Three days after clinching the NL West and taking a dip in the Chase Field pool, the Dodgers looked ready for playoff action. The starting pitching was formidable as Los Angeles took two of three games against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park.
Don Mattingly rested everybody Friday night in a 2-0 loss. The “A-Team” would come back Saturday and back up Clayton Kershaw’s strong effort for a 4-0 win while Zack Greinke and three relievers combined for a 2-hit shutout Sunday, a 1-0 victory.
Mattingly has made it clear that he is looking ahead to the playoffs and plans to get guys rested. Friday night’s game had stalwarts like Nick Buss, Drew Butera and Alex Castellanos in the lineup.
Edinson Volquez continued to impress with 6.1 innings pitched, giving up two runs, one earned, with six strikeouts and four walks. It was arguably Volquez’s best start with the Dodgers, but Volquez fell to 9-12 on the year, 0-2 with Los Angeles.
Saturday night gave fans a much better preview of what their playoff lineup will look like. Kershaw was sharp, pitching seven shutout innings, striking out 10, while improving to 15-9 on the year. A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig each hit two-run home runs to provide the Dodgers offense for the evening. Ronald Belisario pitched a perfect eighth inning and Brian Wilson pitched a perfect ninth inning to seal the deal for the Dodgers.
Runs were tougher to come by Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers got one unearned run off of Padres’ starter Andrew Cashner. Fresh off a one-hit shutout last time out against the Pirates, Cashner pitched seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks against Greinke.
Adrian Gonzalez singled off Cashner in the seventh inning with one out and Michael Young came up after Cashner struck out Matt Kemp for the second out of the inning. Young doubled off the wall in right field and while Gonzalez was initially held at third he came home after Will Venable bobbled the ball in right.
Greinke pitched five shutout innings, but it was “a light day” as he put it, after throwing only 72 pitches. J.P. Howell picked up his fourth win of the year with a 1-2-3 sixth inning. Chris Withrow held the Padres scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings and Kenley Jansen struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save of the year.
All in all, it was a nice pleasant weekend in San Diego for the Dodgers and I hope they found time to go to Sea World this weekend. The Dodgers took the season series from the Padres 11-8 and theyll have an off day Monday before heading up to San Francisco for a three game series with the Giants. Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-7, 3.03 ERA) will start for the Dodgers Tuesday night and will be opposed by the Giants’ Matt Cain (8-9, 4.06 ERA).
In case you missed it, here’s the Dodgers pool celebration, PLUS Yasiel Puig’s celebration dance off!