By Joe Frisaro and Steve Wilaj
MLB.com |@JoeFrisaro |
MIAMI -- Dodgers lefty Brett Anderson, the Major League leader in inducing ground balls, lived up to his billing on Friday night, keeping the ball on the ground while also striking out a season-high 10 in seven innings of a 7-1 win over the Marlins.
"My stuff was probably the best overall that it's been with the sinker," Anderson said. "Then I got some strikeouts with the slider, which hasn't really quite been there."
Scott Van Slyke belted a two-run homer and Anderson helped his cause with an RBI single, helping to spoil the Marlins Park debut for Miami rookie lefty Justin Nicolino.
Anderson (4-4, 3.13 ERA), who entered the game with a 67.3 percent groundball ratio, didn't have a ball leave the infield until Adeiny Hechavarria's long flyout to center with one out in the sixth inning. That was lone flyout Anderson induced, compared to eight groundouts. The lefty locked in late, fanning the final four he faced. Nicolino (1-1), who threw seven shutout innings in his MLB debut last Saturday in Cincinnati, was tagged for five runs on six hits in four innings.
The Marlins received some troubling news when All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, who struck out three times, felt pain in his left hand after going down on strikes against Pedro Baez in the ninth inning. Stanton is having X-rays on the hand and his status for the rest of the series is uncertain. More >
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Dodgers respond quickly: After falling behind 1-0 in the first inning, the Dodgers' offense got to work, with Adrian Gonzalez singling to lead off the second before Scott Van Slyke followed with a two-run homer to give Los Angeles a lead it would not relinquish. The Dodgers tacked on three fourth-inning runs -- keyed by Jimmy Rollins' two-run single -- to put the game out of reach.
"Slykie gets us the two-run homer that gets us the lead back after they got that one in the first," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "I thought that kind of changed the game and brought the momentum back to us and then Brett got rolling." More >
Outs, ouch on bases: The Marlins didn't get many chances off Anderson. But with the score still manageable at 2-1 in the third, not one, but two Miami runners were picked off by the Dodgers' lefty. J.T. Realmuto singled to open the inning, but with one out, he took off for second as Anderson tossed to first. It went as a caught stealing. Then, with two outs, Dee Gordon singled and found himself in the same spot as Realmuto, officially caught stealing.
"We had two guys picked off against a left-handed pitcher," Miami manager Dan Jennings said. "We were trying to be aggressive. We were going on first movement, and Anderson held and threw behind, and we ended up with two guys in that one inning getting picked, working on first movement."
10 K's to end the game: Sure, Anderson was sharp. But maybe even more impressive was that Anderson, Adam Liberatore and Baez combined to punch out 10 Marlins hitters in a row to end the contest. In all, Los Angeles struck out 16 on the night. More >
Too little contact: It wasn't just Anderson's ability to induce groundouts that was an issue for the Marlins. The 16 strikeouts were a season high for Miami. The last out recorded other than a strikeout was Hechavarria's flyout to center in the sixth. Miami previously fanned 15 times on June 13 against the Rockies.
"I think it goes back to guys trying to do too much," Jennings said. "You've got to put the ball in play. You've got to make the other team make the outs; 16 punchouts is way too many."
"I'm a read guy, where I kind of go up and hold or I quick-pitch. It was one of those times where I was able to go up and hold and see they were taking off. ... To get out of some of those situations with pickoffs really isn't how you draw it up, but whatever works." -- Anderson on the two pickoffs in the third
"Thank goodness we play here. That's probably gone anyplace else. I was trying to bounce it. That's baseball. Got too quick, got out in front, it got out of my hand and sat on a tee for him. You see what kind of numbers that guy has." -- Jarred Cosart, on Joc Pederson crushing a double to deep center that bounced high off the wall. Statcast™ tracked the double to have landed a projected 427 feet away
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Cosart relieved Nicolino in the fifth, and he worked four innings for Miami, giving up two runs and logging 76 pitches. It was the first relief appearance of Cosart's career. The right-hander has made 47 starts. More >
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Clayton Kershaw (5-5, 3.33 ERA) will start Saturday at 1:10 p.m. PT, trying to bounce back from a loss his last time out, when he gave up three runs in seven innings. It will be the lefty's third start at Marlins Park, where he's 2-0 with a 1.26 ERA.
Marlins: After missing one start due to neck tightness, Tom Koehler is back on the mound Saturday at 4:10 p.m. ET. The right-hander is 5-4 (3.76 ERA) in 14 games (13 starts).
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.