For the first time in nearly a month-and-a-half, the Dodgers completed a series sweep, this time over the New York Mets. The Dodgers offense finally got back on track, and the Dodgers were rewarded for it, and it was capped off by an 8-3, 12-inning victory on Sunday. Matt Kemp continued his recent surge, and the Blue Crew got contributions up-and-down the lineup, even benefiting from a Juan Uribe sighting. The Dodgers will need to continue to carry the momentum forward as they head to St. Louis for a four-game set with the defending champion Cardinals.
The Dodgers infield has been solidified with the return of Mark Ellis and the emergence of Luis Cruz as the Dodgers interim shortstop. Combine that with a steady platoon of James Loney and Juan Rivera at first base, and the Dodgers infield is starting to become productive again. Ellis played two of the three games and provided his steady brand of gold-glove defense at second base going 3-for-11 (.272) with a run scored. Adam Kennedy filled in at second on Saturday scoring two runs, and drilling a pinch hit, 2-RBI double to cap the Dodgers’ five-run 12th inning on Sunday. Luis Cruz continued his solid play at shortstop driving in a run in every single game including a two-run home run off of Johan Santana on Friday night. The Loney/Rivera platoon was productive, with Loney driving in a run on Saturday, and Rivera drilling a two-run homer off of Jonathon Niese yesterday afternoon as he started at first base.
After Saturday’s game, for the first time ever in recorded history, the SportsCenter highlight revolved around Juan Uribe, who drove in four runs including a two-run home run off of Mets’ All Star R.A. Dickey. His four runs driven in, needless to say were a season high, and included just his second home run of the season. However, his success was short-lived, as he would go 0-for-4 on Sunday. A.J. Ellis rested the first two games of the series with a sore knee, with Matt Treanor filling in for him and hitting an RBI double in Saturday’s game. The rest appeared to do Ellis well as he went 2-for-5 with a walk in his return Sunday. Treanor would not go unnoticed though, drilling a 2-RBI single in the 12th to spark the Dodgers’ rally.
Matt Kemp appears to be regaining his MVP form. He set the tone for the series smacking a two-run homer off of Johan Santana in Friday night’s game, got an RBI-triple off of a fly-ball to the right field corner Saturday, and got two more hits and scored two more runs on Sunday. Andre Ethier continued to swing a hot bat as well, going 4-for-11 (.363) overall, driving in a pair of runs and scoring a run in all three games. Bobby Abreu started the first two games in left field, scoring a pair of runs Friday night, but went 0-for-4 Saturday. Jerry Hairston started Sunday’s game in left, going 1-for-4. Tony Gwynn, Jr. collected a pinch-hit double on Friday night, and singled in Sunday’s extra-inning affair.
STARTING PITCHING: B-
Chris Capuano continued his impressive season, leading the Dodgers’ effort 0n Saturday with seven strong innings. Aaron Harang and rookie Nathan Eovaldi could not go deep, innings wise, but each held the Mets’ offense to one earned run apiece. Harang pitched the required 5.0 innings to secure his seventh win of the season Friday night. Harang struck out five and walked three, leaving the game with a 6-3 lead, two runs were unearned. The Dodgers bullpen made it interesting, but held on for Harang. Capuano threw 7.0 fantastic innings on Saturday afternoon striking out nine and walking only one batter, notching his 10th win of the season. Capuano is the first Dodger pitcher to reach double-digit wins this season, and he is only one shy of his total from last season. Again the bullpen made it a bit close for comfort, but were aided by Uribe’s home run, and a scoreless ninth from Kenley Jansen for his 18th save, which sealed the deal. Eovaldi showed some terrific stuff on Sunday striking out a season-high seven, and walking only one. However, pitch count was Eovaldi’s main issue, as he threw 96 pitches in only 4 1/3 innings of work.
It continued to be anything but a smooth ride for the Dodgers bullpen this weekend in New York. What was a 6-3 lead on Friday was dwindled and became a 7-6 game. Again on Saturday, a 6-3 game, became a 6-5 game, before ending 8-5 behind Uribe’s home run. After Jansen and Belisario were unavailable on Sunday, however, the Dodgers’ middle relievers stepped up big time, holding the Mets to one run in 7 2/3 innings Sunday afternoon. Jamey Wright, Josh Wall, and Josh Lindblom each pitched scoreless innings and Scott Elbert pitched 1 1/3 innings scoreless. Wall also earned his first major-league win.
The Dodgers will head to St. Louis next where they will encounter triple-digit temperatures, as well as a Cardinals team that just scored a ML-record tying 12 runs in a single inning on Saturday. The Cardinals are currently third in the NL Central, behind the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. They are coming off of a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs.
Weekly GPA: 2.75
Cumulative GPA: 2.75