You really can’t predict baseball. The 78-67 Dodgers, vying for first place in the NL West, entered Wednesday afternoon’s action in Cincinnati having lost all six matchups against the 63-83, last-place Reds this season. The Dodgers’ Opening Day payroll was nearly twice that of the Reds’.
How bad has it been for the Dodgers against the Reds in 2018? Consider that, this season, Reds starter Homer Bailey has a 6.09 ERA. The Reds are 1-19 in games he’s started. That one win came on May 12 against the Dodgers when Bailey allowed three runs on 10 hits and two walks with four strikeouts over five innings.
Wednesday afternoon was the Dodgers’ last chance to get on the board against the Reds and they finally did it. Joc Pederson tied the game at 1-1 with a solo homer to lead off the fourth inning and the Dodgers took the lead later that inning on a fan interference call. The Dodgers plated four more runs in the fifth and two in the sixth to take an 8-1 lead. They would go on to win 8-1.
Ross Stripling started for the Dodgers, yielding a lone run over 3 1/3 innings before giving way to the bullpen. Zac Rosscup, Caleb Ferguson, Dylan Floro, Pat Venditte, Josh Fields, and Kenley Jansen combined to get the final 17 outs. Jansen was making his first appearance in a week.
With the win, the Dodgers pick up a half-game in the standings on the first-place Rockies, who play the Diamondbacks in the evening. The gap between the Rockies and Dodgers is now only one game. The D-Backs trail the Rockies by 2.5 games. Things are getting real interesting in the NL West with the finish line on the horizon.