It’s clear that the Dodgers’ formula for the remaining five
games before the All-Star break will be very similar to that of their victory
over the Cincinnati Reds at Dodger Stadium last night. Quite simply: do
whatever it takes to eke out a win. That is exactly what they did last night, defeating
Johnny Cueto and the Reds.
Minor league call-up Luis Cruz was the star of the night. He
broke a 1-1 tie with a double in the 7th, driving in James Loney
from 1st base. Then, with Tony Gwynn Jr. at the plate, Cruz broke for
home as the squeeze was on. Unfortunately for the Reds, and fortunately for the Dodgers, Cueto’s fastball went sailing
to the backstop allowing Cruz to score easily. Cruz was credited with a stolen
base. Not bad for the rookie call-up: in two games, he’s driven in two runs and
has stolen home.
Scott Elbert (1-1) was credited with the victory while
Kenley Jansen earned his 13th save of the season. Cueto (9-5) suffered
the loss despite pitching a strong 7 innings. Dodger starter Chris Capuano
pitched a solid 6 innings, only giving up one run. Once again, he was
victimized by a lack of run support from his teammates, a common theme during
this recent slump.
The Dodgers were in desperate need of a victory after
squandering a 2-0 lead in game 1 of the series on Monday night. Combined with
the Giants loss to the Nationals, the Dodgers moved within a half game of first
place in the National League West and improved to 45-37. The final game of the
three game series concludes tomorrow night with Aaron Harang (5-5) taking on
Mike Leake (3-5).
These types of grind-it-out games will be crucial for the
Dodgers while they are play without key players Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and
Mark Ellis. Kemp, Ellis and reliever Javy Guerra began their rehab assignments Tuesday
at Class-A affiliate Rancho Cucamonga. Kemp went 2-3, collecting two hits,
drawing a walk and scoring a run. Ellis went 2-4, also scoring a run for the
Quakes. Javy Guerra pitched a scoreless inning striking out one. So it’s just a
matter of the Dodgers keeping their heads above water for the next week. Ellis
could be activated within the next couple days, while Kemp won’t be back in the
lineup until after the All-Star break. Ellis, while not the flashy player that
Kemp is, provided the Dodgers with a solid number two batter and a sturdy glove
at 2nd base. He was batting .273 and got on base for the big guns
that followed him in Kemp and Ethier. Kemp’s return, obviously, needs no
justification. His April stats speak for themself.
As for the Dodgers currently, five more games to survive
before the reinforcements are back. Five more ‘win any way you can’ type games
before giving a good run of things in the second half of the season.
About the Author
Written by Simran Reyatt
Growing up in the suburbs of Los Angeles I became passionate about sports around 1988, watching the showtime Lakers and the miracle Dodgers. I have been hooked ever since! Lakers, Raider and Dodgers are my main passions, but really, I'm a huge sports lover as a whole.