The series finale in Arlington played out exactly how it should have. The combination of Wood, Alexander, and Maeda kept the reeling Rangers’ offense in check, holding them to just 1 ER over 5 hits and 7 strikeouts. The Dodgers’ offense was lifted early by a pair of solo home runs from Manny Machado and Cody Bellinger – it would prove to be more than enough run support to get Alex Wood his 8th win of the season and secure the series sweep.
Wood’s Return to Form
It was positive to see an efficient Alex Wood bounce back from his rough outing against the Cardinals. He managed to cruise through 7 innings as a result of a phenomenal curveball that was keeping hitters off balance and allowing him to work ahead in the count. He was lifted in the 8th for Scott Alexander, after allowing just 4 hits and 2 walks in one of his best outings of the season.
Alex Wood, Nasty 81mph Knuckle Curve. ?
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 30, 2018
Scottie didn’t miss a step, picking up exactly where Wood left off. He pitched a scoreless 8th, and handed the game off to Maeda who would attempt to close out the 2nd save of his career in the place of the struggling Kenley Jansen.
Jansen was given the night off, after giving up 2 more runs while attempting to close out yesterday’s win. One interesting thing to note is that outside of Kenley the bullpen sports a dominant 1.78ERA, over the last 10 games.
Offensively the squad wasn’t quite as sharp. Besides another solo shot, this one courtesy of Grandal (22) in the 8th, Puig was the only other Dodger to register a hit. It came in the form of a scorching line-drive triple in the 7th. With Bellinger at the plate, Puig channeled his inner “Wild Horse” and attempted to steal home – he nearly pulled it off but was nabbed by a perfect throw from Rangers’ southpaw Alex Claudio.
“Always shoot your shot” – Yasiel Puig pic.twitter.com/vCftbEicvU
— Sully Engels (@SullyKSNT) August 30, 2018
Maeda Gets His 2nd Career save
Maeda didn’t look sharp but was good enough to get the job done. After striking out the leadoff batter Andrus in dominant fashion, Maeda’s command looked shaky – he walked 2 and the Rangers narrowly avoided being shutout after an RBI double from former-Dodger Adrian Beltre.
The Dodgers have now won 5 straight, sweeping both series against last-place teams. Outside of the closer duties, the team appears to be firing on all cylinders – they’ll need to take that momentum into the crucial series against the Diamondbacks. Just 1 game back, the Dodgers have an opportunity to come out of the series on top of the NL West, with Rich Hill leading the charge against tough-lefty Robbie Ray.
[button color=”red” size=”big” alignment=”center” rel=”follow” openin=”samewindow” url=”http://www.dodgersnation.com/2019-dodgers-spring-training-schedule-at-camelback-ranch/2018/08/29/”]2019 Dodgers Spring Training Schedule at Camelback Ranch[/button]