Carl Crawford #25 and Zack Greinke #21 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrate their runs for a 4-0 lead off of a Nick Punto #7 single during the thrid inning against the Tampa Bay.
After dropping two in a row, the Dodgers won Tuesday in dramatic fashion.
After putting together a three-run lead, Chris Capuano and Brandon League let the game get tied up at 4-4, where it stayed until the eighth inning when Yasiel Puig hit the game-winning home run.
A little perspective on the Dodgers' two losses that sent fans into a panicked frenzy: They came against two of the best pitchers since the All Star Break, with Philadelphia's Cole Hamels posting a 2.30 ERA and Miami's Jose Fernandez ranking second in the NL behind Clayton Kershaw with a 1.54 ERA.
So while you never want to see the Dodger bats get shut down to that extent -- five runs against the two starters -- at least it was against such dominant pitchers. In both games, they got solid starts from Ricky Nolasco and Hyun-Jin Ryu, both dependable pitchers, but not quite the elite guys at the top of the rotation.
The fact that they won on Tuesday, despite Chris Capuano and Brandon League's best efforts to blow the game, allows us to set our sights to the rest of this series against the Marlins, and on a new winning streak. For the final two games, the Dodgers will be sending out the top of the rotation with Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw on the mound.
Greinke has been fantastic in his last four starts, allowing just four runs in 27 innings pitched, with the last 13.2 innings being scoreless ball. He takes on Nathan Eovaldi, an ex-Dodger, who gave up 12 hits for nine runs in three innings his last time out, but was stellar in his four starts prior to that with three runs allowed in 26 innings.
On Thursday, Dodger ace Clayton Kershaw closes out the series against Miami's Henderson Alvarez. You all know about Kershaw continued dominance and the expectations when he is on the mound, and those expectations will be even higher against Miami's inept offense that ranks last in the NL in runs scored and team on-base percentage.
The Dodgers should be able to win the next two games and build up a new three-game winning streak, but they are going to have to avoid the litany of mistakes they have been making.
Lately there have been base-running blunders, fielding errors and double plays all over the place. There is not a single player to blame, as a team they simply have been making it harder on themselves to win games, although with Kershaw and Greinke on the mound they will be given a little more leeway.
After this series with Miami, the Dodgers return home to face the AL East leading Boston Red Sox for a challenging three-game series.
It will be a good test to see what they can do against Boston with Ricky Nolasco, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Chris Capuano on the mound while they are facing strong pitchers like Jon Lester and Jake Peavy.