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When in trouble, Dodgers call on Evan Phillips

The Dodgers shutout the Giants for a 3-0 win

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Vargas drove in a run with his first major league at-bat, and Julio Urías tossed six innings of scoreless ball, but the man of the night was none other than Evan Phillips. The Dodgers reliever continues to prove his worth by pitching with ice on his veins in the most stressful of situations.

Urías secured his 11th win of the season in this 3-0 win over the Giants, but he probably owes Phillips at least a top-of-the-line dinner following the ways things ended for Urías in the seventh inning.

The Dodgers pitching staff lost Walker Buehler a couple of months ago, and nothing about their season would hint towards having both the best record in the big leagues, and one of the best starting rotations since their ace went down.

Those statements above aren’t a knock on Buehler by any stretch, the team does in fact miss him a lot. However, Urías has done a far more than adequate job of filling in the role as the workhorse of the staff.

Tony Gonsolin and Tyler Anderson are pleasant surprises with All-Star first halves, and Clayton Kershaw is still Clayton Kershaw, but the staple of this rotation — which he keeps proving with nights like this — is Urías. Even if it took a major hand from relief ace Phillips for a clean final line.

Urías was cruising through six innings with only four hits allowed and no walks but ultimately left the mound with a bitter taste in his mouth as he allowed the first three batters in the bottom of the seventh to reach on singles, loading the bases.

All of a sudden the go-ahead run was at the plate, and Urías was out of the game on the hook for three baserunners. That bitter taste Urías had though was soon sweetened by Phillips, the MVP of team.

On back-to-back nights Dave Roberts has called upon his best reliever for the most crucial spot one can possibly enter in a baseball game, the bases loaded with no outs, and for the second night in a row, Phillips came in and stranded the house, getting all three outs without allowing a run.

The Dodgers’ fireman reliever struck out Dixon Machado in commanding fashion with just three pitches and got a double-play ball when the runner from second took off early on a soft flyout to Mookie Betts.

Is Phillips the most important player on the Dodgers? Probably not. However, you’ll be hard pressed to find anyone that elevated their status into such a pivotal role quite like he did. This bullpen relies on him like no other facet of the team does on any player.

The offense did just enough against Alex Cobb for a couple of early runs in the second and fourth inning including a beautiful double towards triple’s alley by the debutant of the night Miguel Vargas to drive in Trayce Thompson after falling behind 0-2 in the count, but overall, the Giants’ starter had a more than a solid night with eight punchouts over six and a third innings, allowing three runs.

Yency Almonte took care of the eighth inning and continues to rise up the ranks of the Dodgers’ pen, in fact, if he qualified, Almonte would have a top 5 ERA among all relievers in baseball with his minuscule 1.15 ERA mark.

The Craig Kimbrel special came in at full effect as the Dodgers’ closer managed to make things extremely interesting by loading the bases with one out in the ninth, but like we’ve seen many times, he eventually got the job done with a flyout and a strikeout to end the game, even if he made it much more thrilling than it needed to be.

Tonight marked the first night all year in which the big three of Mookie Betts, Trea Turner, and Freddie Freeman all played, all didn't get a hit, and the Dodgers still wound up victorious. Encouraging to see the bottom of the order getting the job done.

With the win, the Dodgers mark their second consecutive series win over the Giants since that sweep they suffered in San Francisco in mid-June and could go for a second four-game sweep against their bitter rivals after sweeping them earlier in the month in Los Angeles.

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: none

WP — Julio Urías (11-6): 6+ IP, 7 hits, 6 strikeouts

LP — Alex Cobb (3-6): 6⅓ IP, 4 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts

Sv — Craig Kimbrel (19): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Up next

The Dodgers go for the sweep on getaway day in San Francisco with Clayton Kershaw on the mound (12:45 p.m.; SportsNet LA, MLB Network). Right-hander Jakob Junis starts for the Giants.