Serious money can’t buy you love, or even a reliably healthy right-hander (see: Brandon McCarthy), but it appears that relative pocket change can buy you a surprisingly effective replacement.
In perhaps their most unheralded deal of the winter, the Dodgers purchased right-hander Mike Bolsinger from the Arizona Diamondbacks. There was no other player involved; the Dodgers simply bought him from Arizona for an undisclosed amount of cash.
Bolsinger had gone 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA in 10 games (nine starts) for the Diamondbacks, so you could understand that they were willing to move him, even if it was for little in return.
With the Dodgers, however, Bolsinger has been an entirely different pitcher, a turn of events the Diamondbacks were able to witness firsthand in their 9-3 loss to the Dodgers on Monday night.
Bolsinger, who has replaced McCarthy (Tommy John surgery), went another seven strong innings, allowing two runs on only three hits and striking out eight in raising his record to 4-1 in his seven starts.
Before the fireworks, the Dodgers staked Bolsinger to a 1-0 lead in the first the old-fashioned way -- with a string of singles. Justin Turner, Adrian Gonzalez and Howie Kendrick put consecutive base hits together in the first inning for an early 1-0 lead.
It stayed that way until the Dodgers broke the game open in the fourth. Kendrick singled and Yasmani Grandal walked before Alex Guerrero lined a single to left to score Kendrick. Ender Inciarte’s throw home was off and the runners advanced on the error.
Ethier’s single scored Grandal and Rollins made it an officially bad night for ex-Dodger Rubby De La Rosa, drilling a three-run homer out to center. It was the seventh home run of the season for Rollins and the first in five games for the Dodgers.
The Dodgers made it a runaway with three more off De La Rosa in the fifth. Kendrick singled for the third time and advanced to third on a Grandal double. This time it was Ethier delivering the three-run homer. It was Ethier’s eighth of the season, already doubling his total from last year.
De La Rosa left after five innings, the same distance he managed in his earlier start against the Dodgers on May 1. In 10 innings this season, the Dodgers have gotten to him for 14 runs.
Meanwhile, Bolsinger continued to cruise. He retired the first nine Diamondbacks in order before he gave up his first hit. Leading 9-0 in the sixth, Bolsinger finally allowed his first run at Dodger Stadium in 23 2/3 innings.
He walked Nick Ahmed to lead off the inning, and one out later, gave up an infield single to Inciarte. A.J. Pollock doubled both home to snap Bolsinger’s scoreless streak.
Otherwise, it was a pretty easy night for the curveball specialist. In five of his seven innings he retired the side in order.
Justin Turner fouled a ball off his left knee in the third and left the next inning with what the Dodgers called a bruised kneecap. X-rays were negative and they are calling him day-to-day.
The Diamondbacks scored a final run off Josh Ravin in the ninth.