Were you wondering how the Dodgers would bounce back after losing on the road for the first time in 16 games? Nervous there might be a letdown? A tad too much exhaling?
Fear not, turns out they can lift themselves up from the ashes of a rare defeat very well.
They showed that early Wednesday by scoring six runs in the second inning and then going on to hammer the Cardinals, 13-4, in St. Louis.
That means the Dodgers are 16-3 since the All-Star break and have won 33 of their last 41 games, though somehow it seems as if they’ve won more.
The Dodgers blasted the Cardinals for 18 hits, the first perhaps the most impactful, a line drive by Carl Crawford off the pitching elbow of rookie right-hander Shelby Miller on only his second pitch.
The Cardinals immediately removed Miller from the game. X-rays showed no break and they were officially calling it a bruise.
With Miller out, St. Louis went to Jake Westbrook, who was scheduled to start Thursday’s series finale, to start the second inning.
Relieving doesn’t seem to be in Westbrook’s immediate future. He threw 108 pitches in his 4 2/3 innings, surrendering nine runs, 13 hits and two walks.
Andre Ethier had four hits and drove in four runs, former Cardinal Skip Schumaker had three hits and four runs batted in, Crawford had four hits and Tim Federowicz had three to lead the onslaught for the Dodgers. And in a sign that he is maturing at the plate, Yasiel Puig walked three times.
Ricky Nolasco made his sixth start for the Dodgers and was having a fairly easy time of it until stalling in the fifth inning, when he gave up three runs, all unearned because of his throwing error.
Nolasco (8-9 overall, 3-1 with the Dodgers) surrendered three runs and seven hits, four coming consecutively with two outs in the fifth.
The Dodgers led, 9-4, when they put the game away with four runs in the ninth inning. The Cardinals called on catcher Rob Johnson to come in and strike out Rodriguez, who had never hit in the majors, for the final out.
The victory assures the Dodgers of at least a split in their four-game series with St. Louis, meaning they will be unbeaten in their last 14 series (currently 9-0-4).