Over 162 games in a normal regular season, even the best teams in the sport will have particularly off nights, which will be more deflating than your typical loss. The important fact is what you do in between them and subsequently how often they occur.
Seldom in 2022 have we seen back-to-back disappointing games from the Dodgers, even more so during this run over the last month, mont and a half. With that in mind, go back in time to the end of Monday’s deflating shutout loss at the hands of Eric Lauer (always him, am I right), and the Milwaukee’s bullpen, and write up a checklist of the ideal end to this series.
Chances are that list wouldn’t entail all that has gone right for the Dodgers in these last two games, particularly Wednesday, en route to a series win at home against the Brewers. Tuesday night’s bashing of yet another Cy Young contender was thoroughly examined, and things didn’t slow down for the series finale.
Andrew Heaney came to the mound looking to rebound from a bittersweet outing against these very same Brewers, which he faced last week. The left-hander was filthy as ever with 19 total whiffs and 10 punchouts over fewer than five innings last week, but he struggled with the longball allowing a couple of bombs to McCutchen, and ultimately took the loss against Corbin Burnes.
Six days later, Heaney got a big early lead as the Dodgers lineup jumped on Adrian Houser with a four-run first inning that entailed three walks. Heaney pitched with confidence going six full frames for only the second time as a Dodgers, he gave up a solo shot in the first to Willy Adames but cruised from there with 10 punchouts, one walk and only four hits allowed.
During a year marked by injury woes, Heaney seems to be getting on track right as the Dodgers will need him in the most. When he’s been able to pitch, he’s shown the upside that prompted this front office to sign him after a horrendous 2021 campaign.
On the offensive side of the ball, what can be said about this lineup that’s scored double-digit runs in back-to-back games against a playoff contender?
Trea Turner and Freddie Freeman seem dead set on taking this battle for the hits leaderboard down to the wire as both added a couple of knocks before Freeman got a rest as the Dodgers took a commanding 12-2 lead by the end of the sixth inning.
Regardless of high-end talent, when your team is scoring 22 runs over a two-game span, the entire lineup is pitching in, at least the majority, and a symbol of that statement is the fact that eight different hitters scored at least one run in tonight’s game, including pinch-hitter Trayce Thompson, who relieved Bellinger in the sixth, hit a double, and came around to score on an Austin Barnes home run.
Five hitters recorded multiple hits, and Barnes made sure the Dodgers didn’t miss Will Smith tonight, contributing as part of that group and delivering four RBI on the night, the highest total by a single player in the game.
Home runs: Austin Barnes (6), Willy Adames (25)
WP — Andrew Heaney (2-1): 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
LP — Adrian Houser (4-9): 2⅓ IP, 5 hits, 55 runs, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
The Dodgers get an off-day before a four-game weekend wraparound series in Miami against the Marlins. Tyler Anderson gets the ball on Friday (3:40 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA) while the Marlins haven’t announced their starter yet.