With Zack Greinke being a late scratch for his start on Wednesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers would have been satisfied with any effort from their pitching staff.
Instead the Dodgers got four strong innings from replacement starter Carlos Frias and five scoreless innings from the rest of the bullpen against an Arizona Diamondbacks offense that ranks first in the Majors. Frias allowed just a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt and the entire staff got through the game in just 105 pitches.
Manager Don Mattingly talked about his bullpen’s solid job and most importantly, Frias. “It feels really good,” he said. “Those guys did a tremendous job, I felt like Carlos kind of set the tone. We were thinking two innings, not necessarily knowing what we were going to get.”
In his time as the team’s fifth starter, Frias often struggled with command and it was usually a result of overthrowing. Mattingly discussed that as well. “I thought early on he didn’t overthrow. A lot of times early in games with him, he’s really firing.”
Following Frias, the Dodgers used left-hander Ian Thomas, right-hander Pedro Baez, left-hander Luis Avilan, right-hander Chris Hatcher and finally right-hander Kenley Jansen. The group combined to allow just five hits, one run and struck out six. After allowing eight runs the previous two games, it was a relief to see the team shut down the Diamondbacks offense and end the four-game losing streak.
Mattingly was asked if he had a set plan for the night or if he improvised. “You just don’t know where things are going to end,” the 54-year-old said. “Tonight it worked out really good. You just don’t know where it’s going to end or where your order is. This one tonight really worked well.”
The Dodgers now turn to Clayton Kershaw in the series finale before they head to Colorado.