in the series opener by going eight innings and allowing two runs, only one of which was earned. Clayton Kershaw carried the mantle the following night by throwing eight shutout innings.
Dan Haren was roughed up for eight runs, but Josh Beckett and the bullpen got the Dodgers back on track Sunday by combining to allow just three runs. As the Dodgers have dealt with multiple injuries and inconsistent offense, strong pitching has remained consistent.
Dodger starters lead the Majors with a 3.03 ERA and 45 wins, and it’s their ability that manager Don Mattingly believes will carry the team, according to Bill Plunkett of the OC Register:
This game is about pitching,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “I don’t know exactly what they (the Rockies) are going through. I know they’ve had some injuries and this is always a tough place to pitch. But we’ve talked about it all along — pitching is our strength. It’s what is going to get us where we want to go.”
Greinke leads the Dodgers with 11 wins and 119 strikeouts, but it’s Kershaw’s stretch of dominance that’s made headlines. The ace of the staff is 7-0 with a 0.69 ERA in his last seven starts. Kershaw also has a career-best streak of 36 scoreless innings.
While Greinke, Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu of the rotation has pitched remarkably well, the back of the rotation has generally upheld their end of the bargain. Josh Beckett has a 2.26 ERA, which is fourth in all of baseball and third-best in the National League.
Despite Haren’s struggles, he managed to keep his walks down, which played a role in the starting rotation’s steak of 39 games with two walks or less that came to an end Sunday.
Given some of the physical issues Beckett and Haren are dealing with, the Dodgers may need to acquire another starter as an insurance policy.
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