The improved pitching and soft schedule are helping the Dodgers take over in the NL West
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The improved pitching and soft schedule are helping the Dodgers take over in the NL West

Clayton Kershaw, center, of the Los Angeles Dodgers, celebrates with relief pitcher Ryan Brazier (57) and catcher Will Smith.

The cornerstone on which much is built Dodgers Playoff teams are built on quicksand in July, and the club’s typically stout rotation posts a 6.18 ERA, Worst sign of any month Since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958.

Then the calendar flipped, and the Dodgers starters found their match with a 2.22 ERA in August’s first 13 games, with elements of a rotation resurgence that evoke that old English rhyme about items a bride should have on her wedding day.

There was something old (the return of the lefty veteran Clayton Kershaw) something new (emergence Rookie Bobby Miller As a mainstay of rotation), something borrowed (acquisition at trade deadline Lance Lane) and something blue (the sad sacks arrive at the Oakland Athletics and the Colorado Rockies at Chavez Raven).

Read more: Hernandez: Does the Dodgers have enough playoff arms? It’s time to find out now

Kershaw, 35, finished a six-week stint on the injured list with a shoulder injury with five runs, one run, three hits and four strikeouts. Winning 2-1 against the Rockies on Thursday nightThe 67-pitch effort represents a promising first step for the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner that the Dodgers need to make a deep playoff run.

Miller, a 24-year-old right-hander, is one of the best starting pitchers in the major leagues with a 6-2 record and a 3.89 ERA in 13 starts going into Tuesday night’s game against Milwaukee, and striking out one of his best starts of the season, six innings, No run, four hits in last Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Arizona.

Lane, who had a league-high 6.47 ERA and 28 homers allowed in 21 starts for the Chicago White Sox, is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in his first three starts for the Dodgers, including Friday night’s 6-1 win over the Rockies, in which he gave up The right-hander reported an unearned run and four hits, struck out nine and walked one.

Tony Gonsolin, whose season-long struggles have brought him close to losing the rotational spot, made what was probably his best start of the season Saturday night, when the right-hander gave up one run and three hits, struck out six and walked none. in a 4-1 win over Colorado.

And Julio Urillas, who hit a career-high 12 strikeouts in Sunday’s 8-3 win over the Rockies, is 3-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts, fueling hopes that the left-hander is on his way to a 2022 comeback. The competitor in time to solidify the team rotation.

It didn’t hurt that nine of the Dodgers’ first 13 games this month were against the two worst teams in baseball — the Athletics and Rockies combined for a 78-158 record as of Sunday — and the heavily sluggish Diamondbacks, who have had a four-leading NL West team at 12. June before losing 34 out of 50 matches.

The Dodgers opened August with a three-game sweep in Oakland, swept a two-game series in Arizona last week, and swept a four-game weekend at the Rockies. Push their teams to 8 matches Monday entry. They’ve won 12 of the 13 games that went into Tuesday night’s game against the Brewers.

Dodgers pitcher Lance Lane faces the Colorado Rockies on August 11

Lance Lane, who plays against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA in three starts with the Dodgers. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

But manager Dave Roberts doesn’t think the rotation’s fortunes, which yielded 17 earned runs in 69 innings this month, have turned around because of the more flexible schedule.

“I think if you look at the last road trip — I think the starters, the people we got on deadline, made up a big part of it,” said Roberts. “I think Lance (recoveries) Joe Kelly and Ryan Yarbrough have done a great job. I think the bulls game has leveled off. And I think Julio, starting off Tony, was a huge boost for all of us.

“I don’t think they’re opponents. When we didn’t throw the baseball (well), I don’t think it really mattered who we were playing. It wasn’t a good score. We just threw the baseball better.”

Although the spin has leveled off, the Bulls did take a few hits over the weekend. right hand Monty forgets He went on the 15-day injured list on Saturday due to a medial collateral ligament sprain in his right knee, and Kelly went to IL on Sunday due to a right forearm strain.

The loss of tough Kelly, who was acquired from the White Sox with Lynn, snapped a branch of what Roberts calls his “confidence tree” of high-leverage relievers he prefers to use against closer Evan Phillips, a group that includes liners Brusdar Graterol and Ryan Brasier and lefty Caleb Ferguson.

Brazier, a 35-year-old right fielder who’s been 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA in 22 games since his June 20 callup from Triple-A, had already worked his way into a powerhouse role, but losing Almonte and Kelly would put more pressure on Lefty Alex Phezia and possibly Yarbrough, who were acquired from the Kansas City Royals on Aug. 1.

Read more: Dodgers remove Ryan Brazier’s enduring catchphrase: ‘I just kind of kept going’

Yarbrough, who has an unorthodox sidearm delivery and a four-pitch combination (sink, curve, snapper, changeup), has given up one run and four hits in 7 1/3 innings of his first two appearances with the Dodgers, striking out seven and no walks, but he More than a tall man needs several days to recover from his multi-role appearance.

The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Yarbrough threw three scoreless innings in relief for Kershaw on Thursday and Kershaw will likely be on the running back again Wednesday night.

“It’s kind of sneaky, under the radar, on deadline play,” Roberts said of Yarbrough. “What he did for us, protecting the bulls while giving us good, high quality rides, was huge.”

The players’ deal-deadline acquisitions also had an impact, as player Amed Rosario hit . 289 with a . 860 percentage on plus slugging, three homers and 11 RBI in 14 games since. Acquired July 26th from Cleveland856 OPS, one homer, 7 doubles and 8 RBIs in 16 games since his July 25 acquisition from Boston.

Right-handers Rosario and Hernandez are here to bolster the line-up against left-handers. The Dodgers are 7-1 against left-handed starters this month. Both provide defensive prowess; Hernandez plays all four spots in the infield and two outfield spots, and Rosario plays second base and shortstop.

They’ve turned the Dodgers into the kind of heavy platoon their 2018 World Series team was, with lefties David Peralta, Jason Heyward, and occasionally James Ottman sharing time with Hernandez, Rosario, and Chris Taylor. The deeper seat also allows Roberts to use more game line turnovers.

“You could argue it’s nice to have seven guys like we had last year, who you can draw every night no matter what (which side they attack from),” said Roberts. “But you could also argue that having four players you can kind of mix and match and get matches late in games is good for the club.”

Amed Rosario of the Dodgers hits a two-run single against the San Diego Padres.
Amed Rosario, who was hitting first after a game-winning single over the San Diego Padres on August 4, has 11 RBIs in 14 games with the Dodgers. (Gregory Paul / Associated Press)

The addition of Rosario and Hernández, the continued contributions of Heyward and Peralta, and Outman’s consistent production added great depth to a senior lineup that had relied heavily on Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, JD Martinez, and Max Muncy for the first four months.

Although Outman was expected to sit out against more left-handers, the rookie has essentially carved his way into an everyday role with his hot-rod bat and improving defense in midfield.

Outman was named the NL’s Rookie of the Month after hitting .292 with a .991 OPS, seven homers and 20 RBIs in 29 games in March and April. He broke down poorly in May and June, batting .192 with .551 OPS, two homers and 15 RBIs, 60 strikeouts and 14 walks in 47 games.

But since July 1, Outman is hitting . 317 with a 0.954 OPS, five homers and 16 RBIs in 34 games, with 31 strikeouts and 23 walks in 104 at-bats. 333 with a .1045 OPS, two homers and 7 RBIs in August. He is hitting .294 with .759 OPS against left-handers, and .244 with .811 OPS against right-handers on the season.

“He handles the bat consistent, makes close contact, bases, and drives runs against left-handers and right-handers,” said Roberts. “I don’t look at him as a rookie anymore. I look at him as a major league player. He’s been playing at that level lately.”

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This story originally appeared Los Angeles Times.

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