LOS ANGELES — The pitchers have been fine these days. It’s not like they have to be. They are pretty much a trigger mechanism. Get everything started, sit back and let the Dodgers’ hitters make it rain.
Alex Wood was the starter Friday night against Colorado, which was leading the Dodgers by 2½ games on June 9. He couldn’t pull the trigger immediately. Charlie Blackmon took him through an eight-pitch at-bat and dumped a single into center-field, and Wood wasn’t getting much leeway from home umpire Fieldin Culbreth. After that, defending NL batting champ David LeMahieu walked on four pitches.
That’s two on, nobody out, with Nolan Arenado walking up. Arenado has led the league in home runs and RBI in each of the past two seasons.
“You don’t have much time to think about it,” Wood said. “You’ve got to start executing pitches.”
Arenado dribbled a changeup to first baseman Cody Bellinger, and the wind shifted. Wood struck out Mark Reynolds and Ian Desmond. A chance had fluttered past the Rockies, because the Dodgers scored four runs in their first two innings. They won, 6-1, as Wood pitched six innings, gave up no hits in his last four, and improved to 8-0 with a 1.86 ERA.
The Dodgers now lead Colorado and Arizona by 2½ games, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound tonight.
“Charlie is so locked in right now, the way he battles,” Wood said of Blackmon, a leadoff man who has driven in 56 runs and has a .607 slugging percentage. “You can’t really get him to swing at something that’s not a strike. That could have gone south real fast, with a lineup like that. They can change the game with one swing.”
Except that’s what the Dodgers do. And then they swing again. They have scored at least six runs in their past six games, all victories, and they have done it in nine of their past 11. They throttled it down to just one home run Friday, that by Yasiel Puig, who hustled around the bases and avoided retribution.
“I was in Atlanta in 2013…