DODGERS PITCHER MASTERS EX-MATES

Bolsinger al­lows two runs in seven innings, re­ceives plenty of of­fen­sive sup­port.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Dy­lan Her­nan­dez

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.

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