The Dodgers relied exclusively on the long ball in their 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Friday, bringing them to 18-5 since June 22. Meanwhile Ricky Nolasco pitched in the Dodgers second-consecutive regular-season game, due to the four-day long All-Star Break.
In the second inning, Nolasco gave up a run off of a wild pitch with Bryce Harper on third base. It is arguable that Harper should have never been on third in the first place given he was clearly thrown out by Yasiel Puig, but you never want to see a run score on such an embarrassing play.
It appeared Nolasco may have lost control in the fourth inning, giving up singles to Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper, then walking Jayson Werth to load the bases with no outs. The Nationals appeared poised to score multiple runs, but Nolasco shut down the next three batters to get out of the inning.
With a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth, he gave up three singles to Zimmerman, Werth, and Ian Desmond for the tying run, ending his night. Jose Dominguez came in with the two runners on and induced a double play to get out of the inning.
Nolasco has given up 16 hits for five runs in the last two games, 10.1 innings. The bullpen on the other hand has been dominant in relief with 7.1 scoreless innings and just four hits allowed in those games.
The Dodgers had eight hits on Friday, but the two runs they scored on came off homers from Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier.
Ramirez hit a two-run jack in the third inning scoring Adrian Gonzalez, and Andre Ethier golfed a solo shot that hardly left the ballpark in the ninth inning of the 2-2 tie, giving the Dodgers the game-winning run.
Maintaing a hot streak out of the All-Star Break was important for the Dodgers, but the real focus was on the health of outfielders, Carl Crawford and Yasiel Puig. Both were playing through nagging injuries, but the break was supposed to give them the rest to come back at full health. Well, the Dodgers 1, 2 batters combined to go 0-8 with three strikeouts, Friday.
At least Puig made a fantastic throw to catch Bryce Harper trying to reach third base on a tag-up (yes, Harper was called safe, but watch a replay for the amazing throw), and a back-peddling catch the ended with him crashing into a wall in foul territory. That's enough running into walls for a few weeks, Yasiel, the Dodgers don't need you to be on the DL too.
Zach Greinke and Clayton Kershaw are scheduled to finish off the series against Washington. Saturday brings Greinke up against Gio Gonzalez, as the Dodgers look to stay hot out of the break.
Tweets From #Dodgers Nation
BASEBALL IS BACK ON! BASEBALL IS BACK ON!! #Dodgers
— David Herrmann (@thecazbah) July 19, 2013
Sorry Jared, but Hanley is killing everything right now.
— Jared Kaufman (@jaredkaufman) July 19, 2013
Twitter sarcasm is always a bit more tolerable when the Dodgers are winning
— Johnny Navarrette (@JNavSports) July 20, 2013
Glad to see Ethier will most likely stay with the Dodgers and is not getting boo'd anymore!
— mike (@iDodgrMike) July 20, 2013
115-47 is still a possibility, right?
Undefeated since the break! #Dodgers
— Joe Roehrig (@JoeRoehrig) July 20, 2013