The Dodgers enjoyed a successful start to their 10-game road trip with victories in 2 of 3 games against the Miami Marlins including a 5-0 shutout on Sunday afternoon. Clayton Kershaw and Chris Capuano turned in dynamic starts and Hanley Ramirez got some revenge against his former team. Here’s a look at how things went down this weekend.
The Dodgers infield provided steady production throughout the weekend. A.J. Ellis was 2-for-8 with a double and a pair of runs scored. Mark Ellis went 3-for-5 with a run scored on Sunday after going 0-for-7 in the first two games.
The Dodgers actually got production out of the corner infield spots. Juan Rivera slugged a 2-run home run Friday night, Jerry Hairston went 3-for-7 in the first two games of the series at 3B with Luis Cruz going 2-for-4 with an RBI double and a run scored on Sunday.
However, in his return to Miami, it was all about Hanley Ramirez this series. Hanley hit safely in all three games going 6-for-15 driving in a whopping five runs in the three game series. Hanley has driven in 18 runs in 17 games as a Dodger. Ramirez has also cornered the market with his now trademark finger circles around the eyes, signifying “Did You See That.” When Ramirez flashed the sign after driving in a pair of runs on Sunday, Matt Kemp signaled back and shouted “I See You!”
Matt Kemp is starting to get hot, Shane Victorino is looking more and more comfortable in blue, and Andre Ethier is starting to swing the bat again. Kemp and Victorino both hit safely in all three games of the series. Kemp was 5-for-14 with a pair of RBI, a pair of doubles, and a run scored in every game of the series, as well as two stolen bases on Saturday for good measure. Victorino was only 3-for-13 but had a pair of doubles too, and scored a run in each of the first two games of the series. Andre Ethier was also 3-for-13 in the series, but he drove in runs in each of the last two games of the series after going 0-4 on Friday. With the steady production of the outfield and some help from the supporting cast, the Dodgers should continue to score runs in droves.
Kershaw threw a solid 6 1/3 innings on Friday, giving up two runs while striking out seven, picking up his 10th win of the year in the process. After giving up a home run to Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano in the first inning, Kershaw retired 14 straight batters. Kershaw has now won three straight starts and has given up only three runs in 32 1/3 innings (0.84 ERA) over that span.
Joe Blanton looked like he was headed down the same road Saturday throwing only 50 pitches through 4.0 innings before completely unraveling, surrendering four runs to Miami in the 5th. The Dodgers were unable to get back in the game, and Blanton took his 10th loss of the season.
Chris Capuano would respond on Sunday with perhaps his best start of the year with the Dodgers. Capuano pitched 8.0 shutout innings, striking out 10, and taking a no-hitter into the 7th inning, before a line drive single by Jose Reyes would break that up. Capuano proceeded to set the Marlins down in the 7th and 8th en route to his 11th win of the season.
Much like the last series against the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers bullpen was virtually flawless. Ronald Belisario and Kenley Jansen provided their usual 1-2 punch in the 8th and 9th innings on Friday night, with Jansen recording his 23rd save of the season. Jansen has given up only one run is his last 10 apperances dating back to July 18. Javy Guerra pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Joe Blanton on Saturday, and Jamey Wright pitched a scoreless ninth on Sunday to seal the win for Capuano.
However, Brandon League has struggled mightily since coming over from the Mariners. League gave up three runs and recorded only two outs in Saturday night’s game. League has given up five runs in only 2 2/3 innings of work in five appearances with the Dodgers, giving him a sky-high 16.88 ERA in the National League.
The Dodgers currently have a 3.34 team ERA which is second in the majors behind only the Washington Nationals.
The Dodgers will head to Pittsburgh next for a four-game set with the NL Wild Card leading Pirates, who are led by MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen. The Buccos actually lost 2 of 3 games to the San Diego Padres this weekend, but they scored 11 runs in a win on Sunday.