LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers offense grabbed the headlines again on Tuesday, but the club might have found some semblance of stability in its starting rotation. Mike Bolsinger had his second solid performance in as many starts in the Dodgers' 11-1 win over the Marlins on Tuesday, and the right-hander staked his claim to stay in the rotation, at least for the near future.
Bolsinger allowed one run on five hits in 5⅔ innings on Tuesday, with two walks and three strikeouts, earning his first win as a Dodger.
"One of the better things he does is spin it. He changes speeds with that breaking ball. We need guys to keep us in the game, and give us a chance to win. It's really no different with Mike than it is with Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke," manager Don Mattingly said. "If we can get that type of performance up and down our rotation, you feel like you're in the game and you have a chance."
Bolsinger kept the Dodgers in the game despite not hitting 90 mph once in his start, something he shared with his mound counterpart.
Starting pitchers Bolsinger and Haren combined for 167 pitches, none faster than 89 mph.— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) May 13, 2015
"Today I didn't really have the fastball command that I wanted. After the first inning I knew it was going to be an off-speed kind of day," Bolsinger said. "I just threw curve balls first pitch, and got them with the slider. I got a lot of ground outs."
Bolsinger induced nine ground ball outs in his win on Tuesday, but one that was not hit on the ground was the 478-foot blast by Giancarlo Stanton in the first inning that cleared the left field pavilion.
"That home run was something else. You just have to kind of look back and say, 'That's awesome.'," Bolsinger said, laughing. "If you look closely I laughed a little bit on the mound. That's the hardest ball I've ever seen - well, I take that back. His last hit he had against me was the hardest ball."
That last hit was a sixth-inning single rocketed on the ground to left field.
"I think the second ball I got back, there was a dent in it," Bolsinger said. "I knew he hit it pretty hard."
Bolsinger wasn't alone giggling like a schoolgirl at Stanton's blast.
"I came in the dugout and started laughing with him. I said, 'I'm sorry if I'm chuckling still, but I've never seen a ball hit that hard'," said Andre Ethier, who had a view from right field.
Bolsinger was able to hold the Marlins scoreless the rest of the way. His pitching line was nearly identical to his first one, on April 23 in San Francisco - he had two more strikeouts that day. After that game, he was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
This time, he could stick around for a bit. At least until Sunday, his next scheduled start.
"I would think so," manager Don Mattingly said. "We still have a little bit of wiggle room, but we are getting to that point where we are trying to settle in and get on track with our five guys."
The Dodgers don't have an off day until Monday, their only one in the next 15 days.
Bolsinger is not worrying about something out of his control.
"You never know," Bolsinger said. "I put myself in good position, that's the way I look at it."
The Dodgers go for the sweep on Wednesday evening, an odd 4:50 p.m. PT start. Carlos Frias gets the start, earning a rotation spot of his own, going for a third straight win. The Marlins will send Jarred Cosart to the hill for the series finale.