The Dodgers swept their three-game series with the San Diego Padres this weekend. The offense unleashed on the Padres Friday night in a 9-2 victory had back-t0-back 2-1 comeback wins on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday night’s win capped off one of the best months in franchise history and they closed out the month of August with a record of 23-6. That sets a Los Angeles franchise record for wins in a month and the Dodgers franchise record for wins in a month is 25 set back in 1953 by the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Dodgers held the Padres to four runs over three games this weekend. Hyun-Jin Ryu got the start Friday night and he bounced back from back-to-back losses with 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Ryu struck out six with only one walk and improved to 13-5 on the year. Ryu also got things started for the Dodgers offense with a double that hit the bottom of the left field wall in the second inning that scored Mark Ellis.
Speaking of bouncing back, Chris Capuano pitched seven innings of one run ball on Saturday night. This ended a run of four straight starts where he failed to pitch more than five innings. Capuano struck out seven with only walk and while he didn’t get the win, he definitely brought his A-game and kept the Dodgers in it.
Sunday afternoon was just what Dodgers fans have come to expect from Zack Greinke at this point. Seven innings, one run, two hits, seven strikeouts, two walks. Greinke won his sixth straight start to improve to 14-3 on the season.
It’s Greinke’s longest streak since he won nine straight with Kansas City over the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009.
It’s because of the Dodgers unbelievable starting pitching that they’ve done so well. Here’s a look at the starters’ numbers in August:
CLAYTON KERSHAW: 3-2, 1.01 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 36 K:11 BB, 35 2/3 IP
ZACK GREINKE: 5-0, 1.23 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 30 K:8 BB, 36 2/3 IP
HYUN-JIN RYU: 4-2, 2.61 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 34 K:4 BB, 38 IP
RICKY NOLASCO: 5-0, 1.64 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 35 K:6 BB, 38 1/3 IP
Wow! Good luck to whoever faces the Dodgers in the playoffs and and the team just signed Edinson Volquez for added depth. These guys might even get a rest before the playoffs!
The Padres scored the first run in all three games of the series and it didn’t mean a thing. Friday night was just an offensive explosion as Adrian Gonzalez launched two separate two-run home runs, including back-to-back jacks by Gonzalez and A.J. Ellis in the seventh innings. Yasiel Puig went 4-for-5 with an RBI single of his own and stole two bases, one day removed from being benched against the Chicago Cubs.
The Padres took an early 1-0 lead Saturday too, but Gonzalez singled in the game-tying run in the seventh inning while Mark Ellis singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth. Brian Wilson picked up his first win as a Dodger pitching a scoreless eight inning and Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth to strike out the side and record his 23rd save.
It was the same story Sunday as the Padres took an early 1-0 lead, however, one measly run isn’t nearly enough to keep this Dodgers team down. Mark Ellis tied the game up in the third inning with an RBI single, while Greinke and Padres’ starter Tyson Ross battled for the next several innings.
Ross had some nasty stuff, striking out 10 Dodgers batters in only five innings, but, the second Ross came out, the Dodgers pounced, and I mean literally.
After Gonzalez grounded out to lead off the inning, Puig crushed the first pitch he saw from Padres’ reliever Dale Thayer into the left-center pavilion. It was Cuban Heritage Day at Dodger Stadium, so it was only fitting that Puig would hit the go-ahead home run. After a controversial benching at the end of the Dodgers’ last series with the Cubs, Puig went 6-for-13 against the Padres this weekend.
The Dodgers have added even more depth to the team by acquiring Phillies’ infielder Michael Young. Juan Uribe will remain the starter at third base, but Young is a versatile infielder who can play multiple positions. Young can be a clutch bat off the bench for the Dodgers as well as another infielder who can spell Uribe, Mark Ellis, and Adrian Gonzalez from time to time. Young is a Southern California native and attended college at UC Santa Barbara.
The Dodgers will head to Denver to take on the Colorado Rockies next. Clayton Kershaw will take the mound at Coors Field Monday afternoon against Rockies’ rookie Chad Bettis (0-3, 4.80 ERA). The Rockies just took 2-of-3 games from the Cincinnati Reds this weekend, but are eight games under .500 and 11 1/2 games behind the Dodgers.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Matt Kemp’s rehab stint.