DODGERS PITCHER MASTERS EX-MATES
Bolsinger allows two runs in seven innings, receives plenty of offensive support.
Before Mike Bolsinger scaled the mound on Monday night, the verdict was already in: The Arizona Diamondbacks shouldn’t have let him go.
Bolsinger emphasized the point in a 9-3 victory for the Dodgers, as he toyed with the team that sold him over the winter.
Bolsinger was masterful, limiting his former team to two runs and three hits over seven innings. He struck out eight batters to match his career high.
He blanked the Diamondbacks through five innings. By the time A.J. Pollock doubled in two runs in the sixth inning, the Dodgers had already scored nine runs.
Bolsinger downplayed the significance of making the Diamondbacks realize they made a mistake.
“I want to prove everyone wrong,” he said. “A lot of people didn’t think I could be in this situation. They thought I could come up here, have a start, do OK, be back down [in the minor leagues]. There were also people saying, ‘He’s having a good cou-
ple of starts, when’s he going to explode?’ I’m not out there to prove a single person wrong. I think it’s more like, ‘Let me prove everyone wrong.’ ”
Bolsinger has made seven starts for the Dodgers. He is 4-1 with a 2.08 earnedrun average.
He’s done that with a fastball that rarely touches 90 mph.
The Diamondbacks didn’t think he threw hard enough. They had statistical evidence to back their opinion, as he was 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 games for them last season.
When the season ended, the Diamondbacks removed Bolsinger from their 40-man roster.
Bolsinger said he was to blame for what happened.
“It was more to do with me,” he said. “I went up there with a bad mentality: ‘If I pitch bad, I’m going to get sent back down.’ ”
The Dodgers acquired him by sending their division rivals a modest amount of cash instead of players.
Bolsinger refused to say he was insulted.
“It’s probably like $5 million, $6 million, right?” Bolsinger joked.
Bolsinger started this season in triple-A Oklahoma City.
He made a spot start in April, after which he was sent back down. He returned to the rotation the following month and has been there since.
The Dodgers have embraced the pitcher Bolsinger is, which, in turn, has allowed Bolsinger to feel more comfortable pitching to his strengths.
“It’s almost like his curveball is his fastball,” shortstop Jimmy Rollins said.
In other words, he uses his curveball early in counts to set up his other pitches instead of the other way around.
Bolsinger said his confidence has grown as the Dodgers have allowed him to pitch out of trouble.
He also credited pitching coach Rick Honeycutt for improving his delivery.
“If I look at video from last year, it’s completely different,” Bolsinger said. “If you watch [Zack] Greinke pitch, you see how smooth he is. I want to look like that.”
Asked if he thought he was capable of pitching like this, Bolsinger said, “I think so.”
He continued, “Honestly, I think there’s another level in there. I have to keep working hard.”
Bolsinger also credited the Dodgers’ offense, which scored five runs in the fourth inning to open up a 6-0 lead. They scored three more runs in the fifth inning.
“It seems like every time I pitch, they give me runs,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s me giving off good vibes.”
There was an injury, however.
Justin Turner fouled a ball off his left knee in the third and was removed from the game in the following inning. X-rays on Turner’s knee were negative.