LOS ANGELES -- Scott Van Slyke could have given his pitcher a courtesy step, or maybe even one of those fake little jogs. Instead, he stood with his feet planted wide and watched it sail over his head like a child gazing up at his new kite, and just as wide-eyed.
"Where was I going to go, try and catch it?" Van Slyke asked.
And, frankly, Mike Bolsinger isn't the kind of pitcher who's going to take offense at something like that. In fact, when Giancarlo Stanton hit one of Bolsinger's 85 mph fastballs off the roof of the left-field pavilion in the first inning of the Los Angeles Dodgers' 11-1 win Tuesday night -- one of the longest home runs in Dodger Stadium history -- Bolsinger admitted he actually laughed a little bit.
"That's the hardest ball I've ever seen hit against me … well, I take that back. His last ball he hit against me was probably the hardest ball," Bolsinger said. "You've got to just look back and go, ‘That's awesome,' and just go on with the game."
If you're Bolsinger, a pitcher with a marginal fastball and a tenuous grip on a major league jersey, you're probably always best-served to take that kind of attitude. He's 27 years old and fighting hard to gain a foothold in the big leagues, but after a second straight strong outing, he finally might have a toe dug in. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he hasn't talked to anyone in the front office, but as far as he's concerned, Bolsinger deserves another start.
Frankly, no matter who the Dodgers throw out there these days, it doesn't matter. They're steamrolling through every injury that arises. Two of their best hitters, Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford, are out, as is their leader in saves, Joel Peralta. Two-fifths of their starting rotation is on the disabled list for the long haul.
Yet despite all that, they might be the best team in the major leagues. They are the best according to run differential, even if they're one game behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League standings. They have won 15 of their 17 games at home, turning Dodger Stadium into a pinball machine practically nightly.
So, yeah, they were in good enough moods to wax poetic about Stanton's brawn. Some of the Dodgers thought his sixth-inning single, which kicked up grass as it skidded toward Van Slyke's glove, might have been hit even harder than the home run.
"He's an in-shape human," Van Slyke said.
When a reporter asked Mattingly if he was able to make out where Stanton's home run ball landed, the 54-year-old manager took mock offense.
"Yeah, I can still see," Mattingly said. "I heard it, too."